A Technique for Producing Ideas
// Picture It
Creativity talk is hot right now. There are lots of speeches, workshops and books dedicated to it. I've taught a couple of creativity workshops myself, centered around Design Thinking which is most famously espoused by IDEO and Stanford University. But creativity itself isn't new.
Recently, I came across the attractive little book, A Technique for Producing Ideas at a library sale, written by James Webb Young, back in 1940. It looked so simple, short, and sweet, that I bought it for use as a prop in my office – an amusing relic of simpler times. Much later, I took the time to read it, but with the confidence that the subject is both too complicated and too mysterious to be codified in such a teeny text. However, it didn't work out that way.
James Young Webb was an advertising guy and his book grew out of a speech he gave to students at the School of Business at the University of Chicago. It was such a hit, he turned it into a book and it's been in print ever since.
James Webb Young's focus here is on the steps of coming up with new ideas that solve problems. Problem-solving is in illustrator's primary job. It's not drawing or painting or self expression that makes us valuable, it's the creation of visual communication concepts. Drawing, painting and expression serve the ideas.
Five Steps for Producing Ideas
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