The Creative Process

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Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke in the Richard Linklater film Boyhood (IFC)

We asked creative people in diverse fields—from art and literature to technology to fast food— about the inspiration for and evolution of their work. Here are summaries of their breakthrough moments, borrowed elements, crucial revisions, and bold decisions. 


Boyhood: Richard Linklater and his team talk about the artistic opportunities and logistical challenges of shooting a film over 12 years.
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Google Glass: How to make a computer you wear on your face
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Meanwhile in San FranciscoWendy MacNaughton, the best-selling illustrator and author, on her latest book and the making of “illustrated documentaries” 
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“Flawless”: Beyoncé’s creative director on how the pop star revised a track for her latest, boldest album
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The Sun Also RisesWhat deleted paragraphs tell us about a classic novel
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Supertrees: How a British landscape-architecture firm fused art, engineering, and ecology in one of Singapore’s newest—and greenest—tourist destinations
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Lydia Davis’s Very Short Stories: An author’s commentary on two drafts of an early story reveals that every word is ripe for scrutiny.
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Doritos Locos Tacos: How Taco Bell and Frito-Lay put together one of the most successful products in fast-food history
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See The Atlantic’s 2014 Ideas Report, with dispatches from the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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