I bought Jumpstart Your Creativity: 10 Jolts to Get Creative and Stay Creative by Shawn Doyle and Steven Rowell based on the title, not realizing it is about accessing your creativity in the workplace. Nonetheless, many of the ideas in this book apply to the artistic process.
Both authors have been trainers and consultants and have written other books. Doyle is also a cartoonist; Rowell worked for Disney World.
I can’t find the “10 Jolts” delineated anywhere in the book. However, it has ten chapters, so maybe each chapter is meant to electrify.
Doyle and Rowell talk about ideation, or generating ideas. They don’t recommend brainstorming, because they say “brainstorming has lost its effectiveness because it has been overdone and poorly done.” Yet the processes they advocate sound very much like brainstorming, although with guidelines for each step so that participants feel free to contribute anything, no matter how farfetched. After all, impossibility inspires innovation.
In Chapter 3, the authors describe a process for tapping creativity called the C.R.E.A.T.E. Plan. The initials stand for:
- Commit with Confidence and Courage
- Release expectations
- Embrace play
- Take Time
They explain each phase of the process, give tools for implementing, and encourage you to make your own plan to create a project working through the plan.
Chapter 5 is devoted to team leaders in business and organizations and the 3D Meeting Process. Doyle and Rowell claim that, in general, meetings fail to accomplish anything because they have ineffective agendas, use time poorly, involve too many people who don’t need to be there, don’t inspire ownership or accountability, avoid the real issues, are indecisive, and are merely one in an endless series. In contrast, the 3D Meeting Process consists of three distinct meetings structured for Discovery, Distribution, and Decision. The meetings are short, focused, and cause the participants to buy into the process and care about the outcomes. The ideas in this chapter could be applied to collaborative artistic projects.
Chapter 6 presents creative problem-solving models.
Jumpstart Your Creativity contains literally hundreds of ideas to fuel creativity. The book is a clearinghouse for resources, with lists of websites or magazines or organizations or brain-stimulating activities or workplace incentives. Some suggestions offered in the book:
- Watch speeches from TED conferences.
- Enroll yourself in Google alerts for topics you want to follow.
- Sign up for Adult Enrichment classes at your local college.
- Journal your thoughts.
- Doodle or draw.
- Do yoga.
- Ride a bike.
- Watch television shows such as: How Things Are Made or MythBusters.
- Try a new recipe.
- Play with Lego®s.
- Work with charitable, nonprofit organizations.
One caveat: the authors mention their own creativity website; however, when I went to the address, I found a registered domain notice, but no site. What’s up with that?
In conclusion, although Jumpstart Your Creativity is written for a corporate audience, it has applications for artists and is worth reading and rereading. The authors provide lots of exercises to help you tap into your most creative self. This is not a read-once book. It should be out on your desk where you can refer to it whenever you’re feeling uninspired. Now that I’ve read it cover-to-cover, I plan to go back and systematically try out all the ideas that appeal to me.