Inspiring Creativity

Poverty, humour, music, delusion – 21 artists tell us what drives their creative impulse.

Inspiring Creativity is an unpretentious exploration of what drives mankind’s creative compulsion featuring interviews with 21 familiar individuals from different artistic backgrounds. Directors Pablo Ganguli and Tomas Auksas track the source of the creative impulse, knitting together a fascinating thought-piece from the diverse visions of composers, painters, actors, curators and designers, young and old.

From its first moments, this short documentary takes the viewer on a journey that is warm and personal. Taking a casual stroll down the beach with Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, sets the scene for a series of interactions and meetings with that keep you glued to the screen. You hear from people in their natural environments – actor James Franco painting in his trailer on set, German composer Hans Zimmer in his darkened studio and Karim Rashid sitting languidly in one of his own chairs.

They’re all asked what inspires their creativity – and the answers are as varied as the characters on screen. “A lot of people think that creativity is all about freedom but I think true creativity comes from restriction and limitation,” says screenwriter Paul Schrader.

They all point to the life-giving qualities of being creative. “If it wasn’t for my creativity, I think I’d be dead now,” says British artist Tracey Emin.

The film ends as powerfully as it started, with a message from “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema”, Jonas Mekas – making watching to the end essential.