Creativity Takes A Lot Of Hard Work

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Episode #297 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

How does creativity happen? Does it take a lot of time? Can brilliant creative just happen? What inspires creativity? Who is a creative? These are the questions and thoughts that we all engage and connect with as Marketing professionals in one way, shape or form at multiple times during our careers. We often lament the creatives as those who get to play all of the time or go to movies and grab coffees waiting for that moment of inspiration. Scratching beneath the surface, we begin to realize that those who we would hail as being the most creative are usually very hard and complex workers. It’s a topic that is near and dear to the heart of Julie Burstein. In 2000, Julie created Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson for Public Radio International. It was a show that looked at creative people through in-depth conversation. Her first book, Spark – How Creativity Works, was one of those books that I just could not put down. Currently, she is the host of Pursuit of Spark – a Podcast that continues the conversations she started with her book, Spark. I had the pleasure of watching Julie present at this past TED conference and she was kind enough to spend some time with me, after her presentation, to discuss the topic of creativity and work. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #297.


  1. Interesting.
    I’m learning that when I listen to the Podcast online, I comment:-) and when I disconnect, as I like to because moderation/balance is important to me, I move on although I never cease to be grateful for your content.
    I love how she struggled with the “are you a creative person” question. So authentic it resonates. The word feeling keeps coming up in comments and CD compilations I’ve made. And thanks to Julie, I’m now certain “creating an emotional experience” is part of my calling. Here’s someone’s response to politically sensitive blog (backed by music) which was deleted:
    “Hiya! Got the chance to read your latest blog before it disappeared. Really nice piece. Moved me. I read it aloud, oratory type and I got emotional.”
    But here’s the kicker: I’m going to stop complaining about ‘strangers’ familiar with my work being afraid of phone conversations with me, something that even came up twice in my blog yesterday. And why? As she said…”He’s so amazing but I’d be terrified to talk to him”.
    Some people will think you’re “ruthless” or “inaccessible”. However, if you’re genuinely warm, respectful and consistent, I think the value you deliver and the thought and effort you put into it eventually lays bare your true personality.
    As for the “I want to be alone” thing:-) I live in China. Mainland China, where space or even ‘noise pollution’ is a foreigner’s nostalgia. Just imagine how many text message responses I send to really sweet people saying: Sorry. I’m working. I really want to be alone! And the discontent that causes:-) Constantly apologizing for that!

  2. Like the podcast very much. I’ll probably grab this book at some point because I just grabbed Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
    Have you picked that book up yet to compare?
    Hope the TED talk of Julie’s surfaces online soon to watch. Sounds right up my alley.

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