Creativity comes in many forms and offers a myriad of solutions to the practical, mundane problems we’re faced with daily. However, we’re not always equipped with a constant flow of new and exciting ideas. Often times, we don’t even feel like we have the time to engage in artistic activities. Many people are too busy commuting to their jobs or simply don’t know how to tap into their own potential. Luckily, there are a number of literary resources to guide, engage, and ignite our creativity. It’s especially useful, in this digital age, to have a selection of reading materials conveniently in our e-readers. So, while you’re traveling or simply taking a break from your busy schedule, we’ve got a list of some great e-books worth reading to unearth the secrets behind creativity and jolt some innovation out of you.
1. Steal Like an Artist
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is an immersive New York Times bestseller by artist and author Austin Kleon that exposes the truth about creativity: it’s everywhere and just about anyone is capable of attaining it. As the title suggests, Kleon recommends “stealing” ideas and not simply recreating them. Nothing is original. Everything has been done before. Now, it’s time to creatively reintroduce art to the rest of the world. Without giving its readers step-by-step actions to strictly follow, it lays out a list of ten simple rules to trigger, guide, and focus a person’s artistic nature. Steal Like an Artist offers a positive outlook on successfully awakening one’s artistic side with the aid of first-hand examples.
Price: $8.05 – $10.95
Imagine: How Creativity Works by New York Times best-selling author Jonah Lehrer gives insight into the ways that creativity is derived. By providing strong arguments, both scientific and sociological, Lehrer seeks to end the myth that the creative mind miraculously conjures up new, unheard of ideas. According to the author, people are simply creating new connections between old ideas, thus continuing the history of innovation. The Economist cites Imagine as “an inspiring and engaging book that reveals creativity as less a sign of rare genius than a natural human potential.” Essentially, we are all blessed with the gift of creativity and it’s just a matter of tapping into that state of artistic inspiration. Lehrer expands on his theories about how creativity works with insightful examples.
Price: $7.99 – $26.00
3. Ignore Everybody
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by copywriter-turned-cartoonist Hugh MacLeod offers a humorous outlook on honing in one’s own creativity in this mad world we live in. MacLeod tackles a creative’s worst mind-blocking obstacles like the pressures of coming up with new ideas, finding inspiration, and the stress associated with trying to stand out in a crowd. He uses his own experiences as a former struggling copywriter who began doodling on the back of business cards as a guide for readers looking to apply his forty keys to creativity. Using his practical advice, sprinkled with his clever wit, MacLeod provides a useful set of tips to allow one’s personal creativity to bloom.
Like Imagine, inGenius: A Crash Course in Creativity strives to prove that everyone has innate creative potential. Author Dr. Tina Seelig, who is the executive director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) at Stanford University’s School of Engineering, suggests that creativity is fundamental in leading a successful and fulfilling life. Luckily, she also believes that everyone is capable of innovative thinking and anyone can unleash their inner creativity. Seelig delves into how this spark of artistic thinking develops from within and how to access it in our lives. In the book, she discusses the inner thought processes and outer world influences that affect one’s creative abilities, both as positive and negative stimulants.
5. 344 Questions
344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment by writer and graphic designer Stefan G. Bucher takes a different approach to helping you unlock your creative potential. Rather than simply giving you a set of rules or a list of steps to follow, Bucher proposes a series of questions to consider. The whole idea behind 344 Questions is that creativity is achieved not by knowing the right answers, but by knowing the right questions to ask yourself. Similar to the flow chart quizzes you may be familiar with in magazines, this book offers a series of questions to help readers figure out where they are in their lives and where they would like to go. Ultimately, these questions could be just the thing to break through your creative block and spark some artistic innovation. MacLeod discusses how he incorporated creativity into his daily life and allowed his artistic side to free himself.
Price: $9.89 – $11.99
6. Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear
Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear is another wittily insightful book by Hugh MacLeod that has the ability to transform a person’s creative outlook on life. Working a desk job can be stifling, but the former advertising copywriter says, “Having a blog, a voice, having my own media, utterly changed my life.” Not everyone is a writer, but most everyone can be a blogger. Blogging can, if nothing else, open one’s mind to new ideas. In this book, MacLeod addresses the numerous merits of blogging that have personally given him the freedom to share his art, build a community, and become self-sufficient without having to appease a higher authority on a daily basis.
[Top photo credit: Adam Spizak]
Which creativity-enhancing ebook is your favorite?