I love creating things, whether I'm developing a TED talk, hosting a conversation series for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, giving a talk about creativity, throwing a tea cup, creating a Peabody Award-winning radio show, or cooking dinner.  My first book, Spark: How Creativity Works, is published by Harper and is released as an audio book.  And please check out my podcast series, Pursuit of Spark! There you'll find conversations about creative approaches to the possibilities, challenges, and pleasures of everyday life.

Amazon  Barnes&Noble  Indiebound

 Photo by Pavlina Perry

Appearances

Four lessons in Creativity at TED:

Loved leading a workshop on uncertainty and giving a keynote on creativity at Days of Communication Croatia in May.  Wonderful participants, fascinating stories, and a beautiful setting in Rovinj.  

Thrilled with the recent Spark Talk at The Met on April 30, exploring the way artists play with time, with wonderful guests -- musician Laurie Anderson; Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me; astrophysicist and art historian SeungJung Kim; and Met curator Melanie Holcomb.   

It was a pleasure to give the keynote at the Clifford Symposium at Middlebury College.

Mitch Joel and I had a conversation at TED about creativity, which you can hear on Mitch's Six Pixels of Separation Podcast.

Big Think asked me to speak about creativity for three short segments.

Webcast of my talk for educators at the Smithsonian.

My thoughts about creative struggle in SGI Quarterly.

 

Subscribe to Blog

Today's blog -- Four lessons in creativity.

Spark : How Creativity Works

Why did Richard Ford's childhood cat influence his work as a novelist? How is Chuck Close's portraiture driven by his inability to remember faces? What pivotal moment convinced Rosanne Cash of the healing power of the stage?

Creativity is an elusive subject. We enjoy its fruits -- movies, novels, paintings, songs -- but rarely are we privy to what happens during the creative process. In Spark, Julie Burstein traces the roots of some of the twenty-first century's most influential and creative thinkers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Yo-Yo Ma, David Milch, Isabel Allende, and Joshua Redman.  Julie pulls back the curtain to reveal the sources of these artists' inspiration and the processes that bring their work into being.

"These artists may not change lead into gold," Julie writes, "but they lift materials from their familiar contexts, combining, reshaping, transforming them into works of art that change the way we see the world."

Spark is an Official Selection of the TED Book Club!
Spark is on the WSJ Psychology Bestseller list.

Here's what Vanity Fair has to say about Spark:  

"The act of creating art is eternally shrouded in mystery. For 10 years public radio's Studio 360 show, created and produced by Julie Burstein and hosted by culture-quaking journalist-novelist Kurt Andersen, has revealed the unique sources from which the artist's creativity flows while pinpointing the hot spot 'where art and real life collide.'  In Spark (Harper), Burstein, with a foreword by Andersen, offers enlightening answers from the culture's heavy hitters, including Chuck Close, Yo-Yo Ma, and Richard Ford, on which experiences, memories, tragedies, or landscapes ignited their imaginations, as well as the process by which they stoked these embers into a roaring fire, and how you, yes, you, might too." 

“Through enlightening conversations, these creative individuals demonstrate how they lift raw materials out of familiar contexts and create art that changes how we perceive the world.” (Publishers Weekly)

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Barnes & Noble

Buy from IndieBound