The one-sentence summary

To be an effective creative person you need constantly to absorb varied stimuli, reinterpret what you see, identify a simple emotional truth, and re-present it in a fresh way.


· This is a witty pocket book with 50 provocative insights into creativity and the creative process. They include:

· The blank page is the greatest challenge facing the creative person. Start small, with anything, and then it’s not blank and you are underway.

· An idea can be defined as ‘a thought or plan formed by mental effort’.

· Originality is dependent upon the obscurity of your sources. There’s no such thing as pure originality. It’s not where you get it from – it’s where you take it to.

· We are all artists, but some of us shouldn’t exhibit. Just because modern technology allows us all to publish, it doesn’t mean we should. The author urges all authors of poorly written and uninformed blogs to stop.

· Complexity destroys profitability. The power of reduction means taking a complex thought and reducing it down to a simple, powerful message.

· What the heart knows today, the head will understand tomorrow. When it comes to creativity, instinctive feeling beats thinking. You do your best thinking when you are not thinking.

· Ideas are often at their best when the creative person gets angry, when they offer an unexpected juxtaposition, go the opposite way (zig when they zag0, or tell stories that hit the spot. These ideas rarely come when the weather is good, because there are too many distractions.

· Creative people are transmitters – they absorb diverse, random messages, influences and thoughts, then reinterpret and play them back to their audience in new and fresh ways.

· Creativity isn’t an occupation – it’s a preoccupation.

· Remove your headphones – inspiration is all around us and needs to be absorbed.

· Mix with the best – read shit and that’s what you’ll think and create.

· A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. Cynics bury ideas, and make poor companions for creative people.

· Why? is the most important word you will ever use.

· Creativity is an expression of self, so your work will be empty if you fail to figure out what excites and drives you.

· Respect, don’t revere. Reverence leads to imitation, not creation.

· Don’t dwell on failure. Move on. Forget it.


· The subtitle of the book is There are no rules – something which we have heard many times before.