Book Swoon | Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire

Book Swoon | Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how my creative process works ― namely why I wake up some mornings with boundless creative energy, and others I wonder if I’ll ever make anything again.  The more I read about studies on creativity, the more I find that these polarized feelings aren’t unusual. Also it seems like the more I know about the creative mind, the less it intimidates me.  So, I’m in the process of reading every book I can find on creativity and I’ll post my reviews here on the blog.  Join me if you want to unravel your own creativity or just learn more about how creative brains work!

In Wired to Create psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and creativity writer Carolyn Gregoire joined forces to unravel the mysteries of creative minds from the viewpoint of science and history.  They explain how writers, artists, and makers throughout history (like Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Michael Jackson, and Thomas Edison) struggled and adapted to their sometimes tumultuous creative minds.

Each chapter explores one of the ten habits and personality traits of highly creative people:

  1. imaginative play

  2. passion

  3. daydreaming

  4. solitude

  5. intuition

  6. openness to experience

  7. mindfulness

  8. sensitivity

  9. turning adversity into advantage

  10. thinking differently

If you’ve ever wondered why you seem to have a messy, unorganized mind, or why you get your best ideas when you’re washing dishes or driving to work (and no ideas come when you’re at your easel/typewriter/studio), then you will love this book.

Some of the most important takeaways from this book are that:

  • artists need time to play and daydream.  I always look for ways to make every task “productive”, and feel guilty when I just take time to do nothing.  This book helps explain how doing nothing IS work for creatives, and in fact it’s the most important work we’ll ever do.

  • creativity is a choice, not an innate personality trait.  The more we practice creative tasks, the more easily our brains can reach a creative state.

  • solitude is essential for creative minds to function properly.  If you don’t allow yourself to have some solitude, the ideas may never come.  Even when we feel guilty telling our friends/family/spouses that we need a few hours alone, we must take that time for the sake of our creativity.

This book has definitely changed my view of my own creative process, and I would recommend it to any creative mind who wants to dig deeper into their creative process!

You may also like some of my iPad Art & Design classes:


Society 6 for iPad Artists and Designers: Sizes, Orientations, and Sharable Mockups

In this class, you’ll learn how to create and fill your Society6 shop using your iPad. You’ll learn how to create and prepare work for Society6, and get tons of tips for maximizing the number of products you have for sale and minimizing the amount of time you spend uploading and resizing.

Folk Illustrations on Your iPad in Procreate + Free Paper Texture & Folk Art Brushes for Procreate

Learn three different ways to create modern folk style illustrations on your iPad in Procreate.

Vintage Hand Lettering on Your iPad in Procreate: Layouts, Borders, Flourishes

Learn how to create vintage style hand lettering layouts and decoration on your iPad in Procreate + get all of my vintage brushes and resources.

Metallics on Your iPad in Procreate: Glitter, Sparkle, Shimmer + Free Metallic Textures and Brushes

In this class, you’ll learn three ways to use metallic textures on your iPad in Procreate.  When you watch the class you’ll get all of my metallic textures and brushes as free downloads.  The set includes 50 glitter, shimmer, and gold foil textures, and 17 different brushstrokes, sprays, and splatters that we’ll use with the textures.


iPad Surface Design in Affinity Designer: Vectors, Textures, and Repeat Patterns

Learn how to use Affinity Designer to create surface pattern designs on your iPad.  I’ll show you everything you need to start designing pixel perfect patterns in Affinity Designer, and share all of my vector assets with you as free downloads, so you can start designing patterns as soon as you get the app.



Botanical Illustrations on Your iPad in Procreate + 15 Free Procreate Brushes

Learn how to create 3 different styles of botanical illustrations on your iPad in Procreate. When you watch this class, you’ll get all of the brushes and resources I use to create my botanical illustrations.  The set includes 15 Procreate brushes and stamps, and over 150 reference photos of plants and flowers to get you started.


Create Paper Cuttings on Your iPad in Procreate + Digital, Hand Cut, and Cricut Machine Cutting

Learn how to create both digital and real paper cutouts designs on your iPad.  We’ll create the designs in Procreate, then use them to create digital images, and printable images for cutting by hand or with a Cricut cutting machine.  I’ll show you all three options, so you can choose what works best for your personal style!


Recipe Illustrations on Your iPad in Procreate + 26 Free Procreate Textures and Stamps

Learn how to create unique and eye catching recipe illustrations on your iPad in Procreate.  I’ll show you three different illustration styles, so you can explore which one works best for your personal style.



Design a Digital Planner on Your iPad: Buttons, Stickers, Textures, & Tabs

Learn how to use your iPad to create and decorate a digital planner with tabs, pre-cropped stickers, and tons of layers and textures.  We’ll start with the planning process and go all the way through exporting your file and sharing it online.