“How to Write for Any Medium (From a Guy Who’s Written for The New Yorker, Saturday Night Live, and Pixar)”

Simon Rich is a humor writer who has an admirably multi-disciplinary body of work. When he’s not writing short pieces for The New Yorker, he’s writing novels and screenplays for himself and for Pixar. Oh, and he’s also an alum of a little show called Saturday Night Live. At 28 years old, he also brings a fairly young perspective to his craft.

“Wes Anderson Maps Out the Peculiar Genius of Moonrise Kingdom”

The very particular director walks you through his meticulous approach to bringing his latest masterpiece, Moonrise Kingdom, to life--with insights on everything from how his storyboards come together to using Google Earth for initial location scouting.

“Thank You, I Have Cancer: How Tig Notaro Is Finding the Comedy in Tragedy, Without the Time”

Let’s get one thing straight: Tig Notaro deserved all the acclaim she received this year on the strength of being really, really good at her job--this is no sympathy case. But hearing the uber-dry comedian open up about her various ordeals this year, and how continuing to create helped get her through it, was particularly inspiring.

“3 Storytelling Tips From 'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan"

Over the course of five seasons, Breaking Bad’s Walter White has gone from being a hapless well-intentioned bad guy to arch supervillain. It would have been impossible to take this journey with him if it weren’t masterfully plotted and executed. Here, Gilligan discusses three of his storytelling strategies for making Bad so good.

“How to Be a Happy and Successful Creative Freelancer, or Work With One”

To some people, the idea of freelancing seems like a very scary stopgap measure, like taking a brief pull off of an oxygen tank while underwater. Others have conquered their fears and mapped out the landscape of working, creatively, for themselves. Thankfully, some stars from the second group were quick to offer their accrued wisdom for anyone who is hoping to join their ranks.

“How to Create an Unforgettable Portrait”

Nadav Kander has style to spare, and his compositions are often immaculate. Some of the techniques he uses, however, can be duplicated by just about anyone with a vision and access to a decent camera.

“The Making of a Man: How Ron Swanson Became Ron Swanson”

The inestimable greatness of Parks and Recreation standout character Ron Swanson did not happen by accident. Rather, it was a collaborative effort between the creators of the show and the actor they cast, Nick Offerman, who explains here how his input was combined with that of some talented writers to Frankenstein together a meat-loving man for the ages.

“6 Creative Career Lessons From Julie Klausner, and How Was Your Week”

It took a lot of bouncing around for performer and author Julie Klausner to find her niche, but she’s found it. Over the course of six bullet points she describes not only the practical lessons of how to start a podcast, but also how to carve a path toward doing what you love for a living.

Co.Create

Head of the Class: Co.Create’s Top Master Classes of 2012

Throughout the year, some high-profile guests have given crash courses in topics ranging from photography to being funny with Co.Create’s Master Classes. Here is a selection of some of the best of the bunch.

The Master Class series at Co.Create began earlier this year with a simple mandate: creative people at the top of their given field doling out actionable lessons on how to do what they do. While this goal was followed to the letter, over the course of 2012, the series also evolved.

Prototypical entries included top photographer Nadav Kander explaining how to take a proper portrait; other, broader lessons included a free-for-all of thriving freelancers sharing their hard-earned tips in a single forum, and irrepressible comedian Tig Notaro revealing how she stayed creative while fighting for her life. All of these lessons, and five more of the year’s best, are ready for your holiday perusal above.

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