Creative Sparks by Jim Krause
This little book is packed full of ideas, insights and suggestions geared towards designers who want to re-ignite their creativity. Much of the content reminded me of the kind of advice given to students or junior designers (“Just a friendly reminder: burnout is bad.” -p. 225) but there was plenty of content that would benefit any creative person at any stage, such as art project ideas and this reminder to “Invest in Yourself” artistically speaking “How far would your skills evolve if you made it a firm goal to shoot six dozen photographs per week? Dare you imagine?”.
The presentation is quite appealing; each spread features a different design with changes in fonts and plenty of illustrative material. Of course, as a designer myself, I couldn’t help but notice that some of it seemed dated, but then the book came out in 2002—ancient history by design standards. For this reason I’ll be passing the book along to a fellow designer, though I did take some notes for future reference. For instance, I got ideas for topics of conversation with my therapist, and also kept a record of little gems like “Other careers suck too, but at least you get to use crayons” and this bit of advice: “Consider making overachievement your routine” which reminds me all too clearly that having adopted that very attitude from the get-go was definitely a factor leading to my own burnout, which as we know, is a very bad thing.
I gave it ★★★½ (some useful tips, though many of the suggestions and insights were far from new or original)