5 TED Talks About Creativity And Inspiration

I’m sure you’ve watched at least one TED Talk at some point in your life. I love them so much, they’re reliable sources of knowledge and inspiration. And even more important, they’re short. My biggest problem is that there are so many of them (and about so many different topics) that I never know where to start if I’m looking for a specific one, in this case: TED Talks about creativity.

If that’s your case too, today’s your lucky day because I’ve watched a bunch of them and selected the best TED Talks for artists: all of them are about inspiration, creativity, art or productivity. I’ve also written some lines telling you why I liked them, or some key takeaways to have in mind. Enjoy!

1. Play this game to come up with original ideas

Shimpei Takahashi

In just 6 minutes, Shimpei (a toy designer) shares his method to generate innovative ideas you wouldn’t have think of otherwise using a word game called Shiritori. One of the key takeaways from this talk is the importance of getting the ideas flowing (don’t be scared, it doesn’t matter if they look absurd) and producing lots of them to make sure at least one or two are good.

2. Want to be more creative? Go for a walk

Marily Oppezzo

This talk is super short (just 5 minutes) but very engaging. Marily run an experiment where people had to generate creative ideas in different situations. They were most successful when they were walking, so she gives you 5 actionable tips for your brainstorming sessions so you can improve your results and come up with better ideas. Really practical stuff, loved how simple they are to apply! As Marily said, “take your thoughts for a walk”.

3. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Tim Urban

This guy is HILARIOUS. I laughed so hard during the whole talk, it will be relatable to a lot of you (us) who are constantly dealing with procrastination. Tim explains how the brain of a procrastinator works so you can be more aware of it and hopefully limit its effects so you can focus on your big goals. He also highlights the “long term procrastination”, that applies to situations with no deadlines (like artistic or entrepeneurial decisions) and can lead to frustration very easily.

4. Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth, author of the best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love”, gives a very inspiring talk on how to keep creating after failure or rejection (or after a huge success, that surprisingly can be equally intimidating). You need to find your home, your true passion, and put that in an important place in your life. As she says, find the word that fills in the blank in: “I love _____ more than I love failing at _____”. Whenever you fail, you just have to come back home and keep creating.

5. Be an artist, right now!

Young-Ha Kim

I saved the best for last, this is my absolute favorite! Young-Ha reflects on how we show our artistic desires throughtout our lives. We are all born artists, just look at kids: all they do is painting, dancing, singing… and no one tells them to do that, it’s just for fun. But as we grow older our inner artist gets locked (although it doesn’t disappear). “Art doesn’t feed me”, “I have to get a job”, “I’m too busy for art”… do these sound familiar?

We aren’t sure why we should be artists, but we have many reasons why we can’t be. Young-Ha advises us to become artists again like when we were children, and if they ask you what for… you can always answer: “Art is not for anything, art is the ultimate goal”.