Top 25 Books to Unleash Your Creative Potential
Books have the power to uncover worlds we never knew existed. Whether they speak directly about creativity or not, books are a gem trove of motivation and inspiration just waiting to be tapped. Below we have listed some brilliant creative books for creative people that are sure to ignite the imagination. Each book deals with a different aspect of creativity.
1. The Book Of Doing by Allison Arden
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”
In this book, Allison discusses 94 activities that can create opportunity by taking you out of your comfort zone, and unlocking the creativity that lives inside you. This book also classifies the hurdles standing in your way to success.
2. Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
“Nevertheless, every mental talent comes with a tradeoff. Once we learn to inhibit our impulses, we also inhibit our ability to improvise. And this is why it’s so important to practice letting ourselves go.”
Illustrating creativity through references and facts, Lehrer reveals a variety of distinct thought processes that will help us to unlock our imagination.
3. Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono
“It may be necessary to be on the top of a mountain in order to find the best way up.”
In this worldwide praised book, de Bono offers some practical methods to buoy up the habit of lateral thinking to generate ideas and to unleash creativity.
4. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be. by Paul Arden
“The world is what YOU think of it, so think of it DIFFERENTLY and your life will change.”
The world’s best advertising expert, Paul Arden, shares his wisdom on issues like problem solving, answering to a brief, connecting, making right decisions, making mistakes, and creativity—all activities that are realistic in modern life.
5. How To Have Kick-Ass Ideas by Chris Barez-Brown
“Go Visual’ – capturing your issue without using words. You can sculpt, collage, whittle, whatever!”
The book How To Have Kick-Ass Ideas is filled with simple, useful methods to unlock your creative juices and contains real-life case studies to exhibit the methods in action.
6. Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but in one respect they are unanimous.”
Creativity is about seizing the moments that can make our life worth living. In this book, the author offers an understanding of what leads to these worth-living moments. Consisting of 100 interviews with extraordinary people, from ecologists and physicists to business leaders and politician, Csikszentmihalyi uses his well-known philosophy to discover the creative process.
7. Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley, David Kelley
“Money will always be easier to measure, which is why it takes a little extra effort to value the heart.”
This famous book is written by two well-known experts in innovation, intention and creativity. This book reveals the myth that creativity is the domain of “creative types” only.
8. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
“If the luckiest people in the world are the ones who get paid for doing what they would otherwise do for free, I am already lucky.”
Twyla Tharp, one of the world’s most famous creative artists, shares her secrets for increasing and improving creative talents.
9. The Opposable Mind by Roger L. Martin
“That expertise actually works against the development of expertise in business itself.”
The Opposable Mind is consist of 50 success stories of management, including the success behind some famous brands like Proctor & Gamble, eBay and Four Seasons hotels.
10. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“What an individual yogi can do is amazing—but so is what a plumber can do, or a good mechanic.”
The famous psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s illustrious investigations of “optimal experience” have shown that the satisfaction is a state of consciousness called “flow.” In this new edition, Csikszentmihalyi describes the ways this positive state can be controlled.
11. Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton
“Sketches are social things. They are lonely outside the company of other sketches and related reference material. They are lonely if they are discarded as soon as they are done.”
In this book Bill Buxton has included a huge collection of historic lessons, examples of best practices, and case studies from the world of business/communication/experience design. The book addresses the designers, specialists, community, managers, and business executives.
12. Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe
“It was like a film school masters’ class, and the best interview I’ve ever done. His biggest influence on me has been how he’s lived his life. “
Cameron Crowe, director of Jerry Maguire, loves Billy Wilder’s films so much, he’s written a book about them. In this book, he analyzes the “creative process” and tries to discover the secret of success of creative people—writers, artists, filmmakers, and comedians.
13. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
“Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”
The Checklist Manifesto is an intellectual adventures book, in which many lives are lost and saved and one simple idea changes the whole situation. The Checklist Manifesto is a must-read book for anyone looking to get things right.
14. The Tenacity of the Cockroach by Stephen Thompson
“In a world of locked rooms, the man with the key is king. And honey, you should see me in a crown.”
This book consist of essays authored by extraordinary creative people. This book includes in-depth interviews of creative people from a vast range of disciplines and allows you to investigate their inspirations, processes, trials and skills.
15. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
“The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little.”AdvertisingAdvertising
In this highly anticipated book, Kahneman takes us on a revolutionary tour of the mind and explains the systems that drive the way we think.
16. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”
In this book, Austin Kleon emphasizes that it doesn’t take ingenuity to be creative—it just takes being yourself. This book is extremely modern and applicable to the digital age.
17. Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei
“Like it or not, we are constantly forced to juggle tasks and battle unwanted distractions—to truly set ourselves apart, we must learn to be creative amidst chaos.”
Manage Your Day-to-Day is equipped with practical insights about time management and work productivity. With wisdom from 20 leading creative minds, this book will give you a toolkit for confronting the new challenges at the workplace.
18. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
“But suppose we are nothing more than the sum of our first, naive, random behaviors. What then?”
Predictably Irrational gives an interesting, witty and completely original overview about our illogical decisions. In this astonishing book, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, reveals how irrationality often replaces rational thought.
19. Contagious by Jonah Berger
“People don’t think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride.”AdvertisingAdvertising
Contagious combines innovative research with prevailing stories. This book offers a set of precise, actionable procedures to spread information—designing messages, promotion material, advertisements, and information that people will share.
20. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
“Art, as I see it, is any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction.”
Praised throughout the cartoon industry, Scott McCloud explains and observes many characteristics of visual communication. This famous book has been translated into 16 languages, its ideas applied in many other fields such as game design, web development, and animation.
21. Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
“Liking the person we go on a journey with is the single most important element in drawing us into the story.”
This book is an ultimate insider’s guide that discloses the mysteries that no one dares to admit, told by a showbiz expert who’s supported that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!
22. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. & E. B. White
“Omit needless words.”
This book offers useful advice on improving writing skills. Throughout The Elements of Style, the authors promote a plain English style. It can help many students to communicate more effectively by demonstrating how to enliven their sentences.
23. Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland
“Vision, Uncertainty, and Knowledge of Materials are inevitabilities that all artists must acknowledge and learn from.”AdvertisingAdvertising
Art & Fear explores the world of art, and discusses the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up. The authors, David Bayles and Ted Orland, have personal experience, and provide an incisive view into the world of art as it is experienced by art makers themselves.
24. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
“Once you have learned to walk, you know how to walk for life. You don’t have to go on forever adding additional basic skills.”
This book is the world’s most widely used drawing-instruction book. People from every walk of life—artists, students, managers, designers, architects, real estate agents, engineers—have applied its ground-breaking approach to problem solving.
25. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
The War of Art is a profoundly inspiring guide to disable creative blocks of every kind. It also identifies the internal enemy, sketches a battle plan to conquer this enemy; and then determines ways to achieve greatest success.
Featured photo credit: Paddyvia flickr.com
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