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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity Hardcover – Jun 11 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (June 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184259X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842590
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"William Dufris reads with humor and liveliness as he shares the author's argument for creativity in a complicated world and steps for personal creativity." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Hugh MacLeod, who worked as an advertising copywriter for more than a decade while developing his skills as a cartoonist and pundit, is the author of the blog Gaping Void.

William Dufris has been nominated nine times as a finalist for the APA's prestigious Audie Award and has garnered twenty-one Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which also named him one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century. He has also acted on stage and television in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on June 23 2009
Format: Hardcover
As I began to read this book, I recalled a situation years ago in which a little girl (probably seven or eight years old) announced that her foot was asleep. What does it feel like? "It feels like ginger ale." I also recalled the response of a French romantic poet (probably Charles Baudelaire, although I am not certain) when asked how to write a poem. Long pause. "Draw a birdcage and leave the door open. Then wait and wait and wait. Eventually, if you are fortunate, a bird will fly in. Immediately erase the cage!" We cannot be creative and be innovative if we are unable to experience the world with the ignorance and innocence of a child.

In this thought-provoking, for some an anger-provoking book, Hugh MacLeod identifies and discusses a total of 40 "keys to creativity." The first is to Ignore Everybody. Presumably that includes little girls with a foot asleep, poets such as Baudelaire, MacLeod, and those such as Seth Godin and I who highly recommend this book. Godin characterizes it as "A work of art, a brilliant insight, a book that will change your life." Well, it hasn't changed mine thus far (and may never) but the material provided has certainly encouraged me to question some of my favorite assumptions and premises. Also, no small achievement, it is among the few books that have caused me to laugh aloud while reading it. Moreover, I very much admire MacLeod's illustrations that clearly indicate an appreciation of other artists such as Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Jules Pfeiffer, Saul Steinberg and Al appreciation that I certainly share.

I am not among those who are offended by MacLeod's frequent use of profanities. In my opinion, they are not gratuitous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Finch on Jan. 8 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title got my attention instantly, sounding like exactly what I was looking for. I was a bit on the fence about reading this due only to the negative reviews I found.
Well, my original judgement was correct, it is perfection.

Each point is kept direct and short, with the perfect amount of impact to drive home the 'key' without rambling. Its a small book with a big punch, strong enough to bust through the mental doubt cloud that can be the artistic brain.
He lays it out for you, how to keep yourself 'sane' and constantly creating, and how to avoid the mistakes so often made. I wouldn't hesitate to gift or recommend this to any artistic person, whether a professional artist in any medium, or a creative person on a traditional career path.

In regards to the negative reviews and remarks I came across, the people who wrote them are, funnily enough, the people who the author says to 'ignore'. Some even criticized the authors artwork and chosen medium. They are just very conservative people with a handful of judgemental opinions, that in my view are complete rubbish.
Please pay no mind to them, they only serve to prove the authors point.

This book is small, but holds the information an artist needs to thrive and succeed. This should be required reading.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of my review is part of a longer quote by the Mr. MacLeod, and that is what brought me to read his blog and then his book.
But, the practical advice that is given in a concise and humorous way is not just about creativity. Mr. MacLeod's keys to creativity can also be applied to life in general. For example, "The best way to get approval is not to need it." and "You have to find your own schtick." This is a fast and easy read, which I appreciated. I don't think self-help or inspirational books have to be weighed down with verbosity.
For me the business card artwork didn't add to the book, but the graphics aren't intrusive so if they don't appeal to the reader, they can be skipped. And for anyone who is concerned about the bad language that another reviewer mentioned, I believe the only language that could be considered objectionable is in the business card cartoons, not the text.
I usually borrow books from the library before making a decision about buying them. This is definitely a book that I'll be buying and thumbing through whenever I need motivation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry Rempel-Mroz on April 5 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what this book would be like when I purchased it, but I'm glad I did. The insights into art and career and creativity are presented in a lighthearted manner, accompanied by the author's business card sketches. But the message is serious and clear. This is a wonderful book - a delightful read, and very thought-provoking.
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MacLeod is offensive, his drawings make little-to-no sense and look pretty terrible, and those are just two of the many reasons why I really enjoy this book (as well as his other books).

What's really helpful is that each "key to creativity" has its own section, which you'd except from any similar book in today's era. The entire book invites plenty of reading and rereading to your heart's content.

Hugh MacLeod and Austin Kleon have both managed to simplify what it means to be creative and how to spend more time doing what you enjoy (versus doing something that someone else tells you to do) in a manner that doesn't feel like a self-help book (though the publication of this work has definitely invited lots of people to pose their creative queries to the author).
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