What inspired you to write this book?
Having been involved in the creative process since my days as an art student, I’d thought about writing a book on creativity for several years. What really inspired me was getting to know Romilla Ready, co-author of NLP for Dummies and her story. Then through her I met the team at the publishers Wiley, notably Kerry Laundon, who understood the approach I wanted to take and helped the whole concept take off.
What topics in your book or background do you think book clubs would find interesting?
I’ve tried to make the book accessible to everyone with an interest in creativity, professionally or in their everyday life. I know many book club readers have more than a passing interest in the creative process so I’ve tried to bring it to life. One topic that I hope will strike a chord is the lives and activities of exceptional creative individuals. For example, I have a major section on Leonardo da Vinci, whose journals formed possibly the first “how to” script, where he described seven principles for living the creative life to the full. I’ve also included lots of tools and techniques for everyone who wants to develop their creative thinking repertoire.
Tell us about your career outside of writing and how it influence your writing.
I advise business leaders and their teams on the creative process through workshops seminars and master classes. Many of my clients are in the creative industries such as advertising, design and related areas, so I’m closely engaged in the ‘sharp end’ of creative thinking. I’m also passionately involved in the arts, and draw a great deal of inspiration from those sources.
Describe your style of writing
I aim for an open informal style to engage and hold the reader’s attention so they can enjoy the material without feeling it’s a challenge. I deplore jargon, and strongly dislike the breed of writers who think it’s smart to talk down to their audience. I want everyone to celebrate creativity and culture, not be challenged by it. And I think a little humour can sugar the pill.
Which authors have inspired you?
It’s a long list. If pressed, I guess the first book I read on the arts was Ernst Gombrich’s ‘The Story of Art’, and I was impressed by his ability to open my teenage mind without making me feel embarrassed by my lack of experience. For me, that sets the standard I’ve always aspired to. And in the field of creativity I particularly love the way Michael Michalko, Michael Gelb and Tony Buzan convey their enthusiasm and knowledge in good simple English.
By: David Cox