I met TED today, and I have to say, I am pleased to make his acquaintance. If you are unfamiliar with TED, so am I, but here's the run down. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and is a conference of some pretty fantastic speakers that happens annually and/or semi-annually, I'm not entirely sure. Either way, you have to apply if you even want to attend, so there you have it. It's a pretty fancy shindig. A podcaster I follow linked a talk by Adam Savage of Mythbusters on his website today, with the declaration that "EVERY creative person out there needs to watch this." That's a pretty strong endorsement, and seeing as I've watched hours of Mythbusters in the last few days (thank you Netflix), I decided to give it a try. At only 15 minutes long, it was pretty fantastic, and I recommend that others watch it as well, but then do as I did, and mosey on over to the TED website and watch a few more. Bruce McCall's piece on his art was amazing, as was Aimee Mullin's speech on her 12 different pairs of legs.
There are a few reasons I find these short videos valuable. First of all, the people featured are interesting, engaging, and aren't simply chosen at random for this conference. They have something to say that's worth listening to. Secondly, they're just plain inspiring. Like so many others, I am a creator who is more often than not afraid to create. For one reason or another, it is always easier to take things in than put them out. Let me tell you, putting out has never been my strong suit. Sorry, I had to say it, but really, I love to see the myriad ways that people find fulfillment and inspiration in their creative endeavors. It helps me to feel a part of the creative community.
Quite honestly, as much as I loved these talks (and I do), I find a similar amount of creative vindication coming from that lone podcaster who recommended the video, Scott Johnson, seen here with his Kim in beautiful Utah! That's right, he lives in Utah suckahs. Eat it! Why do I admire Scott? He has two actively running webcomics, My Extra Life and Experience Points. He also has his own creative art projects. He manages two popular podcasts, ExtraLife Radio and The Instance, both of which are of the highest quality, and a few other personal podcast and video podcasts as well. Why do I admire him? Because he creates! Not because he is famous or well paid. His creative works aren't how he makes his living...or is it? That's what inspires me. Scott, and the TED Conference speakers that I've listened to, are all people who are living "authentic lives" as Frankl might say, who have taken up the mantle of the "Citizen Artist" as Paula Vogel might say, and are contributing themselves through their work into the wider world. That's really all I want to do. Creation should never be about getting a job. It should be done because, well, frankly, that's what makes life interesting, and I feel enriched when I see others who have seen their labors come to fruition, even if only for themselves.