Sources of Creativity: SX Speaker Series

"Quantum Jungle" by Robin Baumgarten

Every week in our Conference Community Newsletter, we mine the minds of some of the best and brightest speakers headed to Austin in March.

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Here’s what this week’s round of participants had to say about who inspires their creativity:

Anthony Gellert / Mentor: Bob Ross, the painter. Seriously. He was always calm. And as he painted, it often seemed as though he was lost and spoiling the existing painting. Then it would all come together at the end. And people adored him. This is the template for creativity. Skill, patience, calm, and the ability to connect to others.

Cara Gresser / Mentor:
"I love the art form that Marlee Mandel uses to create her pieces; they are made 100% from dripped candle wax. The unique approach inspires me to push the limits of my creativity and continuously think outside the box."

Curtis Matzke / Understanding Artist Residencies & Retreats for Filmmakers:
"2024 is going to be a year of change. I plan on listening to those around me and seeing how different artists advance in their careers. I am particularly excited to see how genre filmmakers like Robert Eggers, Denis Villeneuve, Alex Garland, Beck & Woods, and Fede Alvarez come out with new work and new perspectives about the world through a different lens."

Dave A. Liu / Changing Faces: Media Representation and the Path to Positive Portrayals of Facial Differences:
"In 2024, I will look to Cixin Liu, the acclaimed Chinese science fiction author, to ignite my creativity at SXSW. Liu's visionary storytelling and exploration of complex scientific concepts in his works, such as The Three-Body Problem, will serve as a catalyst for pushing the boundaries of imagination and innovation in my creative pursuits."

Deanna Brown / Fundraising in a Down Market: How to Keep Your Startup Alive:
"Greta Gerwig."

Diana Williams / Visual (R)evolution: How AI is Impacting Creative Industries:
"Anyone who asks But what if..."

Joseph Jaffe / Mentor:
"Elon Musk, for all the right and wrong reasons."

Kate Baucherel / From the Fireside to the Future: Stories in a Changing World:
"Escher. I work with emerging tech including cryptocurrency and AI, and the landscape of regulation is starting to look like his staircases. I'm going to learn to climb them!"

Matthew Carlson / Using Drawing to Collaborate, Innovate & Learn:
"I've been listening the Audio version of The Creative Act by Rick Rubin this month. His voice, perspective and the subtle gongs between each chapter are the perfect creative meditation to get me focused and inspired to draw/write/make."

Skot Waldron / From Maker to Manager: A Creative Leader's Journey:
"Every person I meet can be one of these. Might sound like I’m avoiding the question, but seriously, I’m going to lean into more people around me to help lift me up."

Sydney Williams / Hiking Your Feelings: Blazing a Trail to Self-Love:
"In my work, the best inspiration are the landscapes we travel through. After years of seeking inspiration from outside sources, I've found that cultivating my relationship to the land and its stewards has been the most fulfilling — and most consistent — source of inspiration to unlock my most creative work."

We hope you've enjoyed this edition of the Conference Community Newsletter SX Speaker Series!

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Photo by Ann Alva Wieding

By Hugh Forrest