Archive | March, 2010

Can Creativity Be Taught? by David Weintraub

David Weintraub is a writer, editor, photographer from South Carolina. I happened on his article, (click here) CAN CREATIVITY BE TAUGHT? ,  saying to myself, ‘whoa – now. Is it possible that someone’s finally got an answer to this age old question?’

He asked his students and …

“About half the class wrote that, yes, creativity can be learned. But the other half said no, you are either born with a creative gene or you are not–and all education or training can do is unleash your already existing creative potential. In other words, this group of students said creativity cannot be learned.” Read article…

So, there I was, back at Square One. Half & half.

My personal belief is that it is both… innate and learned. I don’t believe there is anyone who ever starts out his/her life with NO creative ability whatsoever. I believe it is necessary for our survival on this planet. And I believe it must grow and develop, like muscles — you gotta use ’em! Now, then, how we develop, and how we are encouraged to develop — ah, that’s the key!  Let me know what you think…

For you who teach music … and singing… [Photos:  I took these Old West singers, in a Santa Fe, NM, shop window. Oct. 2009, ]


Back to the Drawing Board – Cat Bennett

I found this article in the Huffington Post (which I read almost daily, online, also called the HuffPost).

This one is by artist/illustrator, Cat Bennett. She nails some things down about the creative process, in such a direct, easy manner, that you will find yourself nodding in agreement.

She advocates something you’ve heard before (but do we DO it?) … that we should draw (or write) something daily. She reminds us how this process can help solve other problems or challenges in our lives, that have nothing to do with creativity, (per se),  in that the end product is a solution to a problem, or a result, rather than a painting, drawing, poem or song.

She also reminds me of some experiments we tried with the employees when I worked in Talent Development at Walt Disney Imagineering (1988-1993). We asked the ‘suits’ at the company to try their hand at being artists (just to experience it) … they were practically frozen with fear. Her story here is very close to that… talking about calming our “inner critic” voice so we can just have a little fun. (And they did, eventually!)

She talks about how/why being a creative person helps us to use our tools to work through the glitches/obstacles in our lives.  Wonderful article. Only thing is she seems to have mixed up the ‘right brain’ with the ‘left brain.’  It is the left, not the right, that is the linear, ordered, verbal side. But, we’ll forgive her!!

Click here to read Back to the Drawing Board.

Now, go get those crayons you have hidden away in that drawer! Draw a picture of ANYTHING … and just have fun!


Career Camp LA (Los Angeles) FREE!

Sometimes it’s just good to go to something like this event, to help you STIR YOUR JUICES … whether you have a good job, or are looking for a good job … or want to change to something new & different.

I’ll be presenting a brief talk about Career Path Patterns … why the Corporate Ladder may (or may not) be right for YOU.

We’ve been conditioned to ‘go for the gold’ in so many ways … ‘reach for the stars’ … ‘grab the golden ring’ … but what if those phrases don’t appeal to you.

Maybe you just want to strive for your “personal best” — or maybe you are happier completing smaller assignments, one after the other. There are a few different paths that our elders rarely discuss … one of them could be much more comfortable for you than the “king of the hill” model. Learn which one is just right…

CAREER CAMP L.A. — click here!

See you there — Saturday, March 27th. Lots of other guest speakers — FREE!!


You MUST Read This – especially if you are a musician or an artist of any kind

Here is a doozy, folks. You’ll thank me… I found it on Facebook, and am grateful to Doreen Ringer-Ross, for posting it. You’ll want to frame it and hang it where you can see it daily. You’ll definitely want to send it to your artist-friends.

It’s a speech… not too long … It is:

Dr. Karl Paulnack, pianist and director of music division at The Boston Conservatory, gave this fantastic welcome address to the  parents of the incoming students at The Boston Conservatory on September 1, 2004:

Karl Paulnack Karl Paulnack

“One of my parents’ deepest fears, I suspect, is that society would not properly value me as a musician, that I wouldn’t be appreciated. I had very good grades in high school, I was good in science and math, and they imagined that as a doctor or a research chemist or an engineer, I might be more appreciated than I would be as a musician. I still remember my mother’s remark when I announced my decision to apply to music school-she said, “you’re wasting your SAT scores!” On some level, I think, my parents were not sure themselves what the value of music was, what its purpose was. And they loved music: they listened to classical music all the time. They just weren’t really clear about its function. So let me talk about that a little bit, because we live in a society that puts music in the “arts and entertainment” section of the newspaper, and serious music, the kind your kids are about to engage in, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with entertainment, in fact it’s the opposite of entertainment. Let me talk a little bit about music, and how it works.   Click here to READ MORE


Creative Thinking Isn’t Just Born – It’s Bred (article by David Ginter)

There are several things I love in this article… like how “group-think” doesn’t always work, and why (we are so eager to PLEASE rather than do the right thing) … how ‘follow the leader’ is always more comfortable than breaking rank (to be more creative) … but mostly, finally, this article points out that PLACE has a lot to do with creativity. I’ve always believed this… that there are some places that are more stimulating to be in… but then, it’s about our powers of observation too. Most importantly, this article says it, “Get out of your rut.”

So, here’s the link plus a photo of me getting out of my rut … after all, we live in Los Angeles, which is mostly bright and warm. Here I am, in the snow, a rare event… when we crossed over Mingus Mountain, recently, going from Jerome, Arizona, to Prescott, on our way back to LA.


I'm delighted with snow, near Prescott, Arizona, Feb. 2010


Mind-Mapping Resource

For those of you who just can’t get enough (ok, I’m one too), here is the mother of all mind-mapping maps…  it’s fascinating!

The mega-map of over 80 of the best mind-mapping resources. Each link is a gem.

Start with the article here:

Relating visually…. I took this photo, Dec. 2009, because it reminded me of Mind-Mapping, bringing our bright ideas into organized, useful shapes! You can find these luscious dishes at Bauer Pottery.

Bauer Pottery, Los Angeles


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