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Creative Spark Talk – Taking Imagination Seriously Essay

Janet Echelman is a self-proclaimed artist who never formally learned the craftsmanship of being an architect, engineer, or sculptor. However, her story is one of determination and perseverance through adversity that fuels inspiration to make imagination a reality. Ms. Echelman was an honored speaker at a 2011 TED Talk conference and the title of her speech was, “Taking Imagination Seriously”. The focus of her speech is about the ability to utilize numerous inventive methods to bring about the natural beauty of art.

Illuminating Stages of Creativity

Echelman shares in her talk that she was offered an opportunity to travel to India and host an art presentation. She had been painting abroad for 10 years so she considered herself prepared and had envisaged concepts for the exhibition. However, met with the dilemma of missing painting supplies, Echelman began brainstorming to solve the problem. Recalling that sculpting was esteemed in the area, she entertained the idea of creating bronze moldings but dismissed because the cost, size, and weight would be too great. Stumped in the creative process, a new technique to design aerial sculptures suddenly appears by watching fishermen pile nets on the beach. Acting on her mysterious moment of clarity, Janet Echelman brought into existence with the help of local fishermen, a one of a kind sculpture titled “Wide Hips”.

Captivated by visions of effortless motions and images influenced by every flutter of the wind, Echelman was compelled to master variations of the artistry. Although her beginning works was temporary, they were viewed by thousands and gained her recognition. She was commissioned to erect a sculpture, which challenged a series of actions to achieve lasting results. Her ability to transform the idea of using ordinary material to assemble monumental artwork is stimulating and touching the minds of society.

Concepts of Imagination and Curiosity

Janet Echelman acknowledged that she required assistance and resources to further the growth of her creations. She began gathering, sorting, and organizing information on what tools or equipment would be needed along with developing relationships with various engineers. This new form of art had not been done before; it was created through the process of connecting visions and absorbing ideas from environment. Janet Echelman was able to put concepts into action by experimenting with existing methods and modifying until reaching the goal. She allowed her imagination to cultivate scenarios of innovations that the world had yet to experience. When presented with the advantage to construct a sculpture in the middle of a city, Janet Echelman’s curiosity was electrified. Future assignments entailed exploring different techniques, learning and understanding how they will work together. With each new project, Janet applied inquisitive thinking skills to explore and investigate how she would accomplish constructing and stabilizing the artwork. Every sculpture took on distinctiveness through color, form, texture, and assembly.

As a result of allowing her curiosity to lead her toward additional ideas and perspectives, Ms. Echelman achieved greater knowledge how to use cogitative dimensions. Points Apply to Personal Experience and Beneficial to Society As a culture and in families, people are taught that to pursue dreams or succeed in a career, education is a necessity. However, some people assume a certain path is meant for them but destiny has a different course for them. Janet Echelman shared several points that could be related to personal experiences to find my own creative path in life. As a result of my own adversities with finishing college at a younger age, acceptance into an art institute to study interior design was not achieved. Nonetheless, with encouragement and determination implanted, designing remained a hobby practiced. Nurturing and releasing my imagination to explore various angles, colors, and shapes that correlated or contrasted with one another broadened possibilities.

Although interior design is not my career, the creative process of intuitively recognizing issues and formulating questions to solve them, gives guidance in different capacities of life. Janet Echelman referenced topics that are beneficial to society wherein many people struggle with asking themselves questions that are correlated to the core of what drives their thoughts. A person must be open-minded and willing to visualize the impossible to achieve possibilities. Rejections, loss of supplies, and challenges to create something new and unforeseen, pushed Janet Echelman’s imagination to greater heights. These are attributes that are considerably beneficial to old and coming generations.

In conclusion

Janet Echelman, an American artist was driven by her imagination to create one of kind sculptures around the world. Her persistence to acquire as much information on the craftsmanship of sculpting shows that the power to create and intuition brings results. Connecting visions sometimes require the assistance of others and in doing so, relationships are formed and the aftereffect is splendor. The finished masterpiece is takes on a form of its own to be enjoyed and appreciated by the magnitude. Janet Echelman’s creations has inspired, mesmerized, and encouraged people to take their imagination seriously.


N.A. (2011). TED Talk. Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously. Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman/transcript?language=en

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