Written by an artist for artists, this 264 page, 8 1/2" x 11" workbook can actually be used by anyone to enhance their creativity quotient. The first half explains the mechanics of creative/critical thinking, it's a left-brain approach to a right brain event. The second half is filled with exercises that anyone can do. Most books on this topic don't quite get to the how part. This does with over 150 exercises, places to write and sketch and answer the challenges that are posed to the reader.
Here's a list of the chapter headings to give you an idea: Resistance, Acquisition, Intent, Connectivity, Discernment, Implementation and VoiceFinding. You don't have to be an artist to get the valuable information in this workbook.
150 actionable exercises that address everything from your personal story to creative challenges and artistic cross-fit training, whether you paint, make cakes or design houses, there is something for you.
Many of the principles are backed up by humorous anecdotes (all true) that put those ideas into context. It's like a college school book only it's designed to be accessible, easy to do and, most important, funny.
The end goal of this project is a web school with video tutorials of each of the exercises, interviews with a diverse range of creatives, roundtable discussions, examples, step-by-step applications of all of the creative exercises. And a place for the WIU participants to post their efforts and get feedback from others.
It'll take a while to produce.
Why this is so important
I've been impassioned by this idea of making ideas since I was young, and it has been a remarkable and rewarding life. Once the notion of working on this project took hold, it would not let go. Every spare moment I had was spent writing and figuring out the process that I have always inherently known but had never quantified. I realized that the entire journey of my life was the preparation for this.
As a teacher of some 30 years and an observant human being, I was seeing the same patterns over and over again. People were stuck. They could not see past the description of the problem, whether it was an artistic dilemma or a personal one, or a solution for a longstanding issue, most could not get past first base.
Artists who are considered to be creative had the hardest time trying something new or solving a problem in a new way. My AHA! moment came when I realized that the kind of stuck that people had dealing with creative issues was the very same kind of stuck that drives folks to see a therapist.
With the right frame of mind, the toolset to solve problems, a plan to work with and the drive to do it, anything is possible. The book at right is a great example. It chronicles the development of 40 paintings for the Orlando Opera company over ten years, a relationship that formed because I walked in the door. Each piece was a labor of love. For the book, I wrote it, hired the editor, hired a kickass designer and raised the funding to print it.
My desire is to make this possible for the readers of Fishing for Elephants, those intrepid explorers who are willing to log the miles to get wherever they want to go.