Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough

By Patricia D. Stokes | Go to book overview
Save to active project



This book grew out of things I learned in art school and in advertising, things which I only understood when I became a psychologist.

Psychology obviously is my second career. 1 would say teaching too except that when I was a group head, I taught cub copy writers. That career, the first one, was in advertising. I went to Pratt. I worked at J. Walter Thompson, Ted Bates, Jordan Case McGrath. I wrote on national accounts, primarily on package goods—things that come in packages and are sold on shelves. I worked on food (Wonder Bread, Good Seasons), toiletries (Arrid, Ponds), cosmetics (Avon, Maybelline, Helena Rubenstein).

It was terrific. I even got to work in Tokyo for three years. It was terrific for a long time, and then something terrible happened—I got bored. In a creative business, where I was successful, I got bored. (We'll get back to boredom as a catalyst).

To get un-bored, I went to back to school, to Columbia, for a PhD. I always wanted to be a doctor, a certified expert. Why psychology? I worked in the [creative department,] where success meant solving the same problem, selling the same product, over and over in different ways. Psychologists studied creativity. I read a lot of what psychologists wrote. Much of it was about traits, talent, genius, stuff you have or don't have: not very useful in an advertising agency. The parts that were more pragmatic— training, steps, strategies—never came close to what goes on in a professional school like Pratt or an advertising agency like Bates. Let me tell you something about art school and advertising:


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 168

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?