Thursday, June 9, 2011

Don Hahn and Creativity: 6 Questions

After reviewing Don Hahn's latest book BRAIN STORM, I had the opportunity to ask Don a few questions about creativity.

What inspired you to write Brain Storm?
I had written a book about creativity over a decade ago and I felt that I had more to say on the topic, more stories from the trenches and more thoughts about what it means to flex your creative muscles. I’m no expert on creativity, but I do want to contribute to the discourse and get people talking about a fuller, more creative life.

Is there a target audience for the book?
My hope is that everyone from 8 to 80 will find something in this book. I have a soft spot in my heart for two kinds of creative souls: students and people who think they aren’t creative. All students are sponges looking for hints on how to put together the pieces of life and maybe this book will give them a kick in the right direction. And people who don’t think they are creative...well I guess I just enjoy proving them wrong.

You have published quite a few books on creativity. Is there a legacy that you want to leave?
I think I have an ambition to share creative ideas in the same way that the all the people I have been lucky to work with have shared their ideas with me. Creative ideas and concepts are not something you hold onto, you pass it along. So if there is a “Don Hahn legacy” it’s that he passed along everything he knew so that others could try them on for size. It doesn’t matter if people agree with what I have to say. It’s better if they don’t agree with everything, but at least I have a duty as an artist to challenge other artists and creative souls with the things I know to be true about the human condition.

Is there a specific piece of art, music, film or other work that always inspires you?
I think I’ve always been an experience junky. I went to the Tate Modern Museum in London yesterday and had the best experience of my life. The museum is an inspiring place but the art was challenging. I absolutely hated some of the art, and other pieces left me soaring with joy. I feel the same about music or film, it’s about the experience of seeing, listening, tasting touching that gets me excited, even when the art isn’t that great. So I guess the answer to your question is no, there is not a piece of art or music that inspires, but the experience that art and music gives me is inspiring.


What's next for you?
I’m Executive Producing two films right now: Chimpanzee from Disneynature, and also an amazing stop motion-animated film Frankenweenie from director Tim Burton.

What is a good substitute for dark chocolate if none is available?
Donuts.

I'd like to thank Don for taking time to answer my questions. BRAIN STORM is a great book for people who are looking for a way to explore their creative side in a humorous and, ultimately, inspiring way. Pick up your copy today!
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