When Walt Disney decided that he wanted to keep improving animation and make an animated feature, he knew he would have to help his animators get better at more than just animating. They needed to learn about a variety of subjects so that they could harness their full potential. He decided to create a series of lecture classes that included bringing in some of the greatest people in their professions at the time, including Frank Lloyd Wright. Every time I read about these lectures in a Walt Disney biography, I wanted to find out what was in them. “Before Ever After” (affiliate link) gives me that opportunity.Continue reading ‘Before Ever After’: First Look Book Review
The Walt Disney Company has been considered powerhouse in creative endeavors. With its innovations in animation, movies and theme parks, people associate the Disney brand with creativity. So, aside from my two books, “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” what are the best books about Disney and its creative process? Here are my Top 8:
“Brain Storm: Unleashing Your Creative Self” – Don Hahn gives readers practical advice for getting more creativity from life. He uses his life experience and his work at Disney to provide some of the best insights and most fun stories for creativity.
“The Imagineering Way: Ideas to Ignite Your Creativity” – The imagineers explore creativity principles and provide examples on how to add more creativity to your everyday life! Use it in conjunction with “The Imagineering Workout: Exercises to Shape Your Creative Muscles” and get your creative muscles in shape.
“The Imagineering Workout: Exercises to Shape Your Creative Muscles” – The imagineers give you some exercise to improve your creative output in this companion book to “The Imagineering Way: Ideas to Ignite Your Creativity.”
“One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering” – Marty Sklar leads us on an exploration of the rules that imagineers follow to come up with and implement their ideas. Go inside the idea process with the experts at the Walt Disney company.
“Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” – The section on Steve Jobs makes this book about Pixar and creativity worth the read. Ed Catmull does an outstanding job with this story of the Pixar Studios. Read my review at our archive website http://www.penguinate.weebly.com.
“Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms” – Marty Sklar was a prominent imagineer who got his start writing for Disneyland before the park opened. “Dream It! Do It!” is Sklar’s autobiography as it relates to his work with the Walt Disney Company. Check out the review at our archive website http://www.penguinate.weebly.com.
“How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life” – Pat Williams takes an honest and positive look at Walt Disney’s life. Williams pulls out creativity principles using Walt’s biography as the basis for illustrating those principles.
“Walt Disney: An American Original” – Biographies are a great way to get inspired and to dig into what made someone creative. Bob Thomas’ seminal work on Walt Disney was released not long after Disney’s death. It is one of the most accurate portrayals of Walt’s life and how he accomplished what he did. Start here before looking at the more modern biography by Neal Gabler.
Tell us which book on Disney and creativity is your favorite!
In his book “Brainstorming: Unleashing Your Creative Self,” Don Hahn says that a lot of creativity books come off sounding like a Stuart Smalley self-help quote: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” Maybe that should be expected. Creativity is the highest expression of a person’s humanity.
Creativity is at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for self-actualization. Those, who believe in God, also believe that humans are formed in His image to go forth and do math or procreate, which is an act of core creation.
People are at their best when they’re being creative. They flow, they sparkle, they embrace their inner child, they play, and they laugh and find the humor. They love, they forgive, and they ultimately revel in the happiness that creativity reveals in the sore of their own being.
So, while Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” is about becoming your best self, it’s also about becoming more creative. Because your best self is one that is actively participating in making something new. Go out and sing your song, paint a picture, experiment, and write up a storm. You’ll be better for it and so will the rest of the world. Penguinate!