Best Books on Creativity: Free Your Mind

Since the dawn of man, there have been scrolls, scribes, and storytelling to give ideas on creativity. After some time, scholars, teachers, or just the general folk wanted to share their creations. This is what leads to the best books on creativity.

In our modern world, we’re always put to the test to see how creative we are. As much as I wanted to say that I could whip some fresh ideas out once in a while, they are far from perfect. I want to be unique, but there’s only so much I can brainstorm without being repetitive or similar to other ideas.

So, how do we know if the book is the best book on creativity? Uniqueness is the key to good creativity, and I’m sure you’re interested in ways you can increase your creativity.

There are endless reading options out there, but not all books are worth the read. To become creative, you need a book that truly embodies the full steps in becoming innovative.

No matter what job you’re working on, a little innovation can always come in handy. Although I can name a hundred other instances where creativity has come in handy, I use creativity to help fuel my writing.

But how can the best creativity books help? Business is just one job you’d expect to think on your feet.

Entrepreneurs need to be quick on their feet and come up with instant solutions. If you’re not creatively or actively thinking, then you may be missing out on practical problem-solving ideas. That’s why I recommend enhancing your creativity through these books on creativity.

It can get tiring reading book after book. I want you to be able to sit back and relax and have an excellent eye-opening read. These recommendations are all recent books that I’ve personally read. I believe that they genuinely can help you improve your creativity.

Best Books on Creativity

Creativity Rules: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and into the World

Creativity Rules: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and into the World

Tina Seelig "Creativity Rules" - a hop, skip and a jump through the invention cycle. Tina is amazing. The guidance helps you to get ideas out of your head and into the real world.
Cat Williams-Treloar
Founder/Humanisation
The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm

I don't know if you can teach this kind of creativity, but you can certainly raise your expectations by seeing how well they do design.
Seth Godin
Author & Entrepreneur
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change

Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change

Beth Comstock has written a wonderful book, full of excellent insights and lessons from her hugely successful career. She has recently been elected to the advertising all of fame, and after reading this you will know why. This book is of great value to almost virtually any leader and her stories and examples are told in a breezy way that makes it a joy to read.
Phil Knight
Founder/Nike
Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step

Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step

While I was thinking of the best books to add to this short list, I realized that not even half of them are directly related to digital marketing. This is because I believe that the best marketers are people who understand human nature deeply and aim to bring out the best in it. Call me naive, but that’s how I see it. If I were to want to pursue a career in marketing, I’d read [...] Lateral Thinking.
Andra Zaharia
Freelance Content Marketer/The Content Habit
The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

I’m not really sure what to say about this book. It just kind of re-affirmed a lot of what I’ve been thinking about making art: that it’s important for me to have a day job, so I can separate work from play, and that the more generous you are with your audience (through blogging, teaching, sharing, etc.) the better off you’ll be as an artist—spiritually and financially.
Austin Kleon
Writer, Artist
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

This book is written by the founder of Pixar and is about his experience building a culture that fosters creativity.

His theory is that people are fundamentally creative, but many forces stand in the way of people being able to do their best work.

I love reading first-hand accounts about how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity. This should be inspiring to anyone looking to do the same, and hopefully there will be lessons we can apply to connecting the world!

Mark Zuckerberg
CEO/Facebook
Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life

Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life

Relentlessly generous and endlessly creative, Chase is challenging us to see the shifts in our culture and media as the opportunity of a lifetime. If you care about making things better, this book is here to help.
Seth Godin
Marketer, Entrepreneur
Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life

Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life

I'm currently reading LifeScale by Brian Solis. Oddly enough, it's a book about overcoming digital distraction and boosting your happiness, creativity, and sense of purpose in life. It's a powerful cautionary tale against spending too much time as a digital consumer. As someone who spends - at minimum - 40 hours a week staring at a computer screen where digital distraction is just one click away, I'm always looking for useful strategies for overcoming distraction and maintaining focus. It's already delivering on that front.
Jeremy Boudinet
Marketing Manager/Nextiva
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Another book that has helped me in a specific moment was “Creative Confidence”. I don’t remember which part helped me, but I can remember that I had some mornings in which I woke up at 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning just to start my day reading something creative.
Robert Katai
Founder/Instagramology
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Part of ambition is modeling yourself after those you’d like to be like. Austin’s philosophy of ruthlessly stealing and remixing the greats might sound appalling at first but it is actually the essence of art. You learn by stealing, you become creative by stealing, you push yourself to be better by working with these materials. Austin is a fantastic artist, but most importantly he communicates the essence of writing and creating art better than anyone else I can think of. It is a manifesto for any young, creative person looking to make his mark. Pair up with Show Your Work which is also excellent.
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
The Stoic Creative Handbook: Struggling Creatives Are Driven By Passion. Thriving Artists Are Driven By Purpose.

The Stoic Creative Handbook: Struggling Creatives Are Driven By Passion. Thriving Artists Are Driven By Purpose.

My title, The Stoic Creative Handbook, draws heavily on both Steve and Seth’s work. It was Seth’s altMBA program and The Marketing Seminar that helped me develop the posture and mindset of a thriving artist in all the work I do as a musician, teacher, and writer. Reframing what it means to be “successful” has led me to true prosperity and re-engaged my passion for the work I do.
Scott Perry
Author, Stoic Guitarist
The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

The book just a great job describing how communities through the world and history were able to be more innovative than others. It contains some big surprises too.

Colleen McCreary
CEO/CCKPartners
Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design

Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design

Question: What books had the biggest impact on you? Perhaps changed the way you see things or dramatically changed your career path.

Answer:

  • “Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design” By Laurence Boldt
  • “Horse Sense: The Key to Success Is Finding a Horse to Ride” by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  • “What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack
Christopher Lochhead
Host/Legends and Losers Podcast
The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking

The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking

Currently reading a fascinating book about the brain science of creativity, "The Net & the Butterfly"

Joe Gebbia
Co-founder/Airbnb
Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace

Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Creative Quest

Creative Quest

When Questlove says he’s going to do something, he will find out how to do whatever that is, and become a master at it. I can’t think of a person more suited to write a book about being creative.
Jimmy Fallon
TV Host
Breathe To Succeed: Increase Workplace Productivity, Creativity, and Clarity through the Power of Mindfulness

Breathe To Succeed: Increase Workplace Productivity, Creativity, and Clarity through the Power of Mindfulness

Breathe to Succeed is an excellent prescription for any aspiring or current leader. Sandy Abrams’ new book offers valuable insights into addressing the hectic schedule and constant stress of everyone from an employee to the CEO. By understanding the causes and effects of stress on the human body, Sandy offers tools of the mind and breath to find your way through the storm and achieve optimal health.
Mark Bertolini
Former Chairman & CEO/Aetna
Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education by Sir Ken Robinson - a book for educator or edu-preneur or anyone who wants to make a change in the education realm.
Ng Rong Xin
Co-Founder/Explorer Junior
Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

A phenomenal book on leading creative groups.
Todd Henry
Founder of Accidental Creative

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