The Sketchbook

Inspiration can be fleeting. Your sketchbook is the net to capture elusive ideas as they flutter by.


Sometimes an idea enters your mind fully formed and without effort. Sometimes you will be able to conceive the end result during the research or generation stage of the process. Sometimes all the incubation in the world doesn’t lead to a great idea. Sometimes the pieces all fit together only when you begin the execution. […]

Creative Environment

For me, the most important condition for a creative breakthrough is the right environment. I like a space that is free of clutter. Reminders of chores and other distractions must be out of sight. The ringer on the phone is off. The creative process itself can become messy and disorganized, but I like to start […]

Copy the Masters

If you want to paint like Van Gogh, copy one of his paintings brushstroke for brushstroke. If you want to improvise like Charlie Parker, transcribe one of his solos note for note. Copying seems like the opposite of creativity, but this exercise will give you insight into the mind of a genius that you can […]

Japanese Tea Ceremony

For a mental break and a return to clarity, create your own ritual based on the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It requires little equipment or time. You can modify the procedure to suit your style. The important thing is to have a way to return to a calm center when you are feeling stressed and out […]


You were born creative. Humans are, by nature, creative beings. Maybe in third grade you thought your picture didn’t look as good as the “talented” girl’s. Maybe in the high school jazz combo you never got the hang of improvising a solo. Maybe in your office culture, offering an unusual suggestion is ridiculed. Maybe your […]

Creativity Killers

Stress: Although some of us work best under pressure, constant low-level stress will suck away your creative juice. Comfort: Staying in your comfort zone will not yield creative results. Criticism: Criticism that drags you down will eventually break your spirit. You are better off in the long run getting away from a client who micromanages […]

Creativity Triggers

Need to jumpstart the creative process? Here are some ways to spark your imagination: Synthesis: add something. Introduce a new element, either similar or completely different. Subtraction: take something away. Make it simpler, purer. Reduce it to the bare essence. Connection: make connections from your subject to other subjects. Keep moving outward until you find […]

Creativity Triggers

Need to jumpstart the creative process? Here are some ways to spark your imagination:

Studio 2D