What goes into a musical performance? For Tucson based performance pianist Ian Houghton, it's a commitment to practice, tinkering, having a singular focus for months on end, and never forgetting that music is supposed to be fun. Classical music can be inherently difficult for many to appreciate on a deeper level and it's Ian's goal to make it a relatable genre within the context of today's contemporary world.
Tommy Honton tells the story of why he was fired from his soul sucking job and how it was the catalyst of his current creative endeavor in designing a narrative experience.
Courtney Nichols discusses her biggest creative success, her biggest creative failure and what it took to dive into creativity.
How do you design adventure? Tommy Honton is a game and narrative experience designer in Los Angeles. Sometimes known as “escape rooms,” Tommy’s 3-D puzzles with their choose-your-own-adventure-style storylines draw people out of their solo, blue-screen existences and thrusts them into a high-stakes, collective, and dynamic environment. Tommy’s best designs are felt more than they are observed. And while the experience may be manufactured, the users’ excitement, fear, and (hopefully) feelings of accomplishment are very real. But the greatest escape Tommy has designed may be his own. In next week's part II episode, we hear how Tommy escaped and designed his own career change.
Does the idea of planning a party make you want to curl up in a corner and cry? For Courtney Nichols it took numerous attempts at higher education before she finally embraced the idea that she is a creative person. Once she nurtured her penchant for fun, love of disco and fine dining, plus her wild imagination, Courtney became a visionary behind some of the most unique parties in Los Angeles.
Rosemary Wardley discusses her biggest creative success and her biggest creative failure.
Did you know there are still things to be mapped? As a cartographer for National Geographic, Rosemary Wardley combines science and art to diffuse geographic knowledge to the masses. Working in a field that precedes the ancient Greeks and Romans requires that she be a servant to the past, while continually using modern technology to design maps that are engaging, enjoyable, educational for the end user.
Are you seeking perfection? Joshua Jayindo became an ordained monk in Thailand, taking a vow of celibacy all in an effort to achieve his full potential as a human being. Since leaving the monkhood he is now incorporating his training into his current pursuits as a chef, masseure, husband and father. His life and creativity are guided by the belief that the mind, body, and earth are all interconnected through the transference of energy.
Emily Biondo is a passionate, process-conscious artist and graphic designer based in Washington D.C. who’s work ranges from large-scale interactive art installations to intricate hand-drawn lettering. In her personal, paid, and pro-bono work she combines digital and physical mediums to create art that pops from a distance, draws you in, and begs for a closer, interactive look. We talked about her process, about working with clients, and why creating “the perfect work” would be a major bummer.
New York City portrait photographer, Alan Winslow, approach to his craft is rooted in minimalism and tradition. Rather than take thousands of shots digitally, in hopes of capturing the perfect picture, Alan prefers to shoot on film, giving him more time to set up the frame and get to know his subject. His creative process is finally completed in the darkroom where he perfects the color balance, the composition of the photograph, and creates a physical print.
Can yoga work for you? It’s about stretching your hamstrings and strengthening your biceps, but it’s also about improving your life. As a Yoga instructor in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Tasha Judson believes that small movements can have an enormous impact on fulfilling your potential as a conscious being. Teaching yoga gives her the opportunity to not only relieve her students of stress, but to express themselves creatively through freedom and happiness.
What's the common ground between cancer treatment and beer? As a successful oncologist, Orion Howard approaches each patient with honesty, compassion, and empathy, providing them with a dignified quality of life. His ability to listen and authentically connect with people has been one of the driving forces throughout his medical career and carried over into his new career as co-founder of Bright Ideas Brewing in North Adams, Massachusetts. Like oncology, brewing is a science that requires careful attention to the appropriate mixture of components in order to achieve success while never losing sight of the needs of the patient or the patron.
One more question for pop culture writer for the Washington Post, Elahe Izadi. How do you know if you've written something good?
Elahe Izadi is a journalist for the Washington Post who uses curiosity to fuel her creativity and fear to catalyze her growth as a writer. Covering pop culture, she writes in an entertaining fashion continuously seeking to explore and reflect the attitudes of society within the greater context of the world.
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” - John Lydgate
The very nature of politics dictates that while one group of people will be pleased with you, another group will be utterly disappointed with your performance. Greg Lemon, who is a communications director and speechwriter on Capitol Hill is all too familiar with this juxtaposition. At a time when the news cycle never ends, the emails never let up, and the phone continuously rings, he takes a measured approach to politics applying the old baseball adage, “Keep your highs low and your lows high” and focuses on the greater goals of the team, remembering that growth and forward progress takes time.
How did you turn failure into success? Brooklyn artist, Claudia Santiso’s willingness to fail, combined with a love of experimenting with those failures, has been the foundation for her burgeoning art career. Her creative evolution as an artist and distinct, if not somewhat improbable style of painting, is a testament to her non-conformist attitude, curiosity, and years of stubborn exploration.
Ever been stumped by a problem? When all of the potential solutions have been exhausted the people of North Adams, Massachusetts turn to the unique skills of Bill Greenwald. He’s a mechanical engineer, a mushroom grower, a pilot, and an airport manager, but at the heart of all of his talents, he is a problem solver. Whether he’s installing a kitchen sink, helping the local water company remain operational, designing the logistics for a dynamic piece of art, or developing a groundbreaking technique for growing Shiitake mushrooms, Bill’s creativity comes in the form of exploring pragmatic, cost effective, solutions to people’s problems.
What does wallpaper have to do with shoe design? Listen to Senior Design Director of Innovation for New Balance, J.F. Fullum, as we delve into his experimental approach to footwear design. Through collaboration with his design team, he creatively explores the future of running, fashion, materials, and technology. By thinking outside the box and drawing inspiration from other industries not typically associated with athletic shoe design, he continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible.
When most people think about public housing, they envision the failed high rise apartment buildings that were constructed in the 1950’s and 60’s. Many of those projects evolved into poorly managed slums and ghettos that were eventually demolished. Amy Winter is a planning administrator for the city of Cambridge Massachusetts, who is determined to not repeat the failures of the past. Through community outreach and innovative approaches, Amy and her colleagues are attempting to change the stigma around low income housing.
Professor emeritus, Dan Jones, has been practicing and teaching landscape architecture for over forty years, consulted on a number of seminal development projects, and mentored countless students who went on to have enormous impacts in the field of landscape architecture. Throughout his career he has extensively explored how creativity and design can be applied within the greater context of one’s surroundings.