8 Must-Watch Talks for Any Creative

Sam Jones By Sam Jones  |  Aug. 30, 2013

Every now and again I come across a talk that I find to be truly inspiring or informative. Over the years I’ve made sure to bookmark these talks for later reference and now, after recently revisiting my collection, I thought it would be a good time to share those that I believe all creatives should watch.

Below is a collection of eight videos that cover everything from branding to education to user experience and client relationships.


Design to challenge reality (Kelli Anderson)

Design to Challenge Reality

Kelli Anderson shatters our expectations about reality by injecting humor and surprise into everyday objects. At TEDxPhoenix she shares her disruptive and clever designs. 

From wedding invitations to Utopian newspapers, Kelli Anderson re-designs commonplace objects to go beyond their ordinary functions and create surprising experiences.


A happy grain of sand (Aral Balkan)

A Happy Grain of Sand

Aral Balkan will take you on a tour of the world around us through the eyes of an experience designer and inspire you to create experiences that go beyond usable to empower, amuse, and delight.


Introducing charm into charmless categories (Simon Manchipp)

Introducing charm into charmless categories

Old models of communication were based on reach, rather than touch. Many brands reach for a wider audience, but miss their potential by failing to touch people. Simon will take you through a roller-coaster ride of SomeOne’s experiments, ideas and applications where new branding has been employed to touch a different audience, expand a brand’s repertoire or better explain not just what a brand makes, but why it makes it.


F*ck you, pay me (Mike Monteiro)

F*ck You, Pay Me

Mike Monteiro and his lawyer share advice on the importance of contracts and making sure that you get paid.


Do schools kill creativity? (Sir Ken Robinson)

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.


The myths of the overworked creative (Tony Schwartz)

The Myths of the Overworked Creative

Time is finite, but we act as if it were otherwise, assuming that longer hours always lead to increased productivity. But in reality our bodies are designed to pulse and pause — to expend energy and then renew it. In this revelatory talk, energy expert Tony Schwartz debunks common productivity myths and shows us how to regain control over our energy so we can produce great work.


The transformative power of personal projects (Ji Lee)

The Transformative Power of Personal Projects

Bored with his ad agency gig and the uninspiring work he was producing, Ji Lee — now Creative Director of Google Creative Lab — decided to take matters into his own hands in 2002. The result was the ad-spoofing Bubble Project, in which Lee placed blank speech bubbles on ads around New York City. The masses responded and the project went viral, gaining Lee recognition and ultimately forwarding his professional career. Here, Lee talks about how he created, financed, and marketed the project single-handedly.


Designs to save newspapers (Jacek Utko)

Designs to Save Newspapers

Jacek Utko is an extraordinary Polish newspaper designer whose redesigns for papers in Eastern Europe not only win awards, but increase circulation by up to 100%.

Could good design save the newspaper — at least for now? Jacek Utko thinks so — and his lively, engaging designs for European papers prove that it works.


Were you inspired by any of these talks? Is there any others that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments.