Being Creative: Be inspired. Unlock your originality

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 8 May 2018

Member Reviews

I must admit - I have rather mixed feelings about this book.

It could be that I was not the book's target audience or maybe the style was just not for me. I struggled with how it was written. I found most chapters to be repetitive and generally thought it could have been perhaps a little more compact with less repetitiveness. 

Many people absolutely loved this book so perhaps it just was not the right fit for me. 

There is definitely a lot of greatness in this book as well, I especially love how the author acknowledges that we are all creative as I think we sometimes tend to forget that and judge ourselves rather harshly.

I would like to thank the author and the publisher for a copy of this book. I did enjoy reading it, despite of my previous comments. Many thanks.
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While these are not novel, the twenty lessons found in Being Creative can help the reader to a better practice. First and foremost they reveal the secret -- creativity is you. Atavar then offers concrete ways to spark creativity and thoughtful ways to foster it and integrate it into one's work. From lessons of "beginner's mind" to "failure", there are tips, tools, and additional resources all focused on strengthening your originality and creativity.
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I like this book, although the information is not new or profound in any way, it does offer some insight into helping with the creative process overall, and offers some helpful exercises. For an already practicing creative, it might not be the newest advice under the sun, but this would be good for a beginner who is looking to start with a new routine.
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I rarely give 1 star to a book I finish, but I simply did not like this book and couldn't connect with it. And it's sad because I really enjoyed the other books in this collection and from what I see other people seemed to love it. But, alas, here is my honest opinion on this book.

I did not like how it was written. I find it quite repetitive, even more repetitive than usual self-help books are and it feels like every chapter revolves around the same idea. Each paragraph is one sentence-long, yet it still feels like too little was said in too many words. The entire book could be summarized and done better in one single chapter. 

I turned the last page feeling like I did not get anything from this book, but I am glad it seemed to have helped other people. I did like the recommendations at the end of each chapter though. 

And to end on a positive note, I really appreciated the author talking about how we are all creative and how creativity is not reserved to only one group of humans.
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Only reason I am giving this book a three star rating is that I was not able to finish it before it was archived and the file being lost. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading the about of information Michael shares here and his prospects of being more creative in our daily lives really does help us grow and achieve our success.
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Every now and then there comes along a book that can entertain, educate & inspire you; make you take action. 

This is on  such book! This book is a brilliant example of what he tries to teach us about creativity! 

It’s just brilliant!! 

Thanks NetGally for giving me access to an early copy of the book!
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Everyone is creative, but they just don't know it. Michael Atavar provides a toolkit to help you unleash your creativity, focusing on five areas, including persistence and ending, with a specific example for each. He also provides exercises and suggestions for each area. 



Even if you just use one suggestion from the book, it will expose you to a whole new way of noticing the world around you and this is sure to help your creativity!



I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.



May 3, 2018/ $16.99 / hardcover
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I really, really want to like this book more than I actually do.  There are some good points to be made, but there was just something about it that I couldn't connect with.  Maybe if there were more worked examples of some of the practices, I would have felt more confident working my way through the exercises.  Quite often I would do the exercise and not really understand how to access what I was supposed to be getting out of the process.

I'm not a professional creative and I feel that this book is aimed at that sort of person rather than someone who is looking for a Julia Cameron type approach :)
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

This is an interesting book. I think it is most suited to 'blocked' creatives or people who are looking for a direction because they are feeling rudderless or lack confidence. I am fortunate enough to be in a good place creatively so I found myself nodding along but relatively little struck me as revelatory. There are a few good ideas, though, which I will be putting into practice (e.g. noting on A6 paper). This is, I think, a bit like a modern 'Artist's Way', but with less spiritual woo and more time efficiency - definitely worth checking out if you need a fresh start or a new direction.
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I overhyped this book in my head. there are good points in this book, but not the type of writing I would want for this type of topic. Though it does have some good points and things to take away and things to do.
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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgallery in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The title and book description quickly pulled me in, but this was a major disappointment.  After reading The Artist Within and Simple Abundance, this book pales in comparison to wake up my creativity.

I don't know if it is just a major clash between the writer's style and my tastes, but it just didn't work for me.
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A creativity workbook designed to help artists and writers. What makes this book stands out is that it not only gives the reader activities to help spark creatitivity, but it also addresses the creative mindset by reframing the idea of what it means to be creative. The book is organized into sections: beginning, using process, keeping going, being resourceful, and challenges & difficulity. Although there is an order, I did not feel locked into doing every exercise in the order given to me. It feels like a book you can either use as guide during your entire project or just to refer to at any point in your own processes when you need a little guidance. Full of useful tips with a wide range of applications. Highly recommended.
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Have you ever read a book where you and the author just didn't connect/weren't on the same page? This is one of those books for me.

I looked forward to learning how to improve (finding more confidence in) my creativity, but after reading this book, I'm still wondering. Perhaps this book is geared toward an audience at a different level than the one I'm on. I just didn't get it.

Please do not let my review stop you from reading this book if you think it would be helpful to you. 

I appreciate NetGalley and Aurum Press for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I liked this book! 
I am not 100% sure if these exercises will help you if you're stuck in your artistic creations, or if you need influence but it's definitely worth a try. It offers exercises about ways to think and explore your abilities and creative thinking.
I would recommend this book for  newbie/amateur artists. However one criticism is that I tried a few of these exercises and without anyone to give some feedback some of them felt unfinished to me. Still good fun.
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Being Creative isn’t your typical artistic guide book. The intent of this book isn’t to help you draw or paint better, but rather to get you into the artistic mindset, regardless of your chosen art form. In that it is very unique, and is the reason why I really wanted to give it a try.
	This book is set up in five different parts, first is the Beginning, which covers all of the issues with getting started on a creative journey, from the anxiety of starting to failure and success. Next is the Word Process, helping and explaining the concept of the internal camera, how to subvert habits, and so on. Third is Keeping Going; the hardest part about any project is to not drop it, and this chapter covers that; persistence, recording every day, etc. The fourth chapter is on Being Resourceful, which covers more advanced points on artist challenges and mindsets (most of which I had never actually heard of, before this book). And finally the last chapter is Challengers & Difficulty; how to finish a project, the diy parts, saying goodbye, etc.
	This was an interesting and informative read, on the whole. I do think it was a bit dry and points, and would have appreciated a few more examples and explanations in a few points (particularly towards the end with the more advanced concepts). But on the whole I enjoyed it and am glad I took the time to read it. I haven’t tried applying any of these tips and tricks yet, but I certainly am looking forward to doing so. With any luck they’ll help me get out of my winter slump (which may be the real reason this one caught my attention, if I’m being honest). I hope it ends up helping somebody else as well!
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
From the publisher --- 
Everyone is a creative. Everyone can have great ideas. Being Creative looks at how ideas are generated and what is behind innovative visions to give practical tips to inspire creativity that works for you, today and tomorrow.
Starting with innovative approaches to starting and travelling through the ways in which to grow ideas and strategies, Michael Atavar brings his wealth of experience working as a Creative Director to everyday tasks. His distinct voices takes you through the concepts, practices and theories behind innovative thought processes, always, giving you the steps that make sure you not only begin, but continue to unlock your creativity.
Interesting book and premise – I run into so many people that swear that they do not have a creative bone in their body: this book proves that they do and they can. Interesting thought process … usable for all walks of business and life.
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I received an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) from Quarto Publishing Group, Aurum Press and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

I feel really lucky to have happened upon this book. The minute it is released, I plan to purchase a physical copy to keep on my resources shelf, because I think this book provides tools and concepts that can help me access my own creativity well into the future. I apologize for the length of this review, but I thought it was important to explain how this book differs from "how to be creative" books I have read in the past.

This book divides the creative process into five sections: Beginning, Process, Persistence, Methodology and Ending, and offers lessons, examples and exercises for each of these sections. Each of the lessons builds and expands on the concepts from past sections, and at the end of each section, the author provides additional resources for learning more about the concepts introduced and for seeing how other artists have addressed this particular concept.

The lessons and exercises help the reader understand that section's concept; but in addition, Atavar demonstrates how each of the exercises are tools that can foster creative thinking/problem-solving for future design challenges. I found the activities really simple, and presented in a way that they could be easily implemented into my everyday life without adding stress.

But most importantly, this book addresses the "elephant in the room" for all creative people I know—self-doubt about our talent and skills. I love this quote by Ira Glass

    All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have... (read the entire quote here: http://www.exegetic.biz/blog/2016/02/...).


None of my previous forays into the "how to be creative" genre have successfully addressed this self-doubt. Some of them, like Adam J. Kurtz's Pick Me Up, offer activities that are designed to help you think differently about everyday things, while others provide advice or steps to help build skills in a specific creative area.

But, personally, I struggle with the build-your-skills books because even the simplest examples are usually so much better than what I can achieve, that I give up in despair. And although I enjoy the exercises in Pick Me Up, they don't really help me when I am in the middle of a creative "emergency" and am stuck.

Addressing self-doubt is where Being Creative really shines. Atavar asserts that all creatives face self-doubt throughout their career on every single project, and a thematic thread throughout the book is how acknowledging the critical self, and working to hear what it is actually communicating about a particular project, can be used to make the project better. Not only is this the concept that I found most valuable in the book, but is the reason that I believe his approach will be successful for me where others have not.

I do have a few quibbles with the book. The book has illustrations—most are symbolic representations of a concept. Not all are symbolic however—for example, there is a pictorial representation of how to implement one of his suggestions (dividing a notebook into smaller pages). I would have appreciated more of these demonstrative illustrations, maybe more images of his own notebook pages, etc.

Also, I felt as if many of his “case studies” felt unfinished. He talks about a situation where he faced a particular challenge, and how he used the tool he is presenting to solve that challenge—but I always wished I could see more about the final product that arose from that process.

However, these minor issues do not impact what I believe is going to become a very valuable tool in both my personal and professional creative life.
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This title is more "new age" then I prefer. Definitely not my style, or what I promote and recommend.
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At the start of this, I was pumped. I've read other books that Atavar has written and he has serious credentials in the art world. 

The problem is that after the first "lesson" it starts getting very very repetitive and instead of building on the last lesson, it feels like presenting the same lesson over and over again in a new way. 

I did really appreciate that he repeats that everyone is creative again and again. It's something I've always believed and agree that it's fear that holds people back.

By the end though, I just wanted it over. I'll give him some credit and assume that I'm the wrong audience because I already do and practice many of the things he suggests. So maybe it isn't him, it's me, yet I'm not 100% sold on that idea as much as I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

Perhaps we have/had different audiences in mind that could and should pick up this book. I was thinking of my mom, who always says she's not creative and has always been fearful of taking a chance and voicing her opinions about art, style, choosing colors, OMG, anything and everything including putting pictures on the walls. Yet he's sharing stores about his performance art or projects that are big deals, not something that will help someone that doesn't think they are creative "unlock their originality". 

My advice? Flip through it, before making a decision. Maybe it is just what you need or maybe it will be old news.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2357659795
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A charming workbook on creativity with space for writing, great suggestions, and plenty of resources. North American readers might be put off by the UK paper sizes. Don't be.
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