How Creative Geniuses Work


The May issue of The Atlantic features a fascinating article on how creative minds begin to imagine works of art. The sample set of participating artists runs the gamut from music to architecture, auto design to fashion. They provide unique, highly personalized insight into how some of culture's most accomplished artists launch new projects.

Some interesting points:

• T.C. Boyle says that technological advancements (namely, computers) have allowed him to condense a month's worth of painstaking revisions and adjustments into three or four days of work. Although this has accelerated his production schedule, he misses the satisfying rhythm of his former writing method. • Paul Simon starts composing songs by improvising a melody and singing words, "often those words are just cliches," which he sometimes keeps "...because they're nice to have. They are familiar." Simon says that he has never discussed with his contemporaries—Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney—how they approach songwriting. • Tim Burton employs non-specific sketching and watercolor painting when constructing characters for his films. • Frank Gehry eschews the use of modern design technology and favors sketching and building models when contemplating his projects. • Grant Achatz doesn't just dream up inventive combinations for his world-renowned dishes, he goes through different a writer working on a novel would.

For a look inside the minds of creative geniuses, read the full article here.