Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0826178459
ISBN-10: 0826178456
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Editorial Reviews


"Groundbreaking!...A must-read for anyone who believes that creativity is synonymous with `thinking outside the box'..." -- Bert Root-Bernstein, PhD, MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Physiology, Michigan State University; Author of Sparks of Genius and other creativity titles

"...well-written, to the point, interesting, and practical." -- Mark Runco, PhD, editor of Creativity Research Journal


"Stokes's book is well-written, to the point, interesting, and practical. She covers art and the scientific theories but also offers suggestions for stimulating our own creativity. Along the way she discusses architecture, advertising, music, fashion, and literature. Best of all is the insight, well-supported by her research, that we can stimulate creativity through constraint!"
--Mark Runco, PhD, Editor, Creativity Research Journal

"Pat Stokes is a highly organized thinker undertaking the Herculean task of codifying the chaos called 'Creativity.' (Tantamount to holding a pint of water in your hand.) Densely packed with convincing examples, her concept that problem-solving and obstacles propel creativity is fed to us step-by-step until we understand how we got where we are."
--Les Richter, Former Creative Director of Ted Bates, and professional potter

"Ground-breaking! Dr. Stokes will redefine how we think about creativity. This is the first book to demonstrate clearly the many ways that defining problems, inventing rules, setting boundaries, and creating constraints paradoxically enhance imaginative thinking. A must-read for anyone who believes that creativity is synonymous with 'thinking outside the box' or that artists express themselves freely, without constraint."
--Bert Root-Bernstein, PhD, MacArthur Fellow and author of Sparks of Genius

"Meeting Pat Stokes in 2002 was timely. I had just assembled images from my art practice into a digital retrospective, had learned that my early student work contained all the raw elements of my mature work, and was beginning to organize an exhibition inviting other artists to attempt the same exercise. Conversations with Pat not only provided language in which to frame my experience and to mine it more profitably, but also a way to share it with my students. Read in concert with Pat’s earlier text on Monet, her questionnaire proved valuable in students’ assessments of their own processes in a manner including their entire experience, in an interdisciplinary context. This book is a very useful tool in emphasizing the importance of problem posing in conjunction with problem solving skills, and along the way can enrich approaches to studio critiques."--Adelheid Mers, Artist and Instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago

"In writing about constraints and setting goals, and bringing those goals to successful conclusions or further goal-setting, Dr. Stokes has written a fascinating book giving us insights into the creative process. As a painter/printmaker, much of this hits home and the book has me reviewing my own personal experiences."
--Richard Pantell, Artist and Instructor at the Art Students League, NYC

"Using case studies of individuals working in various aspects of the arts, Stokes offers well informed and insightful analysis of the complex phenomenon we call creativity. This survey is a piece of research and exploration that is thorough and engaging.”
--John (Andy) Hoogenboom, Printer, Sculptor, and Photographer

Product details

  • Item Weight : 9 ounces
  • Paperback : 182 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0826178456
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0826178459
  • Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.38 x 9 inches
  • Publisher : Springer Publishing Company; 1st Edition (August 17, 2005)
  • Language: : English