Monday, June 21, 2010

The Creative Age

I'm always in awe of creative entrepreneurial success especially when that success comes a little later in life. As I get older I'm even more excited to see people in their 40s, 50s and up creating amazing new companies or breaking new ground. I see it as opening doors for all of us to evolve our creativity with each passing decade.
At what age does our creativity peak? Just take a look at these feats of brilliance from A Book of Ages by Eric Hanson. It just may change your mind.
  • Leonardo da Vinci painted “La Gioconda” (better known as the “Mona Lisa”) when he was 51.
  • Picasso painted his 12-foot-by-26-foot mural of the bombing of Guernica at age 55.
  • Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring," the book that created the modern environmental movement, when she was 55.
  • Miguel de Cervantes published Part I of “Don Quixote” when he was 58. (He’d been working as a tax collector.)
  • Feodor Dostoevsky finished writing “The Brothers Karamozov” at age 58.
  • Irving Berlin wrote “Annie Get Your Gun” at age 58.
  • John Milton, also 58, found a publisher for his new epic poem “Paradise Lost.”
  • Gertrude Stein published "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" when she was 59.
  • Grandma Moses was discovered at age 78 when a New York art dealer saw her paintings displayed in a drug store in Hoosick Fall, NY.
  • Ben Franklin (a fellow Philadelphian) flew his kite in a thunderstorm when he was 46, or so they say. He invented daylight saving time when he was 78; bifocals, at 79.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright designed the home Fallingwater at age 72. He designed the Guggenheim Museum when he was in his 90s.
  • Galileo invented the clock pendulum at age 77.
  • Titian painted “The Education of Cupid” at age 88.
 At any given moment, we're all creating something whether it's a new piece of jewelry, a business idea or even a family.
One of my personal favorites is Julia Child who spent years perfecting her recipes and cooking talents. In fact she didn't publish her first cookbook until she was well into her 40s. As if that wasn't enough she followed up the cookbook with her famed TV show, "The French Chef" at age 50.  Finally, in her 70s she was still contemplating her next creation and adventure.
We all have our own rhythm and time line for creative success. I guess we just have to keep at it, hang on and know that "Good things come to those who wait".

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