Creativity is an untamed and sometimes elusive beast. Many of us have no idea where were get our ideas from, and as stated in Doug Pray's Art & Copy, "especially, we don't have any idea where they're gonna come from tomorrow". While the film's focus is primarily on the advertising industry, it's a great starting point for soaking up some wise words through well versed creative minds.
The main focus of this list is to mash-up creative individuals worthy of worship. Whether real or fictional, they make us step up our game and think bigger than ourselves. So who better to start with than one of the most notorious of all, artist and activist Ai Wei Wei. The film Never Sorry documents his preparation for an exhibition as he clashes heavily with the oppressive Chinese government. As we follow the unconventional photographer, we learn that his message is much bigger than his camera. He's really the embodiment of his art.
“The musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.”
Another figure who's been the subject of many films, Steve Jobs, was recently portrayed in a bold but clever portrait. The movie, named simply after the man himself, is inspiring without focusing on the glamour generally attached to commercial success.
There's a pretty consistent theme in the selected creative heroes: their obsession goes way beyond anything material. Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the story of the 3 Michelin Star sushi restaurant, is in bottom of a metro station for fucks sake. These guys live for their work and couldn't do it any other way.
Anton Newcombe, the personality at the core of Dig!, even consistently sabotages any chance for his band's commercial success.
Ok, so say you're not down with the tortured artist thing. I mean, not all of us have the creative tenacity of Marina Abramovic. Still, there's plenty of inspiration to be had in the land of smiles. Being Elmo is the story of a man who's creative outlet became one with the spreading of joy. Like the creators at Pixar, he's used his potentially massive reach for simple positivity. For any creative person, it's a solid reminder that just making things for the love can always be a good direction.
“As soon as you feel comfortable in a situation, get rid of that situation.”
Taking the cake for high levels of inspiration is a fresh documentary about a crew of obsessive risk-taking chefs. Noma, known for being the most influential restaurant in the world, closed its doors only to reopen as a pop-up. René pushes his fellow master chefs to their limits while collectively maintaining their love for the craft. Ants on a Shrimp is a great example of following your passion as far as it will take you.