Innovate. Create. Activate.
If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a while or wondering what to do next here are our some of our favourite books to guide you in the right direction.
How to Draw Almost Every Day
The perfect book for budding artists, How to Draw Almost Every Day challenges and inspires you to draw one simple illustration each day of the year. Organised as a calendar, illustrations are presented as daily exercises. Each image is broken down with step-by-step diagrams, making the process easy to understand. You’ll learn to draw items from everyday life, like food and clothing, as well as seasonal images including snowmen and pumpkins. We have also included inspiring project photos to show you how to incorporate the doodles into greeting cards, calendars, invitations, gift wrap, and more!
Spark: How to Free Your Brain from Technology to Ignite your Creativity
Crammed with practical exercises for anyone who wants to reclaim the power of spacing out’ – Gretchen Rubin, author of #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project.
It’s time to move ‘doing nothing’ to the top of your to-do list Have you ever noticed how you have your best ideas when doing the dishes or staring out the window? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy connecting ideas and solving problems. However in the modern world it often feels as though we have completely removed boredom from our lives; we are addicted to our phones, we reply to our emails twenty-four hours a day, tweet as we watch TV, watch TV as we commute, check Facebook as we walk and Instagram while we eat. Constant stimulation has become our default mode. In this easy to follow, practical book, award-winning journalist Manoush Zomorodi explores the connection between boredom and original thinking, and will show you how to ditch your screens and start embracing time spent doing nothing. Spark will help you unlock the way to becoming your most productive and creative self.
In this mind-bending book, award-winning neuroscientist Henning Beck explains why perfectionism is pointless and argues that mistakes, missteps and flaws are the keys to success.
Remember that time you messed up simple maths or forgot the name of your favourite song? What if someone told you that our brain freezes are actually secret weapons, proof of our superiority to computers and AI? In Scatterbrain, we learn that boredom awakens the muse, distractions spark creativity and misjudging time creates valuable memories, among the many other benefits of our faulty minds. Combining cutting-edge science with brain-boosting advice and rivetting real-life stories, Henning Beck takes us on a fascinating adventure through human memory (one that well all remember differently!).
Don’t/Do This Game
Whatever kind of creative person you are, this thought experiment game will get you out of your comfort zone. How? It stimulates creativity through limitation. Boundaries push you to think beyond the usual solutions and send you in different directions. That’s exactly how you end up with unexpected and extraordinary ideas.
How to play You take 3 “Do” cards that define a unique imaginary project. You need to come up with a solution for this project. But you also get 3 “Don’t” cards, which give you a set of rules.
For Example Do: Create clothing that is also a landmark | For two persons | To become more productive Don’t: Don’t use straight shapes | Don’t make the size static | Don’t use non-recyclable material
The “Do” and “Don’t” cards make you think differently than you normally would. In the beginning, the rules might feel like a big obstacle. But once you start playing, you will see that limitations also give you possibilities. Rules make you think about loopholes.
Play the game by yourself to get inspired, use it as a conversation starter or play it in teams to find out who comes up with the most surprising solution. The outcome could even be the beginning of a real project!
Let it Go
Whether you’re selling your family home, blending households, or cleaning out your ageing parents’ home, sorting through a lifetime’s worth of accumulated possessions can be a daunting and stressful experience. When decluttering guru Peter Walsh went through the process of downsizing his childhood home and dividing his late parents’ possessions among his family, he realised that making these decisions about mementos and heirlooms creates strong emotions and can be an overwhelming chore.
In Let It Go, Walsh helps you turn downsizing into a rejuvenating life change. He offers useful tips and practical takeaways, including how to understand the emotional challenges that accompany downsizing, establishing a hierarchy of mementos and collectibles, calculating the amount of stuff you can bring into your new life, and creating strategies for dividing heirlooms among family members without drama. Change your mindset around possessions and feel freer and happier than you ever thought possible when you learn to Let It Go.
The Illustrated Histories of Everyday Inventions
The Illustrated Histories of Everyday Inventions uncovers the fascinating, humorous, and often unbelievable origins behind the world’s most overlooked innovations!
Nobody knows the backstories behind our most taken-for-granted inventions, like credit cards, egg cartons, windshield wipers, and breakfast sandwiches! But the strange and wonderful origins of these inventions are far from ordinary: They are rooted in forgotten history. Inside this hardcover book, discover the extraordinary true stories of:
the TOASTER — actually the best thing before sliced bread
the PASSPORT — the original Facebook
the TOOTHBRUSH — so much more than bamboo + hog bristles
the PIZZA SAVER — no pie left behind since 1985
SLICED BREAD — at first, no one wanted it
and MANY, MANY MORE of history’s most influential discoveries!
Organized chronologically from 75,000 B.C. to today and illustrated with more than 200 pieces of original artwork, The Illustrated Histories of Everyday Inventions is as beautiful as it is entertaining and informative. Discover who invented BATHING, why some of the first-ever BEDS were naturally mosquito-repellant, how president Theodore Roosevelt’s encounter with a black bear inspired the TEDDY BEAR, and why SELFIE STICKS might be older than you think!
Love from the Crayons
Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
Love is yellow and orange.
Because love is sunny and warm.
Discover all the bright colours and subtle shades of love with this charming new book, featuring everyone’s favourite colouring crew.
The perfect gift for that special someone on Valentine’s Day – or any day of the year – and a must-have for fans of The Crayons.
From the master of imagination Hervé Tullet, comes an irresistible package that makes drawing a fast-paced game of chance. Showcasing Hervé’s signature bold colours and minimalist shapes and lines, this wildly graphic and highly intuitive card game will unlock every young (and old) artist’s creative potential. Select WHAT to draw from one deck and HOW to draw it from the other; then flick the colourful spinner wheel to randomise the options. From “draw a tree with your eyes closed” to “draw a friend… upside down!”, the combinations are endless—and endlessly fun!
The Checklist Manifesto
Today we find ourselves in possession of stupendous know-how, which we willingly place in the hands of the most highly skilled people. But avoidable failures are common, and the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of our knowledge has exceeded our ability to consistently deliver it – correctly, safely or efficiently.
In this groundbreaking book, Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument for the checklist, which he believes to be the most promising method available in surmounting failure. Whether you’re following a recipe, investing millions of dollars in a company or building a skyscraper, the checklist is an essential tool in virtually every area of our lives, and Gawande explains how breaking down complex, high pressure tasks into small steps can radically improve everything from airline safety to heart surgery survival rates. Fascinating and enlightening, The Checklist Manifesto shows how the simplest of ideas could transform how we operate in almost any field.
Five Minutes in the Morning: A Focus Journal
Alarm goes off. Snooze. Alarm goes off. Check phone. Make coffee. Shower. Miss breakfast. Run out of the door.
What if five minutes could change your routine and change your day? What if you checked in with how you are feeling for just those few minutes, maybe sitting down over that cup of coffee or tea, or quietly sitting by the window before you head towards the shower?
Writing things down has been shown to help people more successfully achieve their dreams and goals. It is a way to help us focus on what matters, prioritise what we are going to do for the day ahead and track our progress. FIVE MINUTES IN THE MORNING offers a beautiful space and creative exercises to encourage reflection and intention setting at the start of the day.
All it takes is five minutes in the morning.
Thinking & Eating
The School of Life
It is a daily undertaking – a morning shot of coffee, an absentminded sandwich at your desk, a hastily assembled dinner with the remnants from the fridge… With its every day ubiquity we can make the mistake of assuming that food is of little importance, or simply fuel to see us through the day. But what is its real impact on our emotional lives, and how can we better nourish ourselves? What we eat and how we eat it has a significant impact on our psychological well-being. In recent times, our society has been eager to recruit food to the project of physical health, but we’ve not always paid so much attention to how cooking and eating can assist us with our emotional health. With over 150 recipes, Thinking & Eating shows how ingredients and dishes can be supporters of certain ideas, emotions and states of mind that best help us confront the challenges of existence. In each recipe we discover of the ways in which food can store, memorialise and transmit the most important ideas of our lives.
A unique new guide to creativity from Questlove-inspirations, stories, and lessons on how to live your best creative life
Questlove-musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-around cultural omnivore-shares his wisdom on the topics of inspiration and originality in a one-of-a-kind guide to living your best creative life.
In Creative Quest, Questlove synthesizes all the creative philosophies, lessons, and stories he’s heard from the many creators and collaborators in his life, and reflects on his own experience, to advise readers and fans on how to consider creativity and where to find it. He addresses many topics-what it means to be creative, how to find a mentor and serve as an apprentice, the wisdom of maintaining a creative network, coping with critics and the foibles of success, and the specific pitfalls of contemporary culture-all in the service of guiding admirers who have followed his career and newcomers not yet acquainted with his story.