Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Want to Talk About Ideas

I want to talk about ideas, and not just the packages they come in.  I still consider packaging and design to be incredibly important, because they influence us to take action.  If you didn't like the way a gift was packaged, would you be as inclined to open it?  What causes you to choose one product over another?  How you package yourself is likely to aid in an interviewer's decision to hire or not hire.

But, and there's no way around this: I've lost my fervor over design reviews.  There are a billion other blogs that do that, and it's less interesting to me.  I'd rather talk about ideas.

So with that in mind, I've tasked myself with watching 20 TED talks over the next few weeks.  It's a small step towards the person I want to be - someone who looks and thinks big, and shares delight.

My first one is from Julie Taymor.

A visual genius, Taymor is a Director of film, theater and opera.  She was the first woman to win a Tony Award for directing a musical. She's known primarily for the theatrical production of The Lion King, but my favorite piece of her work is the film, Frida.

Her talk centers around the artist finding the balance between creating art for their own sacred purpose and also making art for an audience.  It's going to be different for every medium, but you have to find a balance.

Also, she says that the mechanics of telling the story is just as important as the story told.   That's why the props and emblems of representation are so important - because you understand something about the story without having to be told directly.  And this, I think, leads to more surprise and delight for the audience.

We all like filling in the blanks.  We love discovery.  Having emblems and images, hints and clues, keeps us on our toes, and sparks our curiosity and imagination.  In writing classes we're told to show, not tell, and this is a step beyond that: we are given a puzzle and allowed the pleasure of discovering the total work at the end.

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