Welcome back to another episode of the BigAppleSchool podcast where the goal of this show is to help you improve your English through listening. My name is Benjamin, I'm from London and today I have three guests. Our first guest today is...
And last but not least...
So we're going to be talking about creativity today. So, are we creative people?
Oh, yes. Yeah, I think all teachers are kinda creative. Yeah. Because you have to come up with lesson plans. You have to do something fun for the students. So if you don't, it's just boring.
Yeah, I guess you kind of have to, to some extent, be creative. Yeah. Well, what other professions would you say have to be creative?
Yeah. Architects are particularly interesting cause they have to mix.
Mathematical thinking. Yeah.
Problem solvers have to be creative, right. To think of some way solving the problems.
Yeah, negotiators. Yeah, definitely. If you have an international conflict, you definitely need to think of...
Oh, really? Do you think so?
Yeah. If someone asks something new to their faces, so they need to imagine the new way.
They even call themselves artists.
Yeah, you're right, cool.
Oh, tattoo artists. Actually.
And just living life, right? We have to somehow survive.
Well, what are the pros of being a creative person, and what are the cons of being a creative person?
You have more. Oh, you know that you can get something done. If you are a creative person, you have confidence that you can find a way to do it.
You can actually make something. Some that will stay, you know, for years. But here are the cons though, I think, judging by myself as a creative person, I don't know. Sometimes it's too much pressure. You know, you understand that you have so much, so much to do, you know, and you have to do it somehow. Like, for example, I paint a little bit. If I don't paint for, you know, like a week or something, I feel, you know, frustrated with myself. I feel kind of disappointed.
I'm not using mine talent.
Yeah, exactly. Well, it's not talent, it's just.
Well, tell us what about your painting? Do you use acrylics? Oils? Watercolors?
Watercolour, yeah, so. And I just started when I was living in Scotland because I had nothing to do. And I've always wanted to, you know, start painting. It's been always interesting to me. And at first it was so awkward. It was so bad, like really, really bad. But then I had a lot of progress. Now it's kind of, it's okay.
So what kind of things do you paint?
Mainly architecture, actually. Yeah.
Cool, technical drawing, kind of?
Yeah, something like that. But also, you know, with a hint like so bright colours, like sketch or so I'd say. Yeah, well, it looks kind of cute to me, you know, so I don't really show it to anybody, so it's just mainly for myself.
So, after you die, we can collect your things in a museum.
It'll be. I don't know if it'll be.
Like, you know, it's not as good. It's really, really bad, actually, I would say.
I mean, okay, so when we're creative, we might have some kind of standard for ourselves and we have to self examine, is this good or is this bad? I always tend to think that if I have to do something, it's going to be good. So, do it. Because I feel like I am successful in my under my own standards. Maybe somebody else won't like it. So I'm hoping that when you paint, you're fulfilled and you do feel good about what you're doing.
So you can't say it's not good.
Yeah. It's always been, you know, like my brother is really creative. He's always been, you know, good painter, he wrote creative texts, stuff like that. But when I was a child, I was like kind of in his shadow. Yeah. So I'm like that, like, okay, he can do things. I can't. So yeah. But then I started doing it and it was like actually good. And my family was like, Whoa, you can do this. And I was like, Yeah, I can do it. Wow. So yeah.
That kind of reminds me of something where some people think that maybe all dancers or all ballet or dance teachers can choreograph and can make up dances. And that was the worst part. I hated having to make up dancers. They turned out okay, but it's nothing I want to do. It has to be someone who wants to do it.
Can you tell us more about your ballet?
Yeah, because as an instructor, do you teach people to follow a certain pattern or do you teach people to choreograph?
Yeah, in class you have a certain structure of class that you must do. If you're teaching a ballet class, there's a structure, but at the end of the year there's a recital. And so at the half mark, you have to start working on your dances. And so, sometimes the director will give you music that you must use to confine to the, be confined to the theme or you could use your own.
And so if you have really good music, oh, that's beautiful. That's inspirational. Maybe you could think of something. But I had my limits. I could make some up good dances and then kind of repeat the same steps the next year for something else. I just didn't like doing it. I just didn't like it.
Well, I guess this is it. Correct me if I'm wrong. I guess it's kind of similar to learn your musical instrument where you look, you have to learn how to play. Or is it different?
Yeah, I think so. I think first you have to have the desire to want to choreograph and then maybe, yeah, go to choreograph, choreography school or get some pointers or something. But you have to want to and I don't want to.
But I guess you can only get into choreography after you have a foundation of.
I would think so, but modern dance, maybe you could say it's founded a little while now. You can't really say it's founded on ballet because they really threw ballet out. So it's more freedom of doing what you want to do. That's what a creative dance is. You know, there's music and you flail your arms around and you're creating something. So it's yeah, it's different.
Yeah, it's, yeah. Has a certain flair to it that.
There are different kinds of dance and different kinds of choreography.
So, Ugur, what about you, have you indulged in any creative endeavours?
I guess I can say like I was playing drums when I was in high school and the university and if I have a chance to do it I can do it right now too. But I need to practise a little bit. So, creating a musical piece is kind of a creative process. You need to manipulate the sound or manipulate the the structure of the music that you are hearing and working with your bandmates. So it's kind of a.
Oh, so you were to band mates? You had a band?
Yeah, when I was in high school, yeah, yeah, yeah.
And are these drums like snare drums with with the drum stick or just by your hands?
No, with the drum stick. Yeah, so they all do.
And you should compose music or you just playing?
No, no, no. Just. Just the cover songs and everything. But in our own way of interpretation, you know.
Those kind of form of creativeness.
So you rendering in a way, it's the differently different notes of changing the scale of the music in a way, so.
Did you guys have a name for your band or did you have several names or cause that's creating the name for a band takes a lot of time.
It's kind of, kind of a problem. It was a kind of problem. Everyone just said something. All right, I want this name. I want this name. So we didn't come up with a name that fits into our band. So we didn't have a name. We were working like a session band on the studio, so we were just getting there. All right. Jam for an hour, then, all right, let's focus on the specific artist, specific catalogue and try to just play on it, you know. That was kind of.
I think there's something called like generic, like a generic band, right? You don't fit in to conform to whatever.
Like a jamming, jamming band or jamming session. Yeah.
So I've always been fascinated by how all these musical bands have their own special names.
Yeah, that's kind of difficult to just come up with a name that strikes everyone at the same level in a way I don't know.
I danced with a rock band one time. Yeah, it was in L.A. and what the bands do, these little upcoming bands will go and take a tour around. They'd go to all the, you know, the hot spots like 'The Troubadour', and 'The Rainbow Club' and 'Madame Wong's', the whole tour of it. And so I toured just in L.A. this, the full band, and we had, you know, choreography, and it was kind of fun.
It was in the eighties, so I had hair that stuck up like this with a spritzer that was bright red.
Eighties, yeah. What about you?
Oh, yeah, so I've, I love creating features. I've been for several phases of different things. A few years ago, I went for a phase of working with leather, so making leather bags, leather accessories and stuff like that. Really fun. It got a little bit expensive? But it was really fun. Yeah, because I love riding bikes cause and I had a group of friends who also loved bikes and we made bicycle bags and I tried to sell a couple unsuccessfully, but it was still a fun endeavour.
The business part that you didn't want to do.
Exactly and then I made some wallets. Yeah, cases. I mean, leather is such a cool material. I love the smell of the, the texture of it. It's great. So I did that for about a year and a half, maybe two years. Um, it was a fun it was a fun thing to do. Um, also, yeah, I've, I've painted a lot as well. So, you know, I use, I used oils, so oil paints. I did that for a few years.
It takes a lot of time to dry.
Yeah, it takes so much time. The good thing with oils is that if you don't like something, you can change it. Yeah, exactly, within a certain time frame. Um, the downside of oils is the toxicity of the.
So in my, in my various places where I lived, it was really hard to breathe and I probably got.
Yeah. Maybe you could say that.
It's because of this solution that you use your?
Well it's mainly the yeah. It's mainly the solvency too. Yeah, it's a clean thinner. The paint thinners. Exactly. To clean, but also the oils themselves. They also have very strong. Oh, that's.
Yeah, but I love oil paints. It just that was a very expensive. Yeah. And you have to be very cautious with what you buy. And when you choose an oil paints they have different grades, as you might know. So you can buy it's better to buy the higher quality oil paints at the start. Because of the pigments.
The reason why the more expensive those oil paints is because they contain a lot more pigment. Whereas if you use cheaper oil paint, you get through a lot and it actually ends up being more expensive than.
I understand, actually. Yeah. When I started painting was again, as I said before in Scotland and I didn't have any materials. But I had, you know, this I wanted to create something. So I went to the 'Poundland', you know what is this.
Of course, yeah, 'Poundland'.
So it's a place where you can buy things for £1. So about, you know, awesome brushes, some paints for £1 basically. Yeah. And have been doing some work with that. So and it was okay actually surprisingly you know.
And did you have a, you know, an easel like the thing you paint on?
Now I do. Now I do. Yeah, but I didn't used to. At first, it was like I spent, I know, maybe £5 on all the materials, like paper. Almost all of it as well.
Well, the paper and the canvas seems intimidating to me. So I used to like to paint on objects. I remember having a big apple cider bottle jug. So it's really big at the base. And making it, using acrylic paints and making a peacock. So the jug part was the body and then the beautiful colours because acrylics. I love acrylics. And then, or taking some wood and either carving it and putting stain on it or just painting on it or something. I like doing those.
Yeah. The painting work has the advantage. You don't have to stretch a canvas or anything like that.
And a blank piece of paper. So intimidating.
Yeah, at first you like, really scared, you know. But then it was like, okay, I have a lot of paper. I can waste it. Yeah, I can practise as much as I want to.
And developing a style that's like a whole other. It's a whole other topic. Like have you got a certain style or would you say?
Messy? Messy style. Something like that. Yeah.
Maybe, maybe. But I think it's different from every painting, you know. So yeah. Depends on the mood, it depends on what I want to, you know, capture.
And it changes, right? I mean if you have an intention, it doesn't necessarily come out that way, does it?
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah, but sometimes, yeah. It's like I'm so frustrated with the paintings. Just, I don't know, I just try to.
A lot of famous artists did that. They would destroy paintings.
Yeah. And then you remake it. I mean, if you have strength and will to do it.
Yeah. I've read a few biographies of artists. For instance, Francis Bacon, you know, Francis Bacon.
Irish-British painter and he.
It's classicism I think or?
It's more post... I guess, it's not expressionism.
It's not postmodernism. No, but that's after the nineties, post-seventies, nineties. Yeah.
You know, this is more modern.
We need to double check the exact movement he was from, but he was. I completely forgot. But he. He would go wild and he would destroy paintings if he didn't like it.
Oh, that's creative, right?
Destruction is a part of creation.
I've, since I've been here. I guess it was about maybe two summers ago. I just started getting my coloured crayons out and I said, okay, I'm not a painter, but I love coloured crayons. They're they're made of wax and I just love them and they're very colourful. And so I just started making little childlike drawings.
Child drowing, kind of yeah.
Yeah, yeah. Just like. Yeah, just like stick figures, because that's the extent of my talent. I thought, well, you know, it was so satisfying because I could finish it in 5 minutes. You just like you don't care and you just do it. And then I would be drawing or colouring pictures of my daughter and my mother and me, and it's all about me.
And I think I've done that too, actually.
Yeah, I don't have pictures of them. And so I have to, I have to colour.
Yeah. But one time I did do this beautiful drawing that I used for logos and different things. It's a, it was a ballerina and all I did, I was just inspired. This one moment I took a pencil and just a scrap paper and I made this ballerina in this poncho, like splits and, well, I was drawing it. I felt the muscles, and I just knew how my knees felt the calf muscles do this.
This goes here. And then when I was done, it didn't take long, maybe an hour. And the chest, the shoulders, everything was just so beautiful. It was just one unique time of my life and asking me to do something else. No, I couldn't do it. It was just a moment of inspiration.
Yeah. Drawing anatomy is actually really difficult. It takes.
But the feeling of inside, knowing how it feels. That was what was inspiring me. Just knowing. Just this mind's eye and feeling how the muscles go.
I don't have any kind of talent at all. Drawing or painting.
I mean, you never know. I mean.
Yeah, you know, maybe in music, actually.
Maybe. Yeah, yeah. I tried a couple of times when I was back in school and my art teacher said, All right, all right, that's enough. Just leave it off. So I quitted it.
That withdrawing it is actually a skill that you have to train. I mean, very few people are just born able to draw immediately, you have to.
Yes, perhaps. I would even say none. Yeah.
Oh, that reminds me, I did some modelling in art classes so I would stand up and all these, you know, doing the circles and they had to do all their practices.
They would just stand in there.
Yeah, different poses. Yeah.
Yeah. So like, like with learning languages, you need to, you need to train your, your drawing skills and it takes forever. And I haven't drawn for a long time, so perhaps it's not as good as it used to be.
Maybe you guys can help me?
Yeah. Let's have a class.
I'll have a painting lesson.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, I've got another question. So none of us are drug addicts, I hope.
But, a lot of creative people take drugs and drink a lot of alcohol. Do you think that drugs and alcohol contributes to someone's creativity, or do you think that it's a symptom of some people's creativity?
I guess it's kind of, uh.
I guess, drug or alcohol consumption just breaks the limits of your creativity or imagination. You feel yourself kind of free to compose or play or draw whatever you are doing without any boundaries, I guess. So you just put whatever comes to your mind on the paper or on your instrument, whatever you play.
Maybe you don't hesitate. Yeah, you don't scared anymore. You just write. I got what you want.
Let's try it without thinking about what's gonna happen next in a way.
Well, I guess there's a limit, I guess to how many drugs you can get.
Yeah, I think it would be depending on the person, because I wouldn't be affected that way at all.
Yeah, it depends probably.
Because in a previous podcast we talked about this chap called Keith Moon. Who's this? You know, Keith Moon, of course. Yeah, 'The Who', the drummer. Yeah.
He's great. He's a great, he was a great, talented drummer, but plus a junkie. Yeah, and he was a junkie.
This guy was absolutely crazy. I bought his biography for my dad's birthday.
This guy was. He took way too many drugs and.
So there's this famous band called 'The Who'. They were big in the sixties.
My generation. Yeah, yeah. A lot of the best songs.
And this guy's hobby was to. To do lots of crazy things. One of my favourite crazy stunts of his was he would take pieces of dynamite.
No, not even that. He would take dynamite to hotel rooms and explode the toilets in the hotels. But he was an amazing drummer.
He was very, beyond talent. He was natural. It was natural.
But it got to the point where his drug and alcohol consumption became so destructive that, um, one time he passed out on stage.
They couldn't wake him up, you know.
And they had to get someone from the audience to continue the concert, which is terrible. So, of course there is a limit as to how many. I mean, I do not condone drugs. I think it's a terrible thing to get into.
But why do you think there is this kind of, you know, connexion between being creative and consuming drugs in general?
I guess a lot of ceative people just have a lot of anxiety inside them because what's the point? Why do people create things? They create things to make the life better.
Existential crisis, maybe. Why I'm here? What am I doing?
Yeah. You wouldn't need to create things if you didn't have somewhere, something to improve.
And also, if they're touring, if the band is touring, they do have a really weird schedule and they have to use drugs to get them up and then get them down. That might have something to do with it. And then maybe the power of their fame too, you if you're not harnessing. Your limits. You just feel like you could blow up a toilet if you want.
Yeah, well, it wasn't me.
That you can do anything. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, I feel bad for those hotel owners. It wasn't just them Keith Moon blowing up toilets. It was other rock bands who destroyed hotel rooms in the, I think 'The Rolling Stones' that I believe it was 'The Rolling Stones'. They threw televisions out the window.
Because, you know, why did you do that? Because I can.
Yeah, what will you do to me? Yeah. What can you do?
Yeah. You're standing on the stage. People are like, I don't know, you're an idol.
Like that from. Yeah. So of course if you're like a God.
Bad. I think it must be really bad.
Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, a lot of, a lot of famous musicians have a kind of God complex, but there are other musicians who take no drugs and have amazing success. I mean, I believe Moby, you know, do you know much about or how much do you know about Moby?
No, I know nothing about Moby.
Not 'Moby Dick', no, Moby is a famous electronic DJ musician. Extremely creative. Of course you know him.
I've heard about him, but I've never listened to his work personally.
His music is absolutely stunning. If you hear some of his tracks, you'll definitely hear it. And some of our listeners will. You'll definitely recognise the music. Oh, listen, some of our listeners definitely have heard of Moby, but he was fascinating because he was, I wouldn't say, it was a devout Christian. Maybe he was a devout Christian, but he is religious. He was religious. And he still nonetheless had music events and strip clubs and in places where there's debauchery and stuff like that. But he was, he still gets true to his Christian foundation.
Okay, so he had the best of both worlds.
Yes. Except he was surrounded by debauchery. Debauchery meaning...
I love it. It is a great word.
Yes and we say 'debauchery'.
Oh, you say 'debauchery'. So yeah, I guess it comes from French. And it means 'living in a unethical', not unethical or maybe unethical limits.
And on an immoral way. So indulging in vices.
Vices. Exactly. For instance, alcohol, other naughty things.
So, yeah, he I don't think he indulged in debauchery, but he surrounded.
Him. Yeah. And he was inspired by all the craziness around him.
Yeah. He's one of my. I would say 'role models' in terms of creativity, but I also have other role models who also took a lot of drugs. For instance, you know Jean-Michel Basquiat. You know him? Absolutely fascinating guy. I mean, a lot of people will look at his work and say, 'This is not talented, it's all just children's drawing'.
It's great drawing. And it's. I guess it was sold. One of one of his most famous drawing was sold like hundred and $20 million.
It is 'Christie's' or, I don't know.
Long story short, Jean-Michel Basquiat was really famous mixed race painter from New York in the eighties and nineties. And the reason why he's famous is because he bridged the gap between people, how people view black painters. And he really was upset with people calling him a black painter.
And he wanted to be called an American painter. And he bridged the gap between, well, he contributed to bridging the gap. So. He wants it to be known and I recognise him as an American painter and he painted all sorts of crazy, amazing stuff which depicted New York and the atmosphere of New York in the eighties and the nineties. And, but he went wild with the drugs, especially later on in his career.
After he met Andy Warhol.
Yeah, he became very close to Andy Warhol and they had projects together. And when Andy Warhol died, this made him extremely depressed. And yeah, he died from I think.
He's one of the members of 27 Club.
Oh, yeah. The famous club.
Yeah. And also in this scene, you had Keith Haring. Do you know Keith Haring? Yeah. You will see his, yeah, New York graffiti artist. But a lot of people will recognise Keith. If you see his his works, you immediately recognise him. He draws patterns of people.
Doodles, but they're really famous doodles and you'll see them, you'll recognise them immediately. And they were all part of the same scene, the I think it was the Lower East Side and in Manhattan. So yeah, he died while other famous musicians died of drugs and alcohol.
Eddie Van Halen. In my time, he was supposed to be, you know, one of the best guitar players. Yeah, he was. And the one from 'AC/DC'. But they weren't real drug addicts, I don't think in 'AC/DC' the Australians, one of my favourites.
Maybe they were alcoholics, I don't know.
I don't know. I can't remember.
Oh so many, so many. And Amy Winehouse.
Yeah. John Bonham of 'Led Zeppelin'. Jimi Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix, yeah. The thing was Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain. Do you know what they have in common?
Yeah, 27. Exactly. They all died at the age of 27. It's a it's a really scary age. If you live past 27.
Exactly. Yeah. So all three of them died from drugs at the age of 27. Kurt Cobain. What? Kurt Cobain didn't necessarily die from drugs. He committed suicide, but he was, I believe, they found a high dose of heroin in his blood. And yeah, so guys don't do drugs. It might give you a little bit of creativity at the start, but then you're just going to end up in the 27 Club.
So yeah. All right. Well, let's, how is creativity used for evil and what ways have?
Well, the atomic bomb. Yeah. It always comes. That's always an example of evil.
Yeah. Do you think the person who created the atomic bomb wasn't evil?
Actually yeah, speaking of scientists, they are, I think, the most creative people at all. Yeah, I guess they take kind of Physics, Chemistry, and they create something out of it. Not just, I don't know, painting. Yeah. Which is also cool of course, but still.
Not something peaceful, you mean, right?
Yeah, I mean anything. Yeah, so.
Or cloning. That's controversial too.
Great that you mentioned. Yeah, well, I mean, would you eat a cloned animal? I mean, you're a vegetarian, so. But would you eat a cloned animal? I wouldn't.
I don't know. I haven't thought about it.
And we had Dolly right the first.
And it was. Is it really true? That was the other thing. Isn't there controversy around Dolly? Was she really cloned or was she not.
Not kind of a hog or something? I don't know.
I've seen the sheep. In the British Museum. Yeah, right there. Yeah. So and it's pretty real, I mean, but who knows? Yeah, actually, yeah.
Yeah, it's true. Who can verify? How can we verify that information?
Can you say your name, yeah.
But if it is true, then yeah. Hats off to that person who created cloning, by the way. Hats off. Good little idiom. It means that I respect this.
It's like tipping your hat.
Tip your hat. Hats off to you. That means I respect I respect you for doing something. But do you say that in America?
Oh, yeah. Hats off to you. I'm sure it's a it's an old thing, but. Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah, yeah. I don't really.
That's all I can imagine. Gentlemen, you know.
So. Okay, but I don't know if cloning would be evil or. I mean, maybe it's controversial.
People, probably, you know.
And stem cell research too, making, taking the material from a foetus. Yeah. And then injecting it in someone with a disease.
So that's real controversial with some people.
Because you have to take a foetus and.
Take last in order to save a life, in a way. Yeah.
Yeah. And then, um. Well, Adolf Hitler. Pretty creative guy.
He was not in art school, so he was really considered a bad artist. And that was kind of an excuse for him to go down a different road.
Had they only let him in art school? Maybe.
Look at this third conditional time. If Adolf Hitler had been admitted to art school, perhaps the world would be a different place. That's a mixed story. That's a third conditional with the second conditional.
Well, that's how we talk. We, we mix things up as we are telling our story.
Yeah. So yeah. We can mix the third conditional and the second conditional.
Oh God, speaking about grammar. Yeah. Amazing.
Yeah. Adolf Hitler, maybe he was a little bit too creative and he tried to invade the Soviet Union and the Western countries. Yeah.
That's the same kind of thing with art in power or like what you're talking about with the musicians.
Well, yeah. Um, so, yeah, there are many evil people who are creative. And in many ways, I mean.
Actually, what do you think? Does misery make people creative?
Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, like we said, yeah. Usually you create things to improve your life.
People who are pressed and they're trying to find that freedom and this is the only way.
Yeah. Definitely would drive someone's creativity.
A little bit of sadness is healthy but not too much.
Just a little bit to enhance the creativity.
Exactly, yeah. So, favourite inventors. Well, let's start with Thomas Edison. Who was Thomas Edison? What did he do?
Inventor of the light bulb and current DC.
AC was Tesla. No, no. AC was Edison? No, no, no. Alternative current is Tesla's and Edison's AC and DC, sorry.
So I've read a, or I listened to an audio book by this chap called Robert Green. Have you heard of Robert Green? He writes all these interesting books studying successful people and how they became successful.
And I can't remember exactly which book he reviewed or he looked at Thomas Edison, and he came to a conclusion he tried it, invented over a thousand different things. It was absolutely amazing. And yet each time or inventing the light bulb took thousands and thousands and thousands of attempts. And just imagine if he had undergone thousands and thousands of attacks.
Right. So we say, you know, you have to fail a thousand times before you can succeed. But Leonardo da Vinci, we think of him as an artist. But he was an inventor. All those drawings and the anatomy.
What made him so interesting was that he stole his father's paper. And this was back in a, in the time when paper was really expensive. So like a sheet of paper would be worth gold or most maybe not gold, but it was really expensive. I read somewhere that he would go out to the forest and just draw in the forest and Leonardo da Vinci was an absolute genius.
He had one saying that would help his, his success attribute to his success. He said, 'Just get out of bed in the morning', said, 'don't pull those covers over your face'. And he would get up at 5 o'clock in the morning. And if you can think about during Europe in the winter, be probably cold and you have to make your own fire or something, but you have to get up and that's how you become successful. You just get out of bed.
I'm interested how people got up at 5 in the morning in the old times without alarms or they just have roosters.
Well, yeah. The cock do I tell you?
What about in the winter? We're in Siberia.
The sun comes up at 9 o'clock in the winter.
Yeah, you just have to stay in bed longer.
Yeah. Who invented the alarm clock? Let us know in the comments if you know.
Great invention. Well, also a terrible invention, too, because.
I wish they didn't exist. Yeah. Okay. So, Thomas Edison, um, what about Henry Ford? What? Do we know anything about him?
Assembly line. The first assembly line. He put. Motion and first manufacturers. Car manufacturer in the United States. Or all over the world, I guess.
Well, that's interesting, because at that time, they could have made and they did make electric cars. But because of the greed of oil and making tires and all that moneymaking stuff, they kept the electric cars from being manufactured. Because I remember reading about know before you have to have rubber for the tires. So we went down to Brazil and with all those rubber plants and had to make procure the tires with a rubber from this. And so it was a big, uh, you know, marketing.
Business venture. Money making.
So, other American superstars. Benjamin Franklin.
He produced a lot. A lot of writing. Did he invent anything?
Well, he was a good. Oh, I think he was the one to draw the very first political cartoon. You know, we have political cartoons, right? You know. We can make fun of our politicians. And I think he made the very first one in regards to the American Revolution. How we should kick the Brits out.
So he did lots of things. He was a statesman. He travelled a lot. He spent a lot of time in Europe. He was the author of 'The Enlightenment Age'. And he brought that European enlightenment and adapted it to us Americans. So we had our American enlightenment. Of course, he signed the Declaration of Independence. A great motivator of our freedom.
Yeah. Immensely creative person as well.
Yeah. And then you did this because he went out with.
No, no, I guess he had an experiment with the kite and the lightning with the key.
Yeah, he was an inventor.
Well, I have in front of me a chart of the most innovative countries in the world. There's this index called the Global Innovation Index, and the U.S. is number three. Turns out it produces so many products.
Why is the US such a creative country? What is it about America?
Abundance of the sources and the financial state, I guess.
You don't know about our pioneer spirit?
Well, this is where we are. We have this. These ideals of being independent, free, that we create something out of nothing. We carve our own destiny.
Yeah. Yeah. That. That story, too. We do what we want to do, and we are always trying to find a better way.
Well, coming back to what we said before, how problems generate creativity. People create things to come out of difficult situations. America, people were escaping all sorts of monarchies and all sorts of tyrannical regimes. And I guess that's why it's such a melting pot. But why do you think well, which do you think is the number one on this index?
Actually, China and Japan. They produce so much.
They do, but they're not number one on the list.
Software and textiles. Number one.
That's actually number two.
Oh, really? Oh, wow. 'IKEA'.
You know what 'IKEA' stands for? It stands for 'Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd'. So Ingvar Kamprad is the guy who founded IKEA. He is one of the most creative people in the world. And I actually I worked for IKEA for a few months in a summer as a summer job before. And he. His story is a long story, but he started by selling matchboxes to two people in his little rural community, and he went to Stockholm to buy matchboxes in bulk and sold the matchboxes for a mocked up price. And from there, he decided to.
Yeah. Matches. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Exactly. Well, I think you sold them with the matches as well. Not just not just the.
Match, the matches and I need a box.
Well, you can collect the match boxes. They look pretty. And funnily enough, my family have a collection of match boxes.
But anyway, yes, that's how he started. And he's one of the most creative people. And he passed away, I think it was in 2018, I believe, at the age of 91. But he was immensely creative, very simple person, which is what made him really interesting. He likes well, the reason why we think of Scandinavian furniture as being minimalist is mostly because of IKEA. Mm hmm. So IKEA 'Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnayard'.
That's like, I think, 'Agunnayard' is the name of the village he came from and 'Elmtaryd' I think it's a bridge. I don't know, need to double check it. Yeah. So Sweden is number two. Extremely creative country.
To number one. It's a European country.
Denmark and Norway are also quite. I mean.
Lego. Very good that you mentioned that Denmark is or is right next to Sweden. So is Norway have very similar cultures.
Germany produces a lot, it does, but it's actually not number one. It is a German speaking country, though.
It's a German-speaking country. Switzerland?
Switzerland is number one.
Yeah. They invent so much in the Swiss.
Well yeah. Yeah. What was that. Swiss scientists discovered like a threeangled toothbrush kind of thing.
Swiss watches. Swiss Army knives. Swiss cheese.
Chocolate. What else? Just food, basically. What else did they invent?
Well, apparently they like of not they like, but a few of 100 years ago, they ate cats. Sorry, Varya. I know we're both cat lovers. I know.
Cat is one of their national dishes? Yeah.
So out of it, they ate, they didn't invented that, but they're known for that. But maybe because they live in a very mountainous community.
Right, they're isolated. You have nothing to do but invent something.
The banking system, yeah.
Swiss banking system. The biggest.
And then they protect the banking system. By being incognito.
Fascinating country because you have I think it's four official state languages. You have German, French, Italian and Romansch, which reminds you some strange language in the east of the country.
Yes, they have all those different minds coming together and yeah.
And then other countries. So, guess what's number four?
Yeah Oh, they were number one in the industrial age. And that was the place where it all started.
Well, who invented the telephones? You know?
Exactly. Oh, I think it was Alexander Bell. Yeah, he's on the bell. Yes. Scottish guy.
And then the radio was invented. Not by us. It was by the Russians. Wasn't that?
Oh, I don't know, to be honest, but probably. Let's say it's Russian.
Yeah, there's a lot of controversy as to who invented what. For instance, vodka. Who invented vodka? Was the Poles or was it the Russians? No one can really.
It's very interesting, you know, when the progress is moving and one invention appears in many countries at the same time, approximately, you know, it's like, how does it happen even if, like, you know, some common mind.
Well, I guess the Internet definitely has.
I mean, before and before the Internet. Yeah. So.
A collective mindset or collective telepathy?
As science is developing and shared, you know, in this kind of limited way.
Mm hmm. Like one direction, probably.
Well, coming back to that initially, so maybe like you mean after the Enlightenment, perhaps. But different countries would have inventions at the same time.
Well, I know, for instance, in the Second World War, of course, one country would have submarines and another country would need to make submarines.
The competition is something that really drives creativity. Yeah, because a boss will say, 'You will have to produce this'.
It's a good question if it does, because for me, it's problem. I don't know actually.
Just because if you are a competitive person, I'm not. So I don't want to compete with something. I want my creativity just to come organically.
It depends, you know? For example, I was doing athletics at school, like running, you know, race and all the stuff. There I was really competitive. But at painting, you know, when I paint and I see somebody's spending much, much better, it's kind of inspiring, but also kind of, you know, okay, I'm disappointed a little bit.
So that means you are competitive because you're comparing yourself because that's what competition is, even if you're saying it in a negative way. So just not let that get you down. Keep painting.
I will anyway. Yeah. Thank you.
Well, a competition definitely must spur on creativity. It drives creativity in many ways.
Oh, that's called 'stealing'.
So, yeah, it's also it's kind of considered kind of competition, but it's not competition, as you said. It's kind of stealing, espionage and everything.
Well, some countries do it really well. For instance, Japan, I mean, they do invent things like that. Oh, my God, the Japanese toilet seats are absolutely.
I've never used, I'm quite scared of them, to be honest.
But they're good, they're good.
So they do invent a lot of things, but.
But usually the Japanese, they take things are already invented, they make them even better. For instance televisions and.
Cars. And the Chinese do that too as well. To an extent, yeah.
The Chinese were I guess, heavily influenced by the Japanese in many ways. And the Japanese influenced by the Chinese, too.
Yeah. What came to mind? I was thinking about Peter the Great. So he obviously founded St. Petersburg. He went all over Europe.
So he picked some the ideas there. Yeah. For military, for. For the army. Basically for the architecture as well. Just look at the St. Petersburg. It looks like Venice.
He did invite europeans into Russia to say, 'Can you teach us this, teach us that'.
And he was a ship builder. He himself. Yeah. Put himself as a first mate or something. Learnt it from the beginning. But he introduced 100 words into the Russian Dictionary of Foreign Words. Western words, I should say.
See, Peter the Great definitely was an impetus for production in Russia. That's why he's one of the greatest leaders.
He was very tall and intimidating, so I think he got his way.
Two metres? Yes. It's just scared to do things. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, almost like a lot of comes down to Peter the Great and. Yeah. So he brought, like you said, he brought people from other countries, like Germans. Loads of Germans are here because of Peter the Great. And that is the reason I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the reason why you call German in Russian 'немецкий' is because in English, 'немой' means like 'you don't have a voice'.
Yeah, I read the story of why it's like this. Because, again, we have Germany. Yeah, it's like. And you have another adjective for like German people in Russian. Yeah. Which is not, which is different. Yeah. And I read the story because we used to call like all foreigners like this, you know, it's like maybe because a they don't speak Russian and we consider them, you know, like not being able to speak. Yeah.
Maybe something like that. Yeah.
It's funny because I think the word in English is 'dumb', but not. Not as in, like, 'dumb' as an 'idiot, stupid', 'dumb' as 'you can't use your voice'.
It's really funny how in Russian they just.
Yeah like, kind of. It's the attitude to other countries.
But we all have that attitude. Yeah. We all have that attitude to foreigners.
Especially big countries I think. Yeah.
What other countries are really good at being innovative? I was going to say South Korea.
Oh, right. Technology. Yeah. They had a big boom and competition, too. They want to be in the market.
Yeah, it's really respectable. Their boom. They used to be one of the poorest countries in Asia. And then all of a sudden, they became.
One of the most prosperous countries in Asia.
Yeah, it's a competition between countries where countries don't want to be seen as an undeveloped country. They want to be democratic. They want to have some really strong marketing, international trade so that they can be, you know, up with everybody else.
Yeah, South Korea trade so much. They. Yeah. And then also we have on the list we have the Netherlands. This is also one of my favourite countries as well. They have produced so much particularly in the, in the area of shipbuilding and engineering and all sorts of stuff like that. So yeah, well let's think about your time at school. Were you creative writers at school?
I enjoyed it a lot, yeah. Yeah, because I read a lot. So it was easy for me to write so and I was braced for that maybe too much even by the teachers. Like, oh, I still remember it was like the 11th grade and the teacher was actually reading aloud my essay like to all the class, you know, was like so shamed. I was like, Oh, God, why do you do that? And everybody's like, Oh, okay, that's good. But everybody was also like, okay, she's showing off, you know, or something.
So do you think too much praise can destroy creativity?
It depends on the person, I think. Um, so then for me, probably it was a bit too much. It was pleasant, of course, but in a way it was kinda okay.
Just try to imagine this absolutely stunning, that's amazing work.
I know like 'Oh, God, come on'. I guess it's also received, you know, like a little bit nerdy, you know, to read a lot. At least it used to be like that. Yeah. And I read really a lot, so and I was kind of a bit shy because of that, I would say. Yeah, so and yeah, probably. But depends on person, definitely, yeah.
Ugur, were you a creative writer at school?
No. I had less of like a critical theory and critical writing at the university, but I was I wasn't that much involved in the writing process or something, but I read a lot, as Natalya says, not writing articulately.
And do you think the education systems in the West at least, do you think they harness creativity? Do you think they support creativity?
I guess so, with the lessons. Like critical thinking, critical writing, or like conversation lessons that you can share your ideas with other people? Yeah. Why not?
Well, I had plenty of art lessons at school, which was really cool. But the art teacher didn't do anything. They would just stand there. 'That's amazing'.
My experience with art as a kid, a little kid wasn't necessarily positive. I oh, I had observed purple leaves. These are plum trees and the leaves are literally purple. And so I drew a tree in art class when I was a little girl with purple leaves. And the teacher, Oh, trees' leaves are green. I said, 'No, there are trees that are purple'.
And she, you know, very condescendingly either. So I didn't get a good true grade on. I was just a little girl, like eight years old. And then I drew, oh, she gave us a shape of a inverted V, so two legs in a an apex at the top and she expect oh, and there are two on the paper.
And so she expected us all to be very creative and, and decorate tepee an Indian tepee. But I made it into a swing set. I just drew a bar over and juice and swings, which I think is creative. It's different from everyone else. But again, a bad grade. Oh, where are the colours? Blah, blah, blah.
Yeah. That's the way art is taught in the West. To be honest, I don't really like it so much. They just. They just stand there and just praise everything. And whereas I've witnessed some art schools in Saint Petersburg, you know, the idea of an art school, they really teach you classic drawing skills. And I guess it's, on one hand, it does kind of suppress creativity, but on the other hand, it gives you the skills that you.
Need, the base foundation.
That you need to succeed. Yeah.
It's pretty harsh, I would say. So they don't praise much. It's not good enough. You just. You're not going to do anything, so you're worthless. Just go away.
I think it's very, very good to do that. Yeah. Because then, then you, you dig it up from your insides. Hey, no.
It depends on the person.
I have something I want to say something. It could destroy a weaker person, but it could also motivate someone who might have a 'oh, show you' attitude, which I do. I have that. Because I've had a lot of negativity because of ballet. I'll show you. It makes me work really hard.
Yeah. Speaking of that, yeah, I used to do ballet, like in elementary school when I was like 7 till I was 11, something like that. And the teacher was really harsh. I think it's really common in ballet, they just.
No, no, no, no, no, the opposite.
They don't motivate you at all, they just yell at you, they, they nearly beat you. Basically, yeah.
'So you dance like a fat cow'. You have less talent as the jackhammer outside the window.
Exactly, exactly. So for you it was motivating?
Well, in the east in China they don't, I wouldn't say that they, they harnessed creativity, but they produce very capable. Well, students are very capable of working in with mathematics and with. Yeah. Very strict instruction but yeah.
Yeah, they're amazing performers. I don't know about composers. I don't know about music that comes out of China, actually.
Actually yeah, but just players.
Yeah, yeah. Like piano, pianists and violinists.
All the best come out of China and that whole region.
Well, let's wrap things up, so let's finish off with a question. So if you can think of a device that would make someone's lives better or that would make our lives better, let us know. What do you think would make our lives better?
Lots of paints, lots of coloured crayons.
Material for you to do what you need to do. Tools.
We'll be talking about the devices that.
Yeah, what device. No, what device could you create? What do we need to make our lives better?
I mean, like the society in general.
Yeah. Could you invent something?
There's too much stuff. I mean, any sort of thinking probably, you know.
Maybe cans that can actually open because, you know, when you try to open a package. Oh, I get the scissors out, I get, you know, the hammer out trying to get into a package.
Yes. A tin can opener, you mean?
Well, no, no, no, no. You have this little can and you flip the thing, and then you have to have pliers to roll it back. And then you have to have someone very strong to take it off, and then all the food plops out. So you just need something easier to open the can.
It's very specific. Did you have bad experience with that?
Yes, I've got the package. I look at a package I got. Oh, no, I've got to get into that spaghetti package. How am I going to do it?
Yeah, maybe I would invent a better can open, cause can openers, to be honest, already crap in general. I mean.
Well, I'm not using a can opener. I'm talking about using pliers.
Well, yeah. No, I'm doing this way. Not this way. I'm taking pliers and have the whole can lid back because they have a little flippy flip and they. That's all. Look for your convenience. The flip flop. Oh, look at me. But I can't. And so I'm. That's what I mean. Little Flippy Flip needs to be.
Yeah, I've had but speaking of cans, I've had so many traumatic experiences with the can openers.
And you're a man. You should be able to get into a can.
I just make a big axe in the middle.
Okay, you and I are the same then.
And then we get the pliers, fingers.
It can be really sharp and. Yeah, so. I don't know, maybe I'll invent another Japanese toilet or something.
Okay, guys. Well, let us know in the comment section if you have a great invention and.. Maybe we can take your ideas and make a lot of money. But practise your English, in the comments section, we have a special comment section for our podcast and you can find more information about this comments section on our social media platforms.
So let us know what device you would invent. So that's it for today, guys. Also, be sure to check out our website, which is www.BigAppleSchool.com, you can find more information about the courses we offer and you can also listen to other interesting podcasts and read up about grammar and yeah, of English related material. So guys, thank you. We'll see you next time.