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writer Robin Landa talks as compliments the encouragement behind her new book The New Art Of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential.
I interviewed creativity guru Robin Landa as compliments her life and career, her emotion for ideation and creativity, and the job that went into her new book, The New Art Of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential.
Tell Robin Landa who you are:
I am a Distinguished Professor from Kean University USA and a world-renowned expert in ideation. I’m a renowned “creativity guru” and the author of 25 best-selling books on creativity, design, and advertising, including Strategic Creativity: A Business Guide to Advertising, Branding, and Design and The New Art of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential. I have won many awards and the Carnegie Foundation counts me as the ” grand masters of our time”.
When did you first want to write a book?
Sharing my knowledge about my disciplines was and is at the core of my desire to write books. I knew quickly in my teaching profession that I wanted to
write a book. When did you decide to start writing?
A Pearson sales representative (publisher) stopped by my university office to promote the books on their list. He asked me if I wanted to write a book. My answer was a “Yes!” resounding. and forwarded my data to the appropriate publisher.
How long did you fill your first book, from idea to publication?
Pearson (then Prentice-Hall) published my first book about a year later. Unless a book is a high volume, my bestseller Graphic Design Solutions, 6th Edition, for example, takes just over a year from idea to finished manuscript. Depending on the publisher’s schedule (which includes editing, revision, design, production, and distribution), the release date is usually a few months later.
How long did thou complete thine latest book from the first idea to release?
From notion to release, The New Art of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential took 1 ½-years, however, it would have caught less time had I not produced with a co-author and then decided it would be greatest to be the solo writer.
Zoom to the latest version. What made you decide to write The New Art Of Ideas?
I’ve been teaching students how to generate ideas for over twenty years; thousands of them have achieved professional success in creative professions such as advertising, branding, and design, which require bright ideas every day. I also advise and help CEOs and CMOs generate valuable ideas.
Most people, whether in creative professions such as product design, screenwriting, or advertising, or in other disciplines such as engineering, use methods of generating ideas that have not been updated since the mid-20th century.
Brainstorming is a likely suspect for making people feel like they have no or bad ideas about it, because brainstorming forces them to come up with partially or fully formed ideas without being able to implement them. With that in mind, I decided it was important to share my idea generation method, the first since Alex Osborn introduced brainstorming in the 1950s.
What were your biggest challenges in writing The New Art Of Ideas?
My biggest challenge was finding a partner, someone I could trust, to illustrate the book. Luckily, actress/artist Holly Taylor (who stars in Netflix’s Manifesto) agreed to design the cover and illustrate the book. When I first saw Holly Taylor’s talent, I saw it on my TV screen when she played Paige Jennings on The Americans. I then had the opportunity to experience her talent firsthand at Kean University when she was one of my students and built an outstanding creative design and advertising portfolio.
Now we have teamed up to bring this book to life. I am obliged to Holly for sharing this creative march with me. The second challenge was to find someone perfectly suited to write the foreword. When I first saw Lorin Latarro, it was on Broadway. I was later fortunate enough to meet her as an accomplished Broadway director and choreographer (waitress; Mrs.Doubt; In the Forest; Is there still sex in Town?). As I told him when I read his foreword, “Is there anything you can’t do?”
How was your research process for The New Art Of Ideas?
Having already written about the idea and the creative process, I had a lot of research on hand. I spent most of my research time finding suitable and varied case studies for the book.
How did you design the structure of The New Art Of Ideas?
This is a very good question because most people don’t know that mass media or so-called commercial books (which are aimed at the general public) have a specific structure. Here comes the most intriguing part: The first chapter contains the entire premise of the book! Therefore, the first chapter is the most difficult to write.
The following chapters analyze my thesis and I thought it important to include a chapter on Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) and how DEI improves the ideation process. I made a few additions as I wrote because I realized I needed to address the emotional barriers people face when venturing out into their creativity. I have also included some worksheets to make the book user-friendly on a participatory level.
Did you get help with editing and how many edits did The New Art Of Ideas require?
Publishers have a publisher or agent who buys the book. When the manuscript is ready, the publisher or book packaging company (production company) sends it to the publisher. In the past, a publisher would assign a book to a developing publisher, but I haven’t met such a publisher since 2017. Steve Piersanti, editor and founder of Berrett-Koehler, bought my latest book, The New Art of Ideas. Working with Steve Piersanti has been a life-changing experience.
I have been teaching university students and professors for over twenty years, and for the first time since graduating, someone has taken the time to mentor and guide my work. In addition to Steve’s excellent editorial advice, his values, both as a person and as a publisher, are exemplary. Steve sparked my love of writing and my belief in people. If I hadn’t met Steve as an adult, I would never have found anyone generously supporting my work.
What is the first part of writing counsel you would give anybody that inspired you to write a book?
Conduct a literature review to determine what books already exist on the subject, to determine how the concept of the book would fit into the field and advance the discipline or fill a gap.
Can you tell me which books you would like to write in the future?
I’m now co-authoring a book with retired Commonwealth/McCann Global Creative Director Greg Braun in Detroit. Columbia University Press will publish our book Shareworthy: Storytelling for Advertising.
And finally, are you proud of your success? It was worth it?
I am proud of the New Art of Ideas. If people find it useful to gain valuable insights that benefit individuals, society, and our planet, it will be worth it.
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