Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas to help deal with artist's block.
As a scientist who has spent over half my life studying creativity (and gone on to become a working artist) I picked this book up with some trepidation, and fairly low expectations. I have literally read upwards of 100 books on creativity, and in my experience, the books written 30+ years ago (when it was not a hot area) were, for the most part, a good deal better than...
Published 23 months ago by E. Swope

versus
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware
I loved the idea of this book. I am a painter who gets stymied for a clever subject so the title appealed to me, the idea appealed to me, expert advise appealed to me-from 90 clever people no less.

Nope. 90 people being clever is not the same as 90 people helping you to be clever.

An entire page states: "Just sweeping the floor helps sometimes."...
Published 23 months ago by Terri J. Rice


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas to help deal with artist's block., August 29, 2012
By 
E. Swope (Kaneohe, HI USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a scientist who has spent over half my life studying creativity (and gone on to become a working artist) I picked this book up with some trepidation, and fairly low expectations. I have literally read upwards of 100 books on creativity, and in my experience, the books written 30+ years ago (when it was not a hot area) were, for the most part, a good deal better than the majority currently making the rounds. That is easily explained, as the people writing then did it out of love, passion rather than to turn a quick buck. All that said, I was not expecting a lot from this book. I have to commend Alex Cornell, more editor or curator (than author) of this collection of essays, for not overstating what it gives you, not imbuing it with too much gloss or ego.

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. Anyone who works in a creative field has been there, and it is not an enjoyable place to be, so anything which helps is a little gem. I suspect that most artists would agree that if even one of these strategies helps get them going again it was a worth-while read.

If I could I would give the book 4.5 stars. It isn't perfect (but doesn't claim to be). It's another piece of the puzzle, and maybe the piece which helps you solve yours.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Useful Collection of Ways to Overcome Writer's Block, September 3, 2012
By 
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I must admit to some skepticism when I started reading Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination. This seems to be another collection of one page emails by famous people on a single topic - but in this case I didn't know who most of these famous people were. It turns out that they are designers, artists, musicians, and other creative types from New York City, England, and Scandinavia (for the most part) sharing hints on how to overcome writer's block (or other forms of creative blocks). There is surprising unanimity on the best approaches - basically you should take a walk, observe the world, and otherwise distract yourself from the problem at hand.

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and encouraging, November 22, 2012
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read the book from front to back for review purposes. And in doing so I found out that you can take it, let it fall openanywhere, and find good, sound advice for when you feel "stuck" and "blocked."

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice short primer for overcoming creative blocks, October 11, 2012
By 
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is like a mini version of The Art of Looking Sideways. It's full of aphorisms and strategies for thinking creatively and outside the box. If you actually read the book from cover to cover, you will pick up suggestions for dealing with blocks to creativity and procrastination.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Ideas!, September 26, 2012
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Rather you work as an artist, a craftsman, a musician, a writer, an architect, engineer, or in any other type of profession that requires creativity, you have probably encountered an occasional creative block. If so, Alex Cornel has compiled the perfect book for you. Leading professionals from a wide variety of fields share their strategies to overcome their blocks. Some of them use simple strategies such as taking a walk, some eat specific foods, and others are more strategic. Since everyone is different, there isn't a one size fits all, so the reader may pick and choose until he/she finds what works best for them. If you are like me, you may like to mix it up sometimes, so there is plenty of options to choose from in this book. I highly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Ideas to Overcome Creative Block, September 6, 2012
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The real value of this book is that each of the 90 creative people (and groups) tells you how they overcome the inevitable creative blocks in their working lives. While their solutions might not end up being different, each expresses their solution differently.

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, practical, effective, November 12, 2012
By 
Y. Collins "yodi1" (Fairfax, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The strategies identified in this book are not-so-surprisingly simple when one considers how effective they are. Curtis Baigent, a Motion-and-Design-Artist and one of many contributors to the book, made this suggestion: "It's necessary to make a mess." When the creative mind is blocked, it's easier to see the 'mess' as impediment to the goal, rather than a method of achievement. Baigent offers the simple alternative of permitting the creative mind to see the mess a different way. And it works.

The easy-to-read book is packed with similarly simple offerings, the testing of which are sure to jump-start even the most frustrated creative mind. If this has ever been you, then investing in this book might mean the difference between perpetual frustration and making it to the proverbial finish line.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and useful, September 18, 2012
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is small book, offering brief entries by 154 people who work in creative fields. Many of the ideas presented fall into a few general categories. For example many of the contributors mention that they overcome creative blocks by taking walks in nature, being with friends, and pursuing pleasure and distraction through light escapist activities.

Other people tend to go for the stiff upper lip approach: doggedly persisting with the project and routine, toughing it out until something is released inside of them. Other contributors mention that they keep a stash of sketches and ideas for future projects, and that looking at these things could stimulate ideas. A fourth group of writers seem to not take the whole thing very seriously and wrote ideas that were more whimsical than substantial. Then there is a small number of people who have offered solid, practical ideas, communicated step-by-step. A common theme through the book is the idea that the deadline itself could be stimulating if handled correctly.

Looking through this book, I had some reservations about it at first: the layout and the graphics, the short chapters, etc. made it seem kind of superficial. However I was happily surprised to find the book fun, useful, and pleasant to read. Reading it is very much like enjoying an informal conversation with a bunch of friends: many will agree on certain ideas. Some will have positive, constructive ideas that really stand out while others will just joke around. Still, the effect of the conversation is stimulating.

As a bonus, I was also surprised to find myself spontaneously trying out some of the ideas presented as I read. At the time a difficult and tedious work project loomed, by no means creative but definitely important, and several of us at work were actively resisting it. I found myself automatically facing, rethinking, and even enjoying this project as I made my way through the book; its ideas kind of seeped into my mind without any conscious decision to try them. That melted my skepticism.

So this is indeed a nice book and, taken in the right spirit, it has something to offer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to Find Out How Other Creative People Deal With Creative Block, September 12, 2012
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination" is an interesting collection on how a wide variety of creative people talking about how they overcome that wall we call "Artist's Block."

There are a few tricks some of them use that are close to things I use. And there some completely different things I either find quite intriguing, and may use myself if my own unblocking routines don't work, or interesting to see how others break through their block but have no desire to try what works for them.

Some of the ideas to spark a bit of creativity into amazing artwork are things I've thought of but never bother to try while others are ideas I would have never thought of in a gazillion years.

I found myself nodding in agreement, because I recognized symptoms and issues artists deal with, when it comes to creative block throughout the book. Fine artists normally work alone so this book was almost like convenient group therapy in literary form.

You are not alone, Creative Ones! Get this "group in a book" and you be surrounded by many helpful voices.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're an artist? GET THIS!, April 14, 2013
This review is from: Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
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. Great info about how to get yourself out of the dreaded writer's block rut, or a rut relating to most any artist from the various walks.

Each contributor offers his or her insights (over a few pages each)on strategies to light up interest and build new ideas, so that you can continue and not stay at a halt, which can put your work into a frozen stasis.

A perfect companion to this would be the book "Art & Fear", about overcoming the pitfalls of artistic expression.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination
$17.50 $13.59
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.