TED Conversations

Janet Echelman

Sculptor, Studio Director, Studio Echelman


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Creative vision -- how do you develop and hold onto it, especially when obstacles appear in your path?

Artist Janet Echelman overcame rejection and doubts to develop her methods of building voluptuous sculptures the size of buildings out of simple materials like fishnet. In this live conversation, ask questions and share your own experiences with Janet about the path to creative endeavor.

This Live conversation will open on Feb. 13th, 2012, 2 pm EST.

If you couldn't make to this Live Conversation, the discussion with Janet Echelman continues on her TEDTalk page: http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman.html


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  • Feb 13 2012: I am wondering what process you use to start a project. How to plan it, gather your resources to execute it, and how to keep pushing forward until a piece is finished. I work as a photographer and video editor but I have started so many ideas between writing and painting that I never get to any of them for more than a few days.
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      Feb 13 2012: Andrew, that is a really tough problem. And I also struggle with some ideas that interest me that I don't have time to focus on. But I try to keep looking over all the ideas and to pick the single one that seems most important to pursue. And to just keep at it until I get through to the next side.
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      Feb 13 2012: You know the old story about how to eat an elephant?
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      Feb 13 2012: I try to take the big problems apart, into "bite sized" pieces.
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      Feb 13 2012: The other thing that I try to keep in mind is Mahatma Gandhi. I keep thinking about what it was like for him to set out on the Salt Walk to the sea, and how impossible it must have been to imagine that he could overthrow an incredibly powerful imperial empire to create an independent state. The method I've been taught (credit here to the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network and the Henry Crown Fellowship) is to look at the final goal, imagine that it is a reality, and then work your way backwards.
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      Feb 13 2012: That is the best method I have to make sure that I have included all the "bite-sized" pieces.

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