If you are interested in unlocking your creativity, you will love David Usher’s new book Let the Elephants Run. You can flip through the book for a quick hit of visually stunning images and quotes, or dive in more deeply to learn about creative principles and practices from a highly successful entrepreneur who lives and breathes creativity.
David Usher writes from personal experience as a musician (his band Moist, has sold over 1.4 million albums worldwide) and as founder of CloudID Creativity Labs, an innovation consultancy, whose clients include Cirque de Soleil.
Usher believes creativity is in our DNA, as I do. We are all creative as children, but for many our inherent creativity becomes lost over time. Usher asks, “How do we jump-start our creative process as adults? What does it mean to be a creative person? How do we follow through with our ideas and turn them into tangible outcomes?” Good questions which all creatives and innovators grapple with.
I find it refreshing to read about creativity from a creative arts professional (versus academic) who has bridged the chasm between art and business. Usher’s approach to developing creativity is similar to my own. To be a successful creative you need structure and discipline as well as freedom to explore and experiment. He quashes the myth of an artist’s life being endlessly about “fun art stuff” and illustrates the business reality in an amusing (for me) infographic. Usher shows you a map of his own creative process and lessons learned along the way.
The truth is, creativity is hard work. Usher’s book is filled with loads of fun activities to inspire the reader to take action on new ideas and insights. As he points out, ideas are worthless unless acted upon.
Let the Elephants Run appeals to my aesthetic senses: it’s beautifully designed, it’s colourful, it vibrates energy, and it’s full of practical wisdom. I recommend this book to both newcomers to the creative process and experts looking for inspiration, and a little coaching.