Author(s): Erik Wahl
From the world-famous graffiti artist, beloved corporate speaker, and bestselling author of Unthink, a provocative new book on how you can train yourself to become creative in your business and everyday life.
We're conditioned to think in terms of dichotomies, especially when we talk about creative genius. Right brain versus left brain. Inspiration versus perspiration. Creativity versus discipline. And consequently, we believe that no one person can have both or be both: you're either a suit or a creative.
But Erik Wahl, a professional artist who has learned to generate constant creative work, argues that success now depends on being able to harness creativity and discipline.
According to Wahl, creativity has two faces: the spark of inspiration and the grind of following through to make that idea a reality. Sparks of insight originate from passion--these are the moments that make your heart race in excitement, the moments in which you're enthralled by possibility. The grind is the necessary work to take your spark from pie-in-the sky idea to execution.
Too often, we consider these elements separately, without thinking about how they interact. But the two are symbiotic: ongoing, original creativity requires both, as Wahl writes, "the initial flicker of hope, and the work to stoke it into something that changes the game." Wahl offers practical advice about how to fan the sparks and make the grind more productive, including:
. Immerse yourself in the unfamiliar: Consciously put yourself into uncomfortable situations to produce new and better ideas.
. Converse with yourself and others: Subjecting your ideas to the crucible of criticism will clarify what's really brilliant about them.
. Rehearse creativity constantly: You need to commit to a steady practice of creativity, in what Wahl calls "a lifestyle of iteration."
Wahl deftly synthesizes the wisdom of other artists, philosophers, scientists and business visionaries throughout history, along with his own striking personal story. The result is a guide to ensuring constant creativity in your everyday life, in and out of the office, that will push you to produce your most innovative work yet."