Download - The Journey of The Creative Brain

  • The Journey of the Creative Brain

    Denise R. Jacobs From the Front / Bologna, Italy / September 2012

  • Tweeting tall tales

    I am: @denisejacobs

    Were at:

    #ftf @fromthefront

    Im telling a story about a: #creativebrain

  • I have a question for you

    How many of us are working at odds with our primary tool for creating and producing?

  • No, I am not talking about your gadgets, computer or the groovy apps contained therein

  • Im talking about your brain.

  • Once upon a time

    upon a time..

  • there was a brain, who was

    There was a brain

  • Who...

    who was oppressed.

  • 1 emancipate

  • Welcome to Cubicalia

    Another day sitting chained to its desk in Cubicalia.

  • (The BossMan)

    Um, yeah. Youre lagging behind, bigtime. I need you to come up with something brilliant and innovative and for, like, today.

  • the pressure!

    Pushed to its limits with no respite, little to no information is getting in, and certainly nothing but steam is coming out.

  • A wise woman once said:

    Make awesomeness. Do good.

    - Leslie Jensen-Inman, MAP4


  • Check your chains.

  • I can show you what you are capable of.

    Check your chains.

  • (empty desk)

    The next time the BossMan passed the Brains desk to bark out more orders, the Brain is nowhere to be found.

  • 2


  • Fleeing Cubicalia

    Fleeing the squat, gray, windowless buildings of Cubicalia, the Brain didnt notice the obstruction in its path.

  • Meet the RaynMann

    It tripped, and tumbling to the ground, the Brain realized that it is a man in a trench coat, with the head of an umbrella.

  • He Hands his business card

    Allow me introduce myself: Im RaynMann: Holistic Cerebralist and Purveyor of Actualization at your service.

  • Labyrinth at their feet

    For the first time, the Brain noticed that they were standing at the entrance of an enormous green and gray labyrinth on the ground.

  • Starting along the path

    As they took their first steps, the RaynMann coughed

  • Cough, Rumble, Flash!

    With a 3-pronged flash of light and a whoosh! they whisked off to their first destination.

  • 3


  • Moving too Fast

    It was overwhelmed by the bright flashing signs, the noise, and the constant feeling of things whipping past him.

  • Ouf! A women appeared out of thin air, falling to the ground with a thud just behind the Brains outstretched arm.

  • Im looking for my brain

    My brain always seems to somewhere just ahead of me, and my soul always seems be lagging behind

  • She Smiles

    She drops the phone to her side and gazes off wistfully across the surrounding scene of blurred shapes and colors of people rushing about

  • Beta v. alpha

    That poor woman in fact all the people of this land as far I can tell are stuck in the beta brainwave state.

  • They could use with a more of what you recommended: slowing down. When you relax, the brain actually works better and you can create more

  • Close your eyes

    Can you get into alpha on purpose? Absolutely. Close your eyes

  • But relax!

    No, like that stop scowling and relax.

  • The Alpha Brainwave state

    Being in alpha also helps your brain hemispheres work in a balanced synchronized manner, with electrical impulses jumping easily back and forth between them

  • The Left hemisphere

    The left hemisphere is made of neatly stacked vertical columns, much like pancakes, which allows the clear differentiation of separate mental functions, but less integration of those functions.

  • The right hemisphere

    Creativity comes from giving the right brain a chance to leverage the axons in the brain (aka white matter) to access all of the information stored in other places of the brain and putting it all together in a new way.

  • The satori moment

    Expanding those in-between moments is often the source of ideas.

  • A Wise man once said:

    Genius is the offspring of the in-between.

    - Jonathan Fields

  • Communication Addiction

    Indeed. Shes suffering from a very pronounced case of communication addiction

  • Lo-fi time

    The anecdote? Lo-fi time: time away from technology.

  • A wise man once said:

    Dont force creativity. Allow it to come to you.

    - Erik Ford, To Sketch or Not to Sketch

  • 4 collaborate

  • It looked like an assembly line

    They landed in a huge room of tables with countless numbers of people sitting at them, doing rote actions over and over again.

  • Man with no name

    A man who appeared sad and lost, with a round belly wearing a saffron-colored robe walked amongst the workers looking like he planned to interject some useful information

  • The Land of Paravel

    I hear that there is a land called Paravel where the people there work with their best friends, using their complimentary talents and skills to create amazing things

  • The importance of play

    That land has shown that friendship can be a shortcut to productive play that creation amongst a group of people happens in a secure, relaxed, and encouraging environment.

  • A wise man once said:

    When you are playful, you are activating the right side of your brain. The logical brain is a limited brain. The right side is unlimited. You can (do and ) be anything you want.

    - Madan Kataria, The

    Laughter Guru

  • Disposable prototypes

    start with disposable prototypes so that they can think with their hands and work out the problems of the item as they make it

  • Soon the room was abuzz

    People shimmied, mash-potatoed, cabbage-patched and thriller-danced through the aisles

  • Infectious laughter

    But the laughter and joy was highly infectious, and he started to laugh himself. In a short time, he was laughing uncontrollably

  • Aha moment

    it's during the let-go period that that gamma spike is most likely to arise, along with that "aha!" moment.

  • A wise woman once said:

    Bursts of creativity and insight are just like bursts of laughter: surprising and delightful.

    - Denise Jacobs, The Journey

    of the Creative Brain

  • 5


  • An epiphany

    The moment the Brain stepped foot in the center of the labyrinth, it realized why it had suffered so much in Cubicalia

  • There is an alternative

    Indeed, there is a road less traveled; an alternative way of being that the Brain had only hoped for.

  • Embrace paradox

    In order to do so, however, it has to embrace paradox.

  • A wise man once said:

    Creativity is the merging of two incongruent ideas: creativity is about embracing paradox.

    - Frank Chimero, Build

    Conference Nov. 2010, The Shape of Design

  • RaynMann was no longer at its side

    It turned back to see the RaynMann, still in the center of the labyrinth, starting to fade away behind a wall of light drizzle.

  • 6


  • return to cubicalia

    Upon its return to Cubicalia, the Brain, now feeling fairly fearless, went directly to see The BossMan.

  • I have just one thing to say:

    "BossMan, talk to the hand!"

  • Practices that encourage alpha

    It instilled practices that encourage alpha, like deliberate unstructured time for walking, changing context, daydreaming

  • Incorporate play

    Playful collabation, improvisation and plussing

  • Seriousness sucks

    Taking oneself seriously is verboten everyone must practice unselfconscious creation

  • Seek problems to solve

    The brain was on a roll, and eventually added practices for leveraging eustress by encouraging people pursue problems to solve

  • Transforming diffused focus

    Turning distraction and inefficient work

  • To creatively productive focus

    into focused creative productivity and flow states!

  • 7 innovate

  • Changes from Bettah Balancia

    The balanced and now wildly productive creative brains of Bettah Balancia caused the land to become prosperous and abundant beyond measure

  • Not only that, but

    and were an endless fount of inspiring products and services that were not only innovative, but that also contributed to the greater good.

  • Questions abounded

    Word traveled swiftly to the other lands, and soon, many were clamoring to know the secret of the land of Bettah Balancia: How?!

  • WTF?!


  • The End

    (Or is it just the beginning?)

  • (My) Articles for Further reading four-secrets-enhancing-creative-productivity



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    My chapter is

    The Missing Element of Redesign: Story

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  • Original cover art

    Americo Salas Morales (sister)

  • This presentation is Dedicated to

    My Grandmother, Robbie Mae Lowe (aka The Bug) My Grandfather, William James Lowe, Jr. (aka Lowe)

  • I tell stories. I design. I teach. And I evangelize creativity. [email protected]

  • Thank You!

    Now its really The End!