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How genius works

The Atlantic magazine has a project called “First Drafts: How Genius Works.” The interviews with novelists, chefs, architects, and musicians are a creative process x-ray. Here are a few excerpts that resonate with me:

Frank Gehry on how our creations are a reflection of ourselves, “Some people may say my curved panels look like sails. Well, I am a sailor, so I guess I probably do use that metaphor in my work—though not consciously.”

Tim Burton on the need for space, “I don’t sit down and try to draw a character. I attempt to reserve some time each day for myself to sit and do nothing—stare off into space or doodle or whatever–just be in my own head. That time is very precious for me, and sometimes the characters will strike me in these quiet moments.”

Grant Achatz on iterations before putting food on the table, “We do different tests of every dish. Someone will have an idea, work on it, and put something in front of me. I’ll taste it and make comments and suggestions. We’ll continue the process until we all think it’s where we want to be.”

I invite you to explore the project and let me know what inspires you! 

Can imagination be taught?
Getting unstuck

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Why is it so hard to sit and do nothing, I wonder??

    June 7, 2011
    • friesengroup #

      I wonder this too. Whether we call it monkey mind, to-do list, or daily report, it is easier to keep going rather than reflect ….

      June 8, 2011

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