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Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination Paperback – September 12, 2012
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"When color-coding your pens finally loses its appeal and the blank computer screen continues to mock you, borrow a tip from Alex Cornell's new book, Breakthrough! 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination. He surveyed creative leaders, who have plenty of tricks." -- Fast Company
"We can all relate to the frustration that ensues when we run up against creative block. Well, no need to fret. Alex Cornell has compiled '90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination' from a line-up of stellar creatives. Christian Helms, Alexandra Lange, Debbie Millman, and others share what works for them to get over the block." -- Communication Arts
About the Author
More About the Author
Prior to Firespotter, he spent three years studying design as apprentice to Scott Hansen (ISO50), as well as writing for the blog and running the studio. He has also worked for IDEO, Plancast, Signpost, and many other Bay Area companies as a UI/UX and brand designer.
His work has been featured in many international magazines, publications, and blogs - most recently in The Modernist (Gestalten 2011). Recently he passed over 3 million views on YouTube where he maintains a periodic online musical presence.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a collection of essays from a variety of working artists who were asked how they deal with "creative block". There is some overlap in the recommended strategies, but that is par for the course, and points to an aspect of the process; that the mind needs to be relaxed for those ideas to "gel".
My favorite quote comes from Chris Russo, who says "If the remedy was exact, I'd patent it, design the packaging and make some money." The truth is, there is no "cure-all". Each of us has different triggers, different backgrounds, different things which work to get them going. There are, however some good ideas in this little book and enough of a variety that I think many people would find something of benefit in it.
It's an easy read, not heavy on jargon, or cute catch phrases. Genuine advice from working artists who took the time to share what helps get them going when they get stuck.Read more ›
However I was delighted to find such an interesting array of ways to give this basic advice in 90 different voices. The editor, Alex Cornell, deserves a lot of credit for choosing well and keeping the book interesting. The book designer, Elana Schlenker, also deserves a lot of credit for intelligent and interesting design with creative pull quotes. There are a number of different things about the book layout. The colophon, usually found on the reverse side of the title page, is the last page of this book. Each page has a wide printed margin - which fades from black to blue as you go from the front of the book to the end. The font choices are distinctive but readable. Reading it was fun.
Even though I do not make a living in any of these creative fields, I found the advice inspiring and useful for dealing with the kinds of problems I face in my very different field of work. Recommended.
Many of the writers wer artistic designers, graphic artists and writers. For my own part, I am a teacher, writer, and musician. I also like to knit teddy bears and paint pictures (although I haven't done it for quite a while). And sometimes it seems like in all of these endeavors, I feel "stuck" and I fiund this book to be a greaet place to go for ideas -- not for my projects, but for ways to handle this feeling of dryness and feeling like I'm gettting nowhere.
A lot of the ideas are surprising. Some people find deadlines to be scary, but Ben Barry, Grapic Designer at Facebook says that sometimes creating an artificial constraints as quickly as possible on a projecct -- especially open-ended ones where there'sno particular time to have the project fnished -- "A deadline is always the best cure." While this may not work for everything, it certainly is an option. Page 86 says to allow for error. The discusision by "Experimental Jetset" about the difference between a "bloc" and an "block" is worth the price of the whole book. And get this -- the writer on page 72 tells you to "enjoy" your depresion!
This book goes with me a lot. It's fun to read when I want to enjoy my MacDonald's vanilla ied coffee and get good ideas to keep on moving on.
It's many, MANY times the price of the book.
That makes it a very uneven book to read straight through, but it makes it an excellent resource for creatives to keep on the shelf. Having a block? Open the book at random and read a few entries, try some of the ideas. If it works, great. If not, repeat.
Even so, I didn't find the book without faults. Its origins are from a blog where creative people from different disciplines were asked to answer the question "How do you overcome creative block?" Befitting its origins, the answers aren't long. To turn this into a book, graphic design, focusing of pull out text and simple shapes, was added.
I'm not a graphics person, but a fiber artist and writer, so I ended up feeling as if this was both padding and an awfuol lot of visual noise. Someone else might feel differently, but, to my mind this was a fault.
In the end, I found this book useful but not necessarily enlightening. I didn't find any earth-shattering new ways to deal with creative block, but often its good to be reminded of things you already know, so you can act on them right then.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a light read but good advice and wonderfully produced. Did it help? Not at all---but I do trust many of the approaches it suggests. Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by Debra
Wasn't sure exactly what to expect from this book at first... sometimes these things can get cheesy and make me roll my eyes.
This is good though. Read more
Like a few of the other reviewers said, this really didn't inspire me either. It's stories by other creative people and somewhat interesting to read about what inspires them, but... Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Caliaha
I picked up the book, read it on a flight, and proceeded to forget it. Perhaps I wasn't in a position to utilize the tips and strategies? Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by therosen
As a part time graphic designer and copywriter, I sometimes find myself hitting a roadblock. When this happens to me I take a break or search the web for inspiration. Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by German Vasquez Jr.
This book is a collection of advice given by a cross-section of creatives on the question of how to move beyond a creative block. Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by HTBK
When I first received this book and thumbed through it I was very disappointed. I was hoping to find a book that would give ideas on getting the proverbial creative juices... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by moolane
An inspirational little book that has all kinds of useful ways to get your brain in gear. Most of it is stuff I have heard before, but it's nice having ideas all in one place. Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by Lance M. Foster
I love flipping through this book.("It's necessary to make a mess.") And I find that the suggestion that sings to me, is dependent upon my mood. Read morePublished on November 27, 2012 by Michelle Alberigi McKenzie