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The Art of Disciplined Creativity


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Ideas and practices for regularly gathering sources of inspiration, eliminating blocks to more easily access creative states, prolong them, and leverage their power to develop and execute great work.

Ideas and practices for regularly gathering sources of inspiration, eliminating blocks to more easily access creative states, prolong them, and leverage their power to develop and execute great work.

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  • 1. The Art ofDisciplined Creativity Denise R. Jacobs Refresh Boston May 2011
  • 2. The Art of Social Media The Artist: @denisejacobs The Medium: @refreshboston The Subject: #creativityhabit
  • 3. The Artist Still Known as Denise Jacobs Speaker, Trainer, Author, Pan-Creative
  • 4. OnCreativity
  • 5. “Creativity is about embracing paradox. Creativity is the merging of two incongruent ideas.”- Frank Chimero, Build Conference Nov. 2010, The Shape of Design
  • 6. What’s the point?Concepts, ideas, tips to help you instill practices that will encourage you to become even more conversant and better able to collaborate with your creativity.
  • 7. We are alchemists
  • 8. “Creativity is magical, but is not magic.”- Charles Limb, Your Brain on Improvisation TED talk
  • 9. Structure, Discipline, Path
  • 10. The Art ofDisciplined Creativity
  • 11. ThreeFacets ofThe Way
  • 12. Three Facets of The Way1. The Path of One2. It Takes Two3. The Way of Many
  • 13. The Path of One
  • 14. The Path of One1. Habits to release2. Habits to incorporate3. Outcomes
  • 15. Habits to Release
  • 16. Habits to Release• Fire your inner critic• Get over impostor syndrome• Eliminate distractions
  • 17. Fire your inner critic
  • 18. Exorcise those evil voicesFEAR (“false evidence appearing real” or “f*ck everything and run”) causes unnecessary inhibitions which obstruct the generation of new ideas on a biochemical and neurological level.
  • 19. Get over impostor syndrome
  • 20. Drop comparisons
  • 21. Eliminate distractions
  • 22. Communication addiction
  • 23. Habits toIncorporate
  • 24. Habits to Incorporate• Show up everyday• Gather up goodness• Get it down• Get physical• Relax. Open. Let go. Receive.
  • 25. Show up everyday
  • 26. Clarify and strengthen habit fields
  • 27. Work with time
  • 28. Be willing
  • 29. Gather up Goodness
  • 30. “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”- Goethe
  • 31. Collect and Curate
  • 32. Tools• • Evernote• • Diigo• • Delicious• • Flickr•
  • 33. Get it down
  • 34. Capture ideas as they come
  • 35. Sketchnotes, mind-mapping, etc.
  • 36. Voice
  • 37. Get physical
  • 38. Take a walk
  • 39. Balances your brain
  • 40. Think with your hands
  • 41. Relax. Open. Let Go. Receive.
  • 42. Calm your brain cells
  • 43. Suck at it (or be wrong)• “Being right keeps us in place. Being wrong forces us to explore.”• – Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From
  • 44. “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”- Dr. Edwin Land
  • 45. Reframe #fail
  • 46. Delegate
  • 47. Outcomes
  • 48. Outcomes• Express. Produce.• Flow
  • 49. Express. Produce.
  • 50. What you produce is unique• Find your voice and sing your song• Create what you want to see/use• (Gather like an aficiando and) Repurpose like an artist
  • 51. Find Flow
  • 52. The stage is set for Flow• Clear a space – work area, time, head• Have a goal: know what you want to achieve and what it looks like• Have the necessary materials on hand• Eliminate distractions• Practice• Don’t force it
  • 53. It Takes Two
  • 54. It Takes Two• Externalize• Invite
  • 55. “Creation does not have to be a tormented process – it can be a peculiar, wondrous, bizarre conversation and collaboration between you and the strange external entity that is not quite you.”- Elizabeth Gilbert, Nuturing
  • 56. Externalize
  • 57. Genius
  • 58. “Genius is being able to understand the essence without having all of the information….Genius is the ability to see through to the essential.”
  • 59. Bring out your inner GeniusAs opposed to “being” a genius, consider that you have a genius – a mystical spirit that accompanies you and inspires and helps you to create fantastic work.
  • 60. Muses
  • 61. MusesThree original muses:• Melete - practice or occasion• Aoide – voice or song• Mneme – memoryMuses were thought to be the true speakers for whom an artist is merely the mouthpiece. Muses inspire people to do their best.
  • 62. Ideas & Creative Spark“The world is being circled by ideas and creativity that wants to made manifest and are looking for portals to come through…”
  • 63. “…If you don’t do it, it will find someone else.” - Elizabeth Gilbert
  • 64. You are an avatar for ideas
  • 65. Extend an Invitation
  • 66. You’re Doin’ It Wrong“My f*cking book won’t tell me its name!”“Well, if you’re going to talk to it like that, it’s not going to tell you anything.”
  • 67. Sweet talk your ideas
  • 68. Engage in regular dialogue
  • 69. The Way of Many
  • 70. The Way of Many• Collective Ideation• Collaborate: Share and learn,• Teach and Master
  • 71. Collective Ideation
  • 72. The Goal:To be whirling in a melee of ideas!
  • 73. Incubate
  • 74. Ideas are a network…not an event.
  • 75. • Ideas are cobbled together from whatever we have nearby (or invite to come to us)• Ideas are borne from chaotic social environments
  • 76. Intellectual diversity• Immerse yourself in intellectually diverse environments
  • 77. This will allow for slow hunches
  • 78. Slow Hunch tips• Give ideas time to simmer, to develop into hunches• Ideas often have long incubation periods: they fade into view over time• Share hunches with others – this sets the stage for the aha/eureka moment
  • 79. Collaborate: Share and Learn
  • 80. Share time and mind• Invite others to wonder with you• Share mistakes – show your imperfections (both you and others can learn from it)
  • 81. Make little betsThe creative process is a hands-on experiment.• Try something. Get feedback. Refine. Get more feedback.• process: observe, suggest, tinker, review feedback, reiterate
  • 82. Teach and Master
  • 83. “To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach.”
  • 84. Taking it up a notchTeaching combines everything that has been mentioned and takes knowledge and ideas to a whole new level.
  • 85. Disciplineis Victory
  • 86. The goal: creative confidence“…the confidence that, when given a difficult problem, we have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before.”David Kelley, Ideo
  • 87. It does work
  • 88. “Chance favors the connected mind.”– Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From
  • 89. “Inspiration favors the creatively disciplined mind.”- Denise Jacobs, The Art of Disciplined Creativity
  • 90. Shameless Self-Promotion #1 The CSS Detective Guide Get 35% off at with the discount code “NETMAG”
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  • 92. Thank you!