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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity [Hardcover]

Hugh MacLeod
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 16 2009

When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog - gapingvoid.com - and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures.

MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person?

Now his first book, Ignore Everyone, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. A sample:

* Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less.
* If your plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.
* Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There's no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.
* The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.

After learning MacLeod's 40 keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world.

Frequently Bought Together

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity + Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
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Product Details

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 tweny-one Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which also named him one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of self-directed "creative destruction" June 23 2009
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 Hirschfeld...an 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore everybody - but don't ignore this book. 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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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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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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