I am reading Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace. Ed Catmull is one of the co-founders of Pixar. Though his name is probably the least known of the Pixar co-founders—Steve Jobs and John Lasseter being the other two—Ed is the true pioneer in the landscape of computer animation. And he owes much of his success to the collaborative, creative approach of his computer science professors at the University of Utah.
One of my classmates, Jim Clark, would go on to found Silicon Graphics and Netscape. Another, John Warnock, would co-found Adobe, known for Photoshop and the PDF file format, among other things. Still another, Alan Kay, would lead on a number of fronts, from object-oriented programming to “windowing” graphical user interfaces. In many respects, my fellow students were the most inspirational part of my university experience; this collegial, collaborative atmosphere was vital not just to my enjoyment of the program but also to the quality of the work that I did.
—Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.
I know of another such creative community who saw success: the Inklings. The most famous members of the Inklings were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, but there were a number of successful writers in the group, each creating things in their chosen genre that are known and loved to this day.
And I am proud to say that I am in such a group as well. My writers group, the Weaklings, may not be as well-known or well-published as the Inklings, or as financially or industriously successful as Ed Catmull’s group from the U of U, but we’re growing more by our combined efforts than we could if we were struggling alone.
Together, we have launched blogs, participated in writing contests, been published in various magazines and books, and founded a writers conference that is free and welcome to everyone.
Creative communities work because they work together. Are you part of a community?