It’s easy to regard art and business as two wholly separate areas, but Whitaker (Museum Legs) shows how to seamlessly blend the two, offering a holistic and original approach to achieving success as an innovator. She explains that both creativity and planning are needed to establish and sustain any successful idea. At once philosophical and practical, this book challenges current perceptions of the ways that ideas (and their by-products) come to life. Whitaker insists that every great idea began “in the weeds”—that is, with the creator unsure whether the initial inspiration would ever bear fruit. Her examples include Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird; Thomas Fogarty’s balloon catheter, a revolutionary medical invention; and the start-up that eventually became Google. The main point Whitaker makes is that to turn a great idea into something tangible, it’s necessary to create a space for it by developing a business model and strategically investing time, energy, and money. For any readers nursing ideas they’d like to see become reality, this well-researched and engaging book is not to be missed. 60 line drawings. Agent: Pilar Queen, McCormick Literary. (July)
In an age of engineering, it also helps to think like an artist. In this fascinating book, Amy Whitaker explores how to apply art thinking to our businesses and our lives.
An eloquent, inspiring book that will help creative people bring their ideas into the business world-and businesspeople become more creative.
Let Amy Whitaker introduce you to Art Thinking a way of looking at your career that marries commerce and creativity. Whether you’re in a large organization looking for a way to carve out time for innovation, or a lone artist who wants to work smarter, there’s something for you in this book.
Art Thinking is a spiritual guide to practical endeavor. It embodies a deep belief in both art and the market and the capacity of each to draw out and support our individuality. It also embodies a belief in the power of collectives: of conversations, businesses, and networks. Wise, savvy, humane, and beautifully written, Art Thinking is a celebration of the act of bringing new things into the world, including yourself
Insightful and engaging, Amy Whitaker has important things to say about the business of art, the art of business, and the art and business of being human.
A singular book that can help starving artists be better fed, and empower business leaders with the agility and openness of an artist’s thinking process. Through thoughtful examples that span centuries and industries, Amy makes the case that innovation, empathy, mindfulness, and commercial success are inevitable outcomes of art thinking.
The beautifully written, Art Thinking, shows us that a mindset of art and tools of business don’t need to be mutually exclusive-we can all dream big, embrace uncertainty, work passionately and live a sustainable life of creativity.
What color is your parachute? Art Thinking brings right and left brain together to create a palette of possibilities.
Whitaker’s approach could not be more timely. Whitaker takes the human from the humanities and injects it back into the business world. She provides a program to cultivate art thinking, and how to leverage creative failure into progress, invention, and new products and services.
Whitaker offers a rich array of theoretical challenges and practical solutions as she reflects on the thorny question of financial compensation for creative work… Art Thinking can be read as a business book for artists (however defined), a handbook for managing creative teams or a philosophical treatise on the nature of art and how it is made.
A cheerful, encouraging, and practical guide to creativity… Whitaker proves herself a genial, informed companion for a journey toward ‘creative flexibility.’
This is a detailed framework for applying an artistic mind-set to daily living using the tools and language of business. Whitaker (entrepreneur in residence, New Museum Incubator, NY; Museum Legs) holds an MBA from Yale University and an MFA in painting from University College, London. With a blend of warmth and rigor, the author draws on her background teaching business to artists, designers, and administrators, outlining seven principles to guide readers who want to explore both the risks and invaluable rewards of creative work. Central to these tenets is the importance of habits such as setting aside "studio time," with the understanding that innovation succeeds when one incorporates discipline as well as flexibility. The author further asserts that valuing process rather than a fixed product allows for the possibility of failure. Claiming the significance of artistic endeavors that lead to an eventual profit or reinvestment and therefore to further opportunity is an important intention. Business case studies and insights from an array of inspirational figures illustrate the principles Whitaker sets out in the introduction. VERDICT This book is for anyone who wants to make art that is commercially viable as well as those who wish to strengthen business with the vision and energy of innovative integrity.—Bernadette McGrath, Vancouver P.L.
How to foster creativity in any workplace.Leonardo da Vinci is one among many artists, scientists, business entrepreneurs, athletes, and writers whom Whitaker (Museum Legs: Fatigue and Hope in the Face of Art, 2009, etc.) investigates in her cheerful, encouraging, and practical guide to creativity. "This book," she writes, "is a meditation and a manual, a manifesto and a love story, for how art—creativity writ large—and business go together. It is about how to construct a life of originality and meaning within the real constraints of the market economy." Having earned both a master's of business and a master's of fine art, Whitaker aims to merge "the mindsets of art" with "the tools of business." She advises setting aside space "for open-ended, failure-is-possible exploration" without being afraid of uncertainty; finding a guide, a colleague, and other allies to become part of one's creative team; and broadening one's definition of creative activity to include the "practice of friendship and the invention of play," civic involvement, spiritual enhancement, "exploration of the body, in sports or dance or movement," music, storytelling, and visual design. Taking a "portfolio approach," writes Whitaker, balances "steady and low-risk" parts of one's life with more risky forays into art. For the author, the process matters more than the end product, and she warns against "excessive monitoring and reporting." As she notes, many successfully creative people began as failures: Elvis Presley failed music class; Michael Jordan was cut from his high school's basketball team; Dr. Seuss' first book was rejected 27 times. Just as failure is no excuse for giving up, easy success can stunt "the muscle memory of resilience." Creativity, the author claims, is primarily an expression of one's unique selfhood: "You are an amalgamation at any point in time that is snowflake-like in its irreproducibility." Whitaker proves herself a genial, informed companion for a journey toward "creative flexibility."