Is Creativity Best Fostered Alone, in Pairs, or in Groups?

Collaborative teams spark the most powerful creativity. So Walter Isaacson tells us, repeatedly, in The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. The power of teams was true in any form, whether it was like minds coming together through common interest, such as MIT's legendary Tech Model Railroad Club; government-funded corporate research …

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Road to Publication: Questions to Ask Before Building an Artist Website

I've owned a personalized domain name (patrick-ross.com) for about fifteen years, but have done little with it during that time. For the past four years I have focused on this free WordPress site instead. But with Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road publishing this October, I knew it was time to do something with …

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Internet Companies Don’t Serve Us; They Sell Us

Repeat after me: We are not Facebook's customers; we are their product. This sentence has been in my head ever since first noticing the kerfuffle surrounding Facebook in the wake of the publication of an article documenting how--prepare to be shocked--the company conducted experiments on how they presented our news feeds to see if they …

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5 Creativity Lessons from Hall of Fame Inventors

What are some secrets of truly creative thinking? Who better to ask than Hall of Fame inventors? That's exactly what I did last month when I was able to speak with several 2014 inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, or NIHF, as well as past inductees. As I wrote back in April, NIHF …

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When Creatives Give Back

As I struggled with learning how to put myself on the written page, I asked my Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Sue William Silverman how she found the courage to share her trauma as a childhood victim of sexual abuse in Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You. She first told me that …

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Creative Control in the Age of Kickstarter

How much creative control do we cede when other people's money is involved? Before I get to Kickstarter, let me throw in a historical anecdote. Galilee Galileo was not only the Father of Modern Science, he also earned a decent income from book sales. He was driven enough by profit maximization to eschew writing his …

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The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I've learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools' Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful "open letter" …

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