10 TED Talks if you’re an artist feeling lost in the crowd...

10 TED Talks if you’re an artist feeling lost in the crowd of engineers, doctors, and other people with conventional careers!

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1. One year of turning the world inside out– JR

Street artist JR made a wish in 2011: “Join me in a worldwide photo project to show the world its true face.” One year after making his TED Prize wish, he shows how giant posters of human faces, pasted in public, are connecting communities, making change, and turning the world inside out.

With a camera, a dedicated wheatpasting crew and the help of whole villages and favelas, 2011 TED Prize winner JR shows the world its true face.

2. The invisible man– Liu Bolin

Can a person disappear in plain sight? That’s the question Liu Bolin’s remarkable work seems to ask. The Beijing-based artist is sometimes called “The Invisible Man” because in nearly all his art, Bolin is front and center — and completely unseen. He aims to draw attention to social and political issues by dissolving into the background.

Beijing-based artist Liu Bolin silently comments on modern sociopolitical conditions by disappearing into his art.

3. Your body is my canvas– Alexa Meade

Alexa Meade takes an innovative approach to art. Not for her a life of sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then paints it—literally. She covers everything in a scene—people, chairs, food, you name it—in a mask of paint that mimics what’s below it. In this eye-opening talk Meade shows off photographs of some of the more outlandish results, and shares a new project involving people, paint and milk.

Alexa Meade paints mesmerizing, illusionistic portraits directly on living subjects, subverting familiar visual cues with perspective and color.

4. My 5 lives as an artist– Raghava KK

With endearing honesty and vulnerability, Raghava KK tells the colorful tale of how art has taken his life to new places, and how life experiences in turn have driven his multiple reincarnations as an artist — from cartoonist to painter, media darling to social outcast, and son to father.

Raghava KK’s paintings and drawings use cartoonish shapes and colors to examine the body, society, our world.

5. How I became 100 artists– Shea Hembrey

How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you’re Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself — from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is capable of.

Shea Hembrey explores patterns from nature and myth. A childhood love of nature, and especially birdlife, informs his vision.

6. The illustrated woman– Maira Kalman

Author and illustrator Maira Kalman talks about her life and work, from her covers for The New Yorker to her books for children and grown-ups. She is as wonderful, as wise and as deliciously off-kilter in person as she is on paper.

Maira Kalman’s wise, witty drawings have appeared on numberless New Yorker covers, in a dozen children’s books, and throughout the pages of the Elements of Style. Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is the result of a year-long illustrated blog she kept for the New York Times.

7. Taking imagination seriously– Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing — which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.

American artist Janet Echelman reshapes urban airspace with monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water, and sunlight.

8. An illustrated journey through Rome– David Macaulay

David Macaulay relives the winding and sometimes surreal journey toward the completion of Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city.

David Macaulay gets under the skins of skyscrapers, mosques, pyramids, subways, and a host of other ancient and modern marvels. His lavish and micro-detailed renderings expose the world’s secret engineering to dazzled readers of all ages.

9. Art made of storms– Nathalie Miebach

Artist Nathalie Miebach takes weather data from massive storms and turns it into complex sculptures that embody the forces of nature and time. These sculptures then become musical scores for a string quartet to play.

Nathalie Miebach is a Boston-based artist who translates weather data into complex sculptures and musical scores.

10. Art that craves your attention– Aparna Rao

In this charming talk, artist Aparna Rao shows us her latest work: cool, cartoony sculptures (with neat robotic tricks underneath them) that play with your perception — and crave your attention. Take a few minutes to simply be delighted.

A part of the Bangalore-based artist duo Pors & Rao, TED Senior Fellow Aparna Rao works with electro-mechanical systems and interactive installations.

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