Freakonomics Radio presents a special series, “How to Be Creative.” Over the course of the series, you’ll hear from some of the world’s most accomplished creatives: contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, inventor James Dyson, musician Elvis Costello, author Jennifer Egan, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, illustrator Maira Kalman, filmmaker Seth Gordon, graphic designer Michael Bierut, and many more. You’ll also hear from economists and psychologists who study creativity.

How to Be Creative (Ep. 354)

There are thousands of books on the subject, but what do we actually know about creativity? In this new series, we talk to the researchers who study it as well as artists, inventors, and pathbreakers who live it every day: Ai Weiwei, James Dyson, Elvis Costello, Jennifer Egan, Rosanne Cash, Wynton Marsalis, Maira Kalman, and more. (Ep. 1 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)? (Ep. 355)

Family environments and “diversifying experiences” (including the early death of a parent); intrinsic versus extrinsic motivations; schools that value assessments, but don't assess the things we value. All these elements factor into the long, mysterious march towards a creative life. To learn more, we examine the early years of Ai Weiwei, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Maira Kalman, Wynton Marsalis, Jennifer Egan, and others. (Ep. 2 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

Where Do Good Ideas Come From? (Ep. 368)

Whether you’re mapping the universe, hosting a late-night talk show, or running a meeting, there are a lot of ways to up your idea game. Plus: the truth about brainstorming. (Ep. 3 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

A Good Idea Is Not Good Enough (Ep. 369)

Whether you’re building a business or a cathedral, execution is everything. We ask artists, scientists, and inventors how they turned ideas into reality. And we find out why it’s so hard for a group to get things done — and what you can do about it. (Ep. 4 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

How to Fail Like a Pro (Ep. 370)

The road to success is paved with failure, so you might as well learn to do it right. (Ep. 5 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

Extras

Extra: Elvis Costello Full Interview

A conversation with the iconic singer-songwriter, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “How to Be Creative.”