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Hugh MacLeod's Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity (Book Review of the Week-ish)

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. – Pablo Picasso

Guy: “I can’t decide what I want to be: a millionaire or an artist.” Girl: “Can’t you just compromise? Become a millionaire artist or something.” – Hugh MacLeod


In the last few days, I’ve been spending a lot of time surrounding myself with art. Not High Art. Just art. Creative work, masterfully done. And all of it commercially successful. From the simply amazing Pixar film Wall-E to listening to Frank Sinatra in his prime or re-reading J.K. Rowling’s outstanding Harry Potter series, I was struck by both their beauty and appeal and by the question, “How can I make my work more like this? How can I make it more creative? Can I make it more successful, too?”

Cartoonist, blogger and marketing wiz Hugh MacLeod – @gapingvoid on Twitter, GapingVoid.com on the web – gives one possible answer to these questions in his new book Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity. In 40 terse chapters – some little more than a single cartoon – Hugh gives his views on the essence of creativity, its driving forces, its ineffable appeal, its continuing pull. Funny, profane and insightful, Hugh builds on his earlier work – “How to Be Creative” – to provide less of a roadmap and more of a travelogue, cataloging his learnings along the creative road. And like my post advising you to do what you love, Hugh doesn’t guarantee fame or fortune. But, wouldn’t you prefer to enjoy what you’re working on regardless of the outcome. And, just as Pixar, Rowling and Sinatra have shown, sometimes those outcomes succeed beyond your wildest imagination.


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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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