If you aren’t already a fan of TEDTalks, get ready, because they are one of the best inspirational resources available at your fingertips. TED is a nonprofit that brings together top thinkers and speakers in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design. The free online collection of lectures by notable artists, engineers, musicians, scientists, teachers, chefs, authors, producers and politicians is only a portion of the overall effort and mission of TED to “Spread Ideas”.
We will listen to the TED podcast in the studio or on road trips but my favorite thing is to take a break from work when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stuck on an idea and get myself all pumped up and inspired by some awesome TEDTalks. It helps me to hear other artists experience with the creative process, to hear passion and courage spoken about the importance of nutritious food in our lives and culture, to learn from the experiences of others what really matters in life when you strip all the nonsense and noise away.
One of the best TEDTalks I’ve seen was by Roger Ebert. While still in high school I had the great opportunity to take several film workshops with Ebert through The Virginia Film Festival. A collection of us would sit in an otherwise empty movie theater and watch films like Psycho, The Birds and Chinatown while we learned everything we could from Ebert. He had a special remote control and a laser pointer so he could pause the films frame by frame and point out little details and film concepts that made each movie, and every one I’ve seen since, that much richer, more meaningful and beautiful. His humor and eloquence was inspiring and I still have the notes I took during those workshops of everything he said.
While Ebert’s journey itself is an inspiration I can’t end this post without mentioning the local Charlottesville teacher John Hunter and the remarkable teaching game he made which inspired the film “World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements“. I saw a screening of the film here in Charlottesville, VA and it is brilliant on every level. It is no surprise that he was invited to be a TED speaker. Charlottesville is lucky to have John Hunter in our midst. And we are all truly blessed to have access to information and inspiration such as this. We should take daily advantage in whatever way we can. So if you find yourself watching who-knows-what online, try watching a few TEDTalks and see how inspired you can get.