Creative Leadership – Essential Reading – #1

A brief review of 101 Things to Learn at Art School – by Kit White.

What’s black and white and red all over?

A newspaper? A sunburnt penguin?

Or maybe…it’s this lot.

Creative Leadership - Essential Reading

These four books which I have been reading and rereading for the last few months have each proved to be outstanding. Rarely do I discover such a rich vein of reading form, and I’d like to share it with you in the form of a brief review of each book, in the order they arrived in my hands.

101 Things to Learn in Art School – Kit White

Carole gave me a copy of this book as a birthday present last year. It’s a thing of wonder, oozing with creativity, simplicity and ideas. Each double page has an illustration on the left, and a thought, idea, practice or provocation on the right. Whilst at first glance this book feels like it’s squarely aimed at the aspiring artist, it’s full of ideas that cross borders into other disciplines too. When applying the book to my practice, I often find myself replacing the word art with the word work, after all – I do believe our art is our work and vice versa. For example:

Making (work) art is an act of discovery. If you are dealing only with what you know, you may not be doing your job. When you discover something new, or surprise yourself, you are engaging in the process of discovery.

Clear sight makes clear (work) art. Observation lies at the heart of the (work) art process. Whether your art derives from mimicking nature or extrapolating a mental construct, your powers of observation are critical. Unless you can see what lies before you, you cannot describe it. Train yourself to eliminate preconceptions and received understandings when observing anything. Try to see what is before you, not what you think you see or want to see.

I have the hard cover edition of the book. It’s a solid, rubber clad, square shaped thing of beauty. I can’t imagine enjoying this volume nearly so much on a Kindle. On the creative leadership dial it points more towards the creative, and I think your work will be all the better for reading it, enjoying it and practicing it. So much has it resonated with me, I have bought several copies of this book for other people as gifts.

Have a great day, next up it’s the turn of The Year Without Pants.


Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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