Interview with Yonnas Gethun

🎟 You can get tickets for his upcoming CreativeMornings talk here. 🎟

CreativeMornings [CM]: How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?  

Yonnas Getahun [YG]: The idea of creativity has evolved over time but now the shortest definition I have is a pursuit guided by inspiration and inquiry against limitations and restrictions.  Taking something from conception to realization is the act of creativity for me.  

[CM]: Where do you find your best creative inspiration? 

[YG]: I get creative inspiration from many sources but the best comes from direct discourse with artists, activist and entrepreneurs in the community.  It is incredible what I can learn by buying a cup of coffee or drinks or dinner with those I consciously surround myself with. A conversation can sometimes be 10x or 100x value of reading a book on a single topic.

[CM]: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

[YG]: That one learns best by doing and moving beyond ‘thinking’ about doing something.   There are a lot of reasons to this but the one I especially laud now is by doing the questions basic or complex become audible.

[CM]: Who would you like to hear speak at Creative Mornings?  

[YG]: I am so glad you asked.  

Silas Blak, Timothy White Eagle, Jennifer Zyll, Vivian Phillips, Courtney Sheehan, Susan Surface, Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, CEO Spencer Rascoff, Valerie Curtis Newton, Vivian Phillips, Lane Czaplinksi, Jeffrey Hirsch, Pol Rosenthal, Riz Rollins,  Tomo Nakayma, Maged Zaher, Sarah Galvin, Biran McGuigan, Robin Held, Ishmael Butler, Stasia Mehschel, Brett Hamil, Michael Ellsworth, Sharon Arnold, Greg Lundgren, Shaun Scott, Mary Ann Peters, Ijeoma Oluo, John Boylan, Yirim Seck, Alice Gosti, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie, Raz Simone, Gavin Sullivan, Paul Komada, The Gender Tender Collective, Cherdonna Sinatra, Kira Burge, Julia Greenway, Yeggy Michael, David Harris, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Kshama Sawant

[CM]: What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?

[YG]: I learned that I need to learn how to develop a concept/project over longer periods of time. I had some small success launching projects under 90 days and I attempted to launch a project to place love poems in Earth’s Orbit titled Cosmic Love.  Although invited to take a longer period of time to develop and launch I rushed it.

[CM]: If you had a magic wand, where would you be in five years?

[YG]: It would be to spend 6-9 months in a small city in Ethiopia called Axum.  It is a college town with a fascinating complex extended history that goes back 2500 – 4000 years ago.  There are lives being lived there now that I want to inhabit or get as close to as possible in order to write a novel or books of poetry.  I am sure if we all slowed down we can really appreciate the worlds we have crossed and the lives we have lived. My recent trip to Ethiopia and to Axum has eased my need to convince others about my adventures. In fact I know have seized to care if I am believed or not or having seen what I have seen to properly classify what is fact or fiction.