Sarah Terry
December 16, 2016 4:04 pm
Paul Archuleta / Getty

Creativity is one of those traits that is at the same time difficult to explain and impossible to miss. Creative people give us art and entertainment, and we admire them for that. The Hollywood Reporter gathered Issa Rae and Lin-Manuel Miranda into a conversation on creativity. These two masterminds were joined by Damien Chazelle, Jon Favreau, and Donald Glover as they all reflected on their work. Together, the group discussed the idea of creativity in this new era, and of course, it’s totally inspiring.

They discussed being a part of “the next big thing” and what that means.


Issa Rae, who created the awesome series Insecure for HBO, said that these days, so much is touted as the “best thing I’ve ever seen. And if you don’t agree, you’re an idiot and everybody get on board.” The group discussed the pressure of that as well as the fact that it feels pleasant to discover something new. Jon Favreau suggested one of the reasons web series and web content are so popular is because people still feel like they’ve discovered something.

Issa agreed, and added that she felt like it was a way to get her message out there.


Lin-Manuel Miranda brought up another important point — the balance between your dreams and your responsibilities.

Walter McBride / Getty

Lin-Manuel said that they all struggle with the balance between following passions and supporting families. Lin told the story of taking a job as an actor on the show Do No Harm, because he needed to support his family. While on that show, he worked on Hamilton.

Lin-Manuel said, “The way I think about what I do is, you toe this line between the things that are in you that you’re burning to make, the idea that won’t leave you alone in the shower or when you’re walking your dog, and the opportunities that come along that I would do anything to be a part of and I’d kick myself if I didn’t do it.”

They all agreed that they must find balance between passion projects and the projects that make practical sense. Damien Chazelle told the group that his current film, La La Land has been a passion project for a long time. But he had to make a smaller movie, Whiplash, before he could get the backing to make the more ambitions project. And he’s pleased that it worked out that way.

The group also discussed creating something special and having to keep delivering.

We can totally see how that could be really scary. But Issa adds that feeling scared and uncomfortable inspires her best work, so it actually helped her creatively.

From all these awesome voices, we found some solid takeaways. It’s important to balance the passion with the practical, we must embrace discomfort and fear, and we should attack ideas that feel important to you. That’s all fantastic advice. And we can’t wait to put that advice to work in our own creative projects.