Creative Storytelling Research: Build Your Own Atlas

In my previous posts I talked about how to jump-start your creativity by busting your mind-numbing routines, setting up creativity-enhancing rituals, and about creating your own tailor-made notebook to collect your thoughts and ideas. Now that you’re off the starting block, creative juices flowing, let’s go to the next essential step on your creative journey: research. Why is research essential? Because it tests your assumptions, it lets you discover new ideas, it makes your project unique and… Read more »

Paperbrain: The Perfect Notebook for Your Ideas

Starting a creative project is similar to jumping into a cold mountain lake. You know you want to do it, but as your toes curl around the edge of the pontoon you can’t quite get yourself to jump. I get that feeling right after clamping a 48” x 48” canvas to my easel. Confession: I take the ladder in. The way I ease myself into any new project is via my sketchbook. It is a compendium of false starts, brilliant… Read more »

Daily Rituals: How to Get Into the Creative Zone

Nothing is as intimidating as the blank page. Or the blank canvas. Or the cursor blinking in the top left-hand corner of your new email. When the page is blank, the mind goes blank. No ideas come. This anxiety-inducing moment often triggers opening Facebook or sparks an irrepressible urge to reorganize the book shelf. Procrastination sets in. Easier, lesser tasks are completed instead of taking a crack at the creative challenge. Creativity demands that you walk down a new path,… Read more »

Routine-Buster: How to Disengage the Auto-Pilot

In French there is a saying: metro, boulot, dodo, which loosely translates into subway, work, sleep. These three little words are used to describe how we can get trapped in a mind-numbing work routine which makes us feel like we’re on a gerbil wheel, spinning our days away. I’ve been there. In my first job as a junior designer in London, England, my daily routine became so automated that one day on the Undergound I changed trains on Baker Street… Read more »

Art School Confidential: Why Artists Make Good Business Leaders

If ever I climb onto my soapbox, it’s because I’m advocating for creativity – in business, in education, and in everyday life. Imagine my delight when I spotted an article titled Is an MFA the New MBA? in Fast Company‘s Leadership column. Should business leaders and HR department heads start to consider applicants whose four years in university earned them a fine arts degree instead of a business degree? My wholehearted response: yes, absolutely. Businesses today promote… Read more »

Planning a Photoshoot? Some Useful Tips

As I am writing this post, Kim and I are still in the process of finalizing the Sproutive website. We have all our content pretty much lined up, but we recently realized that we would need new head shots and a few photos for the home slider. This meant we needed to schedule a photoshoot. Kim had already worked with a photographer she really liked, so we decided to book a session with the very talented Elizabeth Delage…. Read more »

The Shortest Short Story: Your Tagline

When we talk to business owners about marketing, Kim and I stress the importance of brand narrative. What is the story of your business? What is your mantra? What is important to you? Typically companies address these kind of questions in their company philosophy. And typically, these are long-winded, spongy affairs, stuffed with platitudes and clichés, extolling “excellence in customer service” and “a commitment to quality.” (Excuse me as I suppress a yawn.) Company philosophies are as boring to read… Read more »