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: Thanks Janet - for taking the time to do this.
    "Creative vision -- how do you develop and hold onto it, especially when obstacles appear in your path?'
    Janet - I'm a musician/photographer/writer/sometimes-painter, it always seems like there are these obstacles that get in the way and make it harder and harder to let creativity flow. How do you overcome those obstacles and any other thing that gets in the way of your creative vision?
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      Feb 13 2012: Hi Pete, First I want to say that sometimes encounter the obstacles that you describe getting in the way. In fact, I can't think of any project where I didn't encounter problems.
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      Feb 13 2012: The obstacles that occur in the creative process are painful, and difficult. And my development of a creative idea is more about staying with it than channeling some wonderful stream of creative thought. I just keep delving in, turning things around and upside down. As a young person, I was trained as a classical pianist, long before I discovered art as an adult. I use alot of the techniques I learned as a musician. We used to take things apart, take a line and practice it with different rhythms. And with drawing and painting, I would always turn my paper or canvas around 90 degrees or 180 or 270, and sometimes cut them apart and put them back together in different ways. I find it liberates me from what I was originally thinking. I was told that Picasso would be painting and if there was a small part he thought was perfect he would have to paint it out in order to finish the whole painting. So I try alot of things to shake up my creative process and to keep it fresh and open to new ideas.
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      Feb 13 2012: Working collaboratively with people is a great way to bring fresh and different approaches. That's something that has been invaluable to me. Have you tried that?
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        Feb 13 2012: Janet, how do you like the process of creating in the publicly funded sphere? Are you able to dictate your own creativity or have you found yourself having to respond the "public" input?

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