Five Books That Can Help You Boost Your Creativity

While some people may be more gifted than others, everyone can develop their creative thinking skills and abilities.

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There’s an age-old question asking whether people are born creative, or if they can develop an aptitude for the skill. I would definitely say that some people are more gifted than others, but everyone can develop their creative thinking skills and abilities. Here’s a list of some of the best books I’ve read about creativity so far, which can help all of us boost our skillsets in this particular department:

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1. How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton

This book is not very well known, and I do think it’s a bit underrated, but it’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read about creative thinking. In this book, the author takes us on a journey of exploring the very act of creating creative things. What I loved the most about it is that it is so inherently human and oh-so-relatable in every way. He draws on examples from the Muppets and Mozart, Archimedes and Apple, Kandinsky to Coca-Cola, and uses them to showcase how new things come to being. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: “The best way to begin is the same as the best way to swim in the sea. No tiptoes. No wading. Go under. Get wet and cold from scalp to sole. Splutter up salt, push the hair from your brow, then stroke and stroke again. Feel the chill change. Do not look back or think ahead. Just go.”

2. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden

I don’t know, but maybe because we were both working in the creative field that I love this one? Not so sure. But it’s definitely the first book I give my friends who don’t read that much. I loved its simplicity, and that it sheds light on a lot of different stories, and a lot of different situations while being a very easy read. Another title by the same author you should check out: Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite.

Related: Infographic: Unusual Inspiration: How Nine Creative Minds Got Their Ideas

3. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon

The title of the book says it all. It’s quirky and simple, bizarre and funky. I have come to love the author’s work as he writes and doodles in his publications. I follow him on Instagram as well, and his everyday work and ideas are so rewarding. Whatever you do for a living, you will need this book. You can read it in one sitting or put it on your coffee table. (Another great title by the same author: Show Your Work, And Keep Going.)

4. Creative Confidence, by David and Tom Kelley

This is one of the books that changed my perspective completely. I love the design company IDEO, and I admire them so much for being the creators and advocates of the concept of design thinking. In this book, the co-founders explore some of the work they have done for their clients through their award-winning and super awesome agency, IDEO. From redesigning MRIs for children with VR glasses and pirate decals (so they’re not as scary as they have always been), to designing the process of a hospital’s emergency room after a Formula 1 pit, this book is unputdownable.

5. Creativity Inc., by Ed Carmull and Amy Wallace

Catmull is the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios (yes, the Pixar we all know and love!) In this book, they take the reader through the world of Pixar in its early days, through its early struggles and late successes. It’s a book for managers and entrepreneurs with inspiration to lead employees to new heights, create a culture like no other, build a business that is so loved and admired, and make money while doing all three. “Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.”

Related: Crafting Creativity: Jo Malone, Founder, Jo Loves

Mohamed El-Dib (Dibo)

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Mohamed El-Dib (Dibo) is a creative consultant, an entrepreneur, and a conceptualizer. Find out more about him on allthingsdibo.com.