Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Currently reading: Steal like an artist

I recently bought a copy of the renowned 'Steal like an artist, 10 things nobody told you about being a creative,' by Austin Kleon after watching his TED talk here. (TED is an organisation devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks. If you haven't seen any of their videos yet I highly recommend checking out their youtube channel its an amazing source of inspiration.) Austin talks about 'Steal like an artist,' and also his other best selling book 'Newspaper blackout.' (A book of poetry he created with a permanent marker and a newspaper where he eliminated the words he didn't need.)

In the book he refers to advice as autobiographical and that when people are giving you advice they are really just talking to themselves in the past. Its an interesting concept, I definitely believe it to be true and this is to be said about the whole book in general. I find the book to be optimistic with a 'glass half full' tone, it definitely left me reeling with ideas and positivity (and suggested actions to take to build a more creative life.) 'You don't need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself.'

The addition of Austin's illustrations and quotes from others reinforce his ideas. I really love this quote in the book by Jonah Lehrer "Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home, is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed and that changes everything." 

At the back of the book there's a 'deleted scenes,' page that shows how the book began 'its life on index cards,' a doodles page and a recommended reading list. I'm looking forward to making my way through the list! 

I was also introduced to Edward De Bono last night and his book 'Six Thinking Hats.' The principle behind the six thinking hats is there is six metaphorical hats you can put on or take off and they indicate the type of thinking you are using. The system is meant to be simple and effective in increasing productivity. The six hats represent process, facts, feelings, creativity, benefits and caution. I think it sounds like a really interesting idea and I'm looking forward to reading about it soon after ordering it alongside two of his other books 'Lateral thinking: A Textbook of Creativity,' and 'How to have creative ideas: 62 exercises to develop.' Has anyone read any of his books or have any good reading recommendations for creative thinking books?

I hope you've enjoyed my quick book review, I'll be back soon to share my thoughts on 'Six Thinking Hats!' 

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