Wisdom of the elders

May 18, 2012 at 7:00 am 1 comment

I highly recommend this interesting talk by Andrew Zuckerman about the Wisdom project: a moving compilation of interviews with some of our world’s finest elders about life, work, wisdom, love, and creativity.

If you are an artist struggling with inspiration, the blank page, or whatever you call a block, Zuckerman has some wisdom to share. I especailly resonate with his discussion about what he calls the ‘anxiety of influence.’ How do we make work that is not derivative or influenced by others? How do we quiet self doubt so we can get something done?

The architect, Frank Gehry, thinks we each have a unique signature that no one else can replicate. In Zuckerman’s words, “projects are collections of our responses” and if we respond consistently throughout the life of the piece, it will be uniquely ours. Chef Jacques Pepin went a few steps further to say that even if he gave five people the same recipe, at the end of the day, there would be five unique dishes placed on the table.

For Zuckerman, the goal is to “put myself in a situation where I can respond truthfully and honestly.” If he trusts himself, the outcome will be truly his. Why is that so hard to remember?

Entry filed under: mediated, portraiture. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. testblog1975  |  May 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Loved this, Joanne. Now I gotta get to work, but thanks–

    Reply

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