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"If you give a girl a different toy, she will tell a different story."

Frustrated with the modern toy market's focus on female characters with uncomfortable costumes, uninspiring back stories, and unrealistic body proportions -- "most are created for the adult male collector, decidedly more Hooters than heroine" -- Wellesley alumnae Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau joined forces with the legendary creative team at EleventyPlex to crowdfund a new line of fierce, Joan of Arc-inspired action figures, designed to encourage girls to embrace their inner strengths and imagine themselves as self-made superheroes: I Am Elemental. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 7, 2014 - 73 comments

"Je suis très, très fier"

Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome. A father reflects on his son's search for employment.
posted by zarq on May 27, 2014 - 53 comments

Typewriters v. Computers: the argument revisited (again).

How the typewriter is/isn't better/worse for your writing. A little bit about ye olde handwriting in there as well.
posted by JanetLand on May 8, 2014 - 33 comments

Man As "Meaty Robot," A Capitalist Fairy Tale

As an antidote to the "economic calculator" view of behavior, OWS's Graeber offers a counter principle: "The free exercise of an entity’s most complex powers or capacities tends to become an end in itself."
posted by blankdawn on Feb 8, 2014 - 18 comments

DevArt

DevArt: An exhibition of art created with code - skywriting quadcopter drones programmed with c++, room dividers reimagined as 3D screens for psychedelic projections, using raspberry pi to rename WiFi networks as lines of poetry. They are collaborating with the Barbican in London for the Digital Revolution exhibition and are currently seeking an emerging creative coder to be funded to present at the exhibition alongside world-class interactive artists Zach Lieberman, Karsten Schmidt, and the duo of Varvara Guljajeva & Mar Canet.
posted by divabat on Feb 6, 2014 - 2 comments

Girls Fighting (or Helping) Evil

Laura is super passionate about girls fighting evil, creating collages with short stories about various groups of girls fighting off demons - from radio DJs and the interns at Night Vale, to Dorothy Gale, travelers, and of course Beyonce. Sometimes the girls are helping the demons: evil counterparts to Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White, the underwater orchestra, even the underlord's admin assistant. Sometimes they fight each other; sometimes they fight themselves. Some of these fighters are real. Sometimes they'll let you borrow their style.
posted by divabat on Jan 31, 2014 - 8 comments

"People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous."

Raph Koster on getting criticism.
posted by Sebmojo on Oct 20, 2013 - 26 comments

A Genre of Surpassing Banality

Thomas Frank discusses the literature of the creative class.
posted by sendai sleep master on Oct 13, 2013 - 59 comments

Coffee, air baths and a lunchtime martini

Rise and shine: the daily routines of history's most creative minds
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 6, 2013 - 59 comments

Give me a stick and I can stay alive!

Discover how to get out of bed and do things again with these spiffy new tips from 21 Comics That Capture the Frustrations of Depression! Or pull a blanket over your head and pretend you're the last person on earth curled up in a nice, warm cave. Whatever.
posted by byanyothername on Sep 22, 2013 - 89 comments

depending how far beyond zebra you go

Why would a liberal education, the deeper acquaintance with a number of diverse modes of symbolic production, enhance our freedom? University of Chicago sociology professor Andreas Glaeser, in his 2005 Aims of Education Address to incoming students, muses: How About Becoming a Poet?
posted by shivohum on Jul 18, 2013 - 6 comments

Confusedly being alive is more important than being neatly dead

Five Reasons Why I Am Not An “Artist”, an essay by Tom Ellard (formerly of 1980s industrial electropop band Severed Heads and now an academic and media art practitioner in Australia; previously), touching on areas such as artificial divisions between art and technical practice, the politics of the role of the artist and the conflict between creative exploration and artistic recognition and success.
posted by acb on Jul 13, 2013 - 25 comments

Twelve Tones

"It's just one of those days where you wake up thinking that if you jazzed up Stravinsky's Owl And The Pussycat it'd be awesome..." [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by motty on Jun 27, 2013 - 42 comments

Crankies

“We did our first show in a bar...all of a sudden, the whole room was quiet. And then we got everyone to sit on the floor cross-legged to watch our crankies.” [more inside]
posted by Miko on May 24, 2013 - 10 comments

A cursed superhero never sells as well as a guardian superhero

The same kind of numbers analysis that has reshaped areas like politics and online marketing is increasingly being used by the entertainment industry. "A chain-smoking former statistics professor named Vinny Bruzzese – "the reigning mad scientist of Hollywood", in the words of one studio customer – has started to aggressively pitch a service he calls "script new evaluation". For as much as $US20,000 per script, Bruzzese and a team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success." His research has lead to conclusions like "If it's a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it's summoned. So get rid of that ouija board scene." and "Bowling scenes tend to pop up in films that fizzle"
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 6, 2013 - 74 comments

The Helsinki Bus Station Theory

Long known by photographers, the Helsinki Bus Station Theory explains the creative process in an interesting way.
posted by reenum on Apr 9, 2013 - 78 comments

Speak, Memory

A meditation on falsehood and truth in memory by Oliver Sacks.
posted by parudox on Feb 2, 2013 - 26 comments

Select pictures to color and candy to eat

This year, cartoonist Lynda Barry is Artist in Residence at the Arts Institute of the University of Wisconsin, and her class "The Unthinkable Mind" starts today. This is the poster. This is the introduction to the class. This is the first handout.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 23, 2013 - 57 comments

the face as a canvas

A Family Affair by celebrated Dutch makeup artist Ellis Faas. Her brother is the model and her daughter created the music. Faas says, "As a late teenager, I visited the Tate Gallery in London and was blown away by a Francis Bacon triptych. It made a great impression on me because of the use of colour - it was unnerving and stunningly beautiful at the same time. Bacon inspired many experiments I did over the years." (via The FaceCulturalist)
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 15, 2013 - 7 comments

Innovation lessons from Pixar: An interview with Oscar-winning director Brad Bird

The implication is, you’re making it for a group that you are not a member of—and there is something very insincere in that. If you’re dealing with a storytelling medium, which is a mechanized means of producing and presenting a dream that you’re inviting people to share, you’d better believe your dream or else it’s going to come off as patronizing. Innovation lessons from Pixar: An interview with Oscar-winning director Brad Bird (PDF) or (HTML, registration required)
posted by shivohum on Nov 27, 2012 - 24 comments

Live From the Inside

Radio Colifata is a beloved weekly Buenos Aires radio show run by psychiatric patients that breaks down boundaries between the "interned" and the "externed." During his Argentina tour, radio supporter Manu Chao invited a few Colifatos to join him. LT22 Radio La Colifata is 94 minute a documentary (in Spanish) shot over ten years that celebrates the station and the tour.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 14, 2012 - 7 comments

the future redefined

Richard Florida (previously, 2) speaks to leaders [flash 11mins] of the APEC nations, November, 2011. [more inside]
posted by de on Nov 4, 2012 - 21 comments

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants," an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 27, 2012 - 14 comments

Creative Director Starts Drinking Heavily

How Does An Idea Become A Book? (flowchart)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 29, 2012 - 25 comments

Attention, designers

The Attention Deficit Designer, by Jon Winebrenner
posted by infini on Sep 18, 2012 - 25 comments

XOXO, darlings

A festival of indie creativity in Portland, Oregon, XOXO was Kickstartered into existence as an alternative to SXSW and sold out in just over two days. Its speakers spoke of a new kind of individual creative entrepreneurship enabled by technology, and included Dan Harmon, Adam Savage, MakerBot's Bre Prettis (previously) and MeFi's own mathowie, while its attendees were a kind of who's-who of the Internet. Anil Dash wrote up every session, and you can pre-order videos on the main site.
posted by bwerdmuller on Sep 18, 2012 - 13 comments

Letters to Both Sides

Patton Oswalt’s Letters to Both Sides - Oswalt addresses "all of the comedians in the room" and "all of the gatekeepers" at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012 about living in a living in a "post-Louie world".
posted by Artw on Jul 29, 2012 - 89 comments

The cult of creativity

"The amorphous concept of ‘creativity’ has become the unquestioned MacGuffin of our times, and anyone who doesn’t demonstrate it – or at least a willingness to cultivate it – is in danger of being labeled a conservative desk-monkey unfit for the creative rigours of our fecund social media world."

Molly Flatt on the cult of creativity.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Jul 18, 2012 - 57 comments

writer/director/actor

Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man - "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 6, 2012 - 40 comments

The Curse of Knowledge

Isaac Chotiner reviews Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works. Imagine is really a pop-science book, which these days usually means that it is an exercise in laboratory-approved self-help. Like Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks, Lehrer writes self-help for people who would be embarrassed to be seen reading it. For this reason, their chestnuts must be roasted in “studies” and given a scientific gloss. The surrender to brain science is particularly zeitgeisty.
posted by shivohum on Jun 13, 2012 - 29 comments

I Am Science

I Am Science: Unconventional Paths to Life in Science (5-min Vimeo), via Brain Pickings. [more inside]
posted by philipy on May 30, 2012 - 6 comments

Hit me Einstein, one more time!

When a Blow to the Head Creates a Sudden Genius
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 19, 2012 - 29 comments

full-blast living

The Creative Personality: Ten paradoxical traits of the creative personality By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (via)
posted by infini on Apr 28, 2012 - 35 comments

From SIN to HEL in 11 hours

How Creativity Connects with Immorality Are creative types more likely to cross moral boundaries?
posted by infini on Apr 25, 2012 - 40 comments

The successful scientist thinks like a poet but works like a bookkeeper.

Harvard sociobiologist E. O. Wilson explores The Origins of the Arts.
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 25, 2012 - 38 comments

Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating.

John Cleese on creativity.
posted by Lord_Pall on Apr 9, 2012 - 13 comments

the movie must contain: kittens

Finite Films takes your idea for movie constraints and turns the favourites into short films. For example: "One character must use refrigerator poetry magnets to leave a note/message for another character", "One character loves vacuuming naked", or "One used to drive a moped until it was stolen".
posted by divabat on Feb 20, 2012 - 9 comments

yWriter

Since its last* appearance in the blue, yWriter has been updated to version 5. Designed specifically for novels, this freeware "contains no adverts, unwanted web toolbars, desktop search programs or other cruft".
posted by Trurl on Feb 11, 2012 - 56 comments

It’s kind of like making children

David Cronenberg talks to the LA Review of Books about making movies
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2012 - 14 comments

Extraordinarily good at copying and following

Infinite Stupidity Now, it sounds incredible. It sounds insane. It sounds mad. Because we think of ourselves as so intelligent. But when we really ask ourselves about the nature of any evolutionary process, we have to ask ourselves whether [our mechanism for generating ideas] could be any better than random, because in fact, random might be the best strategy. Mark Pagel previously, edge.org previously
posted by victors on Jan 8, 2012 - 33 comments

Masturbate frequently

Top artists reveal how to find creative inspiration
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 2, 2012 - 65 comments

Or, How I Started Worrying and Learned to Fear Fandom

Drew McWeeny muses at length on Muppets, Avengers, and Life In The Age Of Fanfiction.
posted by gilrain on Nov 29, 2011 - 33 comments

ROCKS FALL EVERYONE DIES

Ten Types Of Writer's Block And How To Overcome Them
posted by The Whelk on Oct 7, 2011 - 77 comments

Post'it War

Post'it War
posted by Trurl on Aug 31, 2011 - 20 comments

Green Is Not A Creative Colour

The performance collective This Is It has created a video singing the praises of creativity: Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Jul 31, 2011 - 15 comments

Lee Tandy Schwartzman's "Crippled Detectives"

As much as any book I know, Crippled Detectives transcribes the dream state, not just in its flights of fancy and logic-jumping juxtapositions, but in the mutating narrative tactics, the topsy-turvy focus (the climax is over in a flash, whereas digressions distend to marvelous effect), and especially the inconsistent point of view... I forgot to mention that Lee Tandy Schwartzman was all of seven years old when she wrote it.
posted by Trurl on Jun 27, 2011 - 14 comments

The Daily Rind

"The Daily Rind” scheduling system: I have an inkling that it will work best for those with a particular creative disposition, while those whose thought-patterns are more regimented and linear may prefer more conventional scheduling methods. But if you’ve got a more fluid workstyle and struggle with finding rhythm and balance with the scheduling of your days, give the system a try
posted by Trurl on May 28, 2011 - 10 comments

One-Man Show

Louis C.K. has what most artists dream of: total creative control over his show.
posted by reenum on May 16, 2011 - 45 comments

Everyone Knows You're A Hack

Judd Apatow got into an e-mail argument with the creator of That 70s Show back in 2002
posted by The Whelk on May 15, 2011 - 110 comments

Genius is being used a little loosely here

How Genius Works. The Atlantic asks artists like T.C. Boyle, Tim Burton, Paul Simon, and Frank Gehry (and others who aren't so well-known) to describe their creative process.
posted by helloknitty on Apr 22, 2011 - 68 comments

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