Book Review: Cultivating Creativity by Maria Fabrizio

Cultivating Creativity by Maria Fabrizio

The author of this book, Maria, is an illustrator and designer. And she also maintains the blog Wordless News. I wanted to read this book because I’m always on the lookout for ideas for becoming more creative, or rather, for ideas to help unleash innate creativity.😀 I think most of us were extremely creative as children – we played make-believe games, doodled on walls, wrote our own storybooks, and spent lots of time daydreaming. As we grow older, sadly, we become less creative, our imagination becomes limited and we need structured, brainstorming sessions at work in order to (ironically) think out of the box and try to come up with innovative solutions.

And many bloggers struggle with expressing their creative voice, merely falling into the trap of doing what’s already been done, and trying to replicate something they see on another blog.

So how can we break out of the mould?

Maria’s Wordless News blog offers one such example. Her blog is “vowel and consonant free”, which means it’s probably not going to rank as well in Google searches. But, if you were to pop by her blog, you’d see images such as this one:


And a link to the article that inspired it, in this case a report about ‘The Underage Girls Of Mexico’s Sex Trade’

An image a day, inspired by a news article. How’s that for creativity? And doesn’t a picture speak a thousand words?🙂

Maria’s book, ‘Cultivating Creativity’, also includes many of the images she has created. This next one is about the danger of toxic metals in some lipstick colors and brands:

Cultivating Creativity

I love this sketch, by the way:

Cultivating Creativity book

I’ve gathered many tips from Maria’s book ‘Cultivating Creativity’ and I’ll share some of them with you here:

  1. Work when it feels best and is more efficient
  2. Log off from email for 4 hours and simply create, enjoying the energy and peace
  3. Don’t have long lunches or eat too much at lunch
  4. Have a “uniform” that you wear everyday so you don’t have to waste time looking for matching clothes to wear
  5. Have a shortlist of choices for breakfast so you don’t waste time figuring out what to eat
  6. Exercise. “The longevity of a creative life comes from non-creative activities”
  7. Journal your thoughts, images and ideas
  8. Have a “blue book” in which you write down compliments and accomplishments that you can read for encouragement when you are feeling blue – get a dose of “intentional sunshine”
  9. Draw without looking at the paper – “the best way to capture a soul is with a blind contour, only looking and not harboring expectations”
  10. “The discipline of being prolific produces quantity, which then leads to quality”
  11. “Failure isn’t failure if you can reflect, learn and grow”


This full-color, illustrated book is available at all good bookstores for just S$27.06 (before GST). Needless to say, you have to go get a copy. Now.😀

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