Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Resources: great books on defining creativity

Books on creativity defined and developed:

  1. Brocket, Jane – The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art and the Comforts of Home – STC Craft (New York). 2008. This is one of those books that synthesizes creativity into the heart of the home. I love the way the author incorporates the traditionally domestic into an art form. The book is full of amazingly beautiful photos of projects and inspiration from books to movies to food to make! This is a definite keeper!
  2. Burns, Marilyn – The Book of Think: Or How to Solve a Problem Twice Your Size – Yolla Bolly Press (Covelo, CA). 1976. Marilyn Burns, author of “I Hate Mathematics” and “Math for Smarty Pants” as well as others takes the idea of thinking outside the box and works through how to teach the skill of creative thinking. The exercises, puzzles and questions lead the reader through the process of thinking outside the box.
  3. Butterworth, Eric – The Creative Life: Seven Keys to Your Inner Genius – Jeremy R. Tarcher/Putnam (New York). 2001. The author, a Unity minister, looks to scripture and his Judeo-Christian religious background to explain creativity and God’s desire for us to imitate him through being creative.
  4. Cameron, Julia with Mark Bryan – The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity – Jeremy R. Tarcher/Putnam (New York). 1995. This book has exercises for nuturing the artistic side; tends toward the “new age” a bit but still well worth a read.
  5. Carlson, Ginder – Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children – Common Ground Press (Eugene, OR). 2008. The author, holding a Masters in Education, implements many of her ideas in schools as well as within her home with her son. Many of her ideas are for classroom setting, but can be easily translated into the home.
  6. Field, Christine – Life Skills for Kids: Equipping your child for the real world – Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO). 2000. This book has a great chapter on nurturing creativity. The other chapters are well-worth reading, particularly if you home-educate your children.
  7. Gelb, Michael J. – How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day – Random House (New York). 1998. This book has a fabulous overview of the seven tools Leonardo DaVinci nurtured to become the epitome of the Renaissance Man.
  8. Gregory, Danny – The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are – Hyperion (New York). 2006. Personal tragedy led the author to change careers and learn to draw – something he’d always wanted to do but never took the time. This is a great book for adults who think they’re not creative. There are many great tips and techniques to get the reader’s creative juices flowing. Although geared primarily to the sketch/drawing/painting type arts, the basic information applies to all creative pursuits.
  9. Henri, Robert – The Art Spirit – Westview Press (Boulder, CO) 1984. This is a classic art school text written back in the 1920s. Henri taught his students many creativity “tricks” to develop their own style.
  10. Kenison, Katrina – Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry – Warner Books (New York). 2000. A compilation of essays from a working-career mom who wants to live each moment fully not competitively; her essays help to point out the need to slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy by doing things most would think were a “waste of time”.
  11. LeFever, Marlene D. – Growing Creative Children: How to help your child listen, enjoy and anticipate – Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, IL). 1981. Theme of this out-of-print volume is that it’s not so much how much creative skills God gave our children but how we nurture what they have; the author has an entire chapter on the importance and benefits of reading, read alouds and family reading times.
  12. Leuzzi, Linda – A Creative Life: The Young Person’s Guide – Franklin Watts (Danbury, Connecticut). 1999. Written for the 10-15 year-old crowd, this book does a great job of giving examples of different ways to be creative and expands the traditional definition to include cooks, mechanics, etc.
  13. Lewis, Gareth – One-to-One: A Practical Guide to Learning at Home Age 0-11 – Nezert Books (Duault, France). 2003. The author, an unschooling father, gives excellent proof of the benefit of nurturing creativity in a home learning environment. Wonderfully basic project ideas are included within the text.
  14. Lewis, Gareth – Unqualified Education: A Practical Guide to Learning at Home Age 11-18 – Nezert Books, (Duault, France). 2003. A sequel to One-to-One, with fewer projects but still lots of “witnessing” to the benefits of creativity in the home.
  15. Schaeffer, Edith – The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Ideas for Creating Beauty in Everyday Life – Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, IL) 1983. The author, wife of Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer (and mother of Susan Schaeffer Macaulay), writes a lovely book discussing all the many arts which make a house a beautiful home, a beautiful witness to God’s creation.
  16. Smith, Keri – Living Out Loud: Activities to fuel a creative life – Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA). 2003. This spiral-bound book is filled with games, puzzles, activities and craft projects that encourage adults and their kids to get in and create! Wonderfully whimsical and just fun stuff here.
  17. Soule, Amanda Blake – The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections – Trumpeter Books (Boston, Massachusetts). 2008. This is the book that got me started thinking about writing my book; Soule’s book is fabulous but completely misses the link between God and the human person’s ability/need to create.
  18. Tharp, Twyla – The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life – Simon and Schuster (New York). 2003. This is a fascinating book by the famous dancer/Broadway choreographer that has sage advice for obtaining and using the gift of creativity.
  19. Wakefield, Dan – Creating from the Spirit: Living Each Day as a Creative Act – Ballantine Books (New York) 1996. Jounalist and novelist Wakefield defines the creative act as more a mind-set than a thing. He interviews the spectrum from artists to CEOs to show that those who are successful live their lives with the creative, entrepreneurial spirit necessary for answering all challenges. He also debunks the myth that creativity comes from a bottle, a packet of drugs or other external.
  20. misc authors – The Crafter’s Companion: Tips, Tales and Patterns from a Community of Creative Minds – Snowbooks Ltd (London, England). 2006. This is a compilation of tips and project ideas from a group of artists, designers, and other creative types who “know” each other from online.

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