How Creativity Rules the World

The Art and Business of Turning Your Ideas into Gold

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Pub Date Mar 15 2022 | Archive Date Aug 01 2022

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Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Entrepreneurship Category 

Learn to make creativity work for your career.

Anyone, regardless of who you are or what you do, can cultivate the habits, actions, and attitudes that inspire creativity and innovation.

There has never been a more crucial time than now to develop your creativity and your ability to innovate. Coming up with original ideas of value is today’s most precious skill.

How Creativity Rules the World shows that, despite contrary beliefs, creativity can be taught and learned by anyone. Creativity is an inexhaustible resource that is the key to thriving in the business world and beyond. This timeless guide promises to make the creative process of successful seven-figure artists and billion-dollar entrepreneurs—as well as Maria’s own—accessible and actionable for you to take the power of their ideas to the next level.

In How Creativity Rules the World, you will learn how to:

  • Overcome limiting thoughts and dispel myths about creativity.
  • Unleash creativity through concrete data, historical passages, and examples of modern entrepreneurship.
  • Develop timeless habits, principles, and tools that worked six centuries ago and continue to work today.
  • Employ creativity in an everyday context to produce extraordinary results.

With revealing studies and stories spanning business and art, this book is a deep dive into history, culture, psychology, science, and entrepreneurship; analyzing the elements used by some of the most creative minds today and throughout the last 600 years.

Contemporary art curator and founder of The Groove, Maria Brito discovered the power of creativity when she transitioned from being an unhappy Harvard-trained corporate lawyer to a thriving entrepreneur and innovator in the art world. After applying the principles in How Creativity Rules the World to her own business, Maria started teaching them to hundreds of people, ranging from entrepreneurs to artists to CEOs. Proven by her students’ creative successes, Maria will guide you to strike gold with your ideas as well.

Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Entrepreneurship Category 

Learn to make creativity work for your career.

Anyone, regardless of who you are or what you do, can cultivate the habits, actions, and...

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ISBN 9781400235384
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 62 members

Featured Reviews

We are creative creatures even when we think opposite. Creativity is a part of human nature and this book helps to explore, develop and improve creativity levels by providing a great structure and set of actions items that can be used to spark creativity level in all of us. There are a lot of interesting examples on creative ideas and projects and I liked a lot that every chapter has a short summary of things to do, reflect on and take action. Valuable book overall that will help to follow your guts and help to see innovation in opportunities around you.

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I love it when a book title not only delivers on its promise - but overdelivers. Brito has written a masterclass on developing and harnessing one's creativity. Rooted in visual art examples, she provides interesting personal stories and historical case studies on the ways creativity has influenced social and cultural change; dispels myths about creativity; and outlines a blueprint for building habits and flexing your own creative muscles to inform any endeavor. Her law background shines through as she makes her case with colorful context for the examples she provides, and her closing argument ties together the creative lessons while laying the groundwork for each of us to play a role in inventing the future. Highly recommended for those seeking insight into how creativity works, how it can influence, and inspiration for expressing more creativity in your own life and work.

I received a digital pre-publication copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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It is not easy to define a book as "inspiring", but that is exactly what Maria Brito did with "How Creativity Rules the World"! As a young artist who is finding his creative voice and trying to pursue a career in filmmaking, the examples that Brito brings forth to illustrate how creativity is something you learn, and not something you inherently have, is highly motivational for artists and every other individual. The book works great as a motivational read, but it also delivers a very compelling and straightforward look at art through various ages and countries. Well worth a read, a revelatory book that is bound to inspire those that read it!

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I am a person who rarely read nonfiction. But Maria Brito made me enjoy every page of the book since the beginning. Her story about how her grandfather inspired her also inspired me a lot. The way she explained what she wanted to offer is easy to read. It is like I am reading fiction instead.

This book helps to explore, develop and improve creativity levels, and there are many impressive examples of creative ideas that I can learn and apply to my own life.

This book bounds to inspire everyone who reads it.

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This book stays very true to what it promises. It gives a very reliable approach to harnessing creativity and explains the inherent nature of it by citing interesting discourses. Would definitely recommend to artists and others in the creative profession!

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Part history book, part creativity guide, part business manual--one-hundred percent inspirational! I loved how the author combined art history, discussing many artists ranging from Michelangelo to Frida Kahlo to Jeff Koons (and many more), with her own experiences transitioning from a high-powered lawyer to a thriving art curator and dealer to inform readers of not only the creative process but also how this process is used in businesses that have and will continue to transform the world. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for this e-galley!

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I never read nonfiction unless its a memoir. But Maria Brito made this more enjoyable.. Her story about how her grandfather inspired her was nice. This book is bound to inspire everyone who reads it

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Where to begin. I guess first it's important to note that this book is about creative entrepreneurship and the creative process. It isn't a manual to get unblocked (see The Artist's Way for that), although there are a few good suggestions for what to do when you do feel blocked. The primary focus, though is on developing a career that depends on creative thinking.

I was leery of the beginning of the introduction, which dives in with the stock generalizations about people not believing they can be creative, which I thought we'd grown past as a society? IDK. But then Brito turns left into an amazing story about her grandfather in Venezuela that grabbed both my attention and my emotional investment, and boom! Didn't want to put it down.

I took notes, friends. I rarely ever take notes on books like this, but maybe I really should.

Another important point is Brito's background is adjacent to painters and art history, rather than creative writing or other fine arts, so the vast number of examples she draws on are of painters and sculptors, mostly European, and may or may not transfer well to other types of artistic business ventures...or ordinary business ventures that require creative problem solving and/or artistic sensibility. She does make a strong case for consuming art, and especially learning to carefully observe its fine details, as a means to increase one's creative problem solving skills. I hadn't known examining paintings was a required medical school course (to draw conclusions based on infinitesimal detail) but it absolutely makes sense.

I feel more validated in filling my Instagram with art, archaeology, and cats, rather than celebrity influencers. It has been feeding my brain in exactly the way Brito recommends people nourish themselves with museum and gallery visits (in person or virtual: you can see the Met and the Louvre's collections online, after all).

I did not (yet) do the "alchemy lab" workshop questions at the end of each chapter because I'm traveling and don't have the quiet time to devote to them, but they seem extremely well-directed for manifesting ideas, implementing business plans, and recovering from failures.

She says, "Failing is hitting the creative limit of an idea," or something to that effect, which is not a way I've ever seen failure framed before. It's fascinating to recast failure as a thing that happens to an idea rather than to a person. Srsly, mind blown.

I would have liked to see this book delve into other art forms, especially writing fiction and film-making, tbh. I'm also not sure how the magical networking connections that allow artists to become <i>working</i> artists happen. Networking is hell, basically, and also a mystery to me. I realize that How-to-Network is its own book, but it does seem like there would have been room for it here, because as much as creative art can happen in a vacuum, getting it out of the studio and into other people's eyeballs is a crucial step.


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This is an excellent read for all creatives. If you're looking to monetize your art, I recommend picking this up.

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This book is as emotionally touching in the same way as it is smart and creative, and that last adjective being the aim of the message contained here, I have to say that it hitted right the center of the goal. I loved the way that the author chose to expose the facts, the famous names references from artists to elucidate the skills and We can use to improve and exercise the creativity. Well Done.

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An accessible, captivating read about how creativity thrives and drives progress in every field. After each chapter Maria Brito provides an “Alchemy Lab” with questions/prompts and suggested practices that helps reinforce her key messages and allow opportunities for readers to apply their insights and learning. I appreciated this addition! It was fascinating to read the anecdotes and examples of people (mostly famous artists) lauded for their creativity. If other readers take away one message from this, I hope it is the belief that anyone can be creative!

I recommend How Creativity Rules the World to anyone interested in creative pursuits, practicing creativity, contemporary art, art history, and psychology.

Thank you to HarperCollins Leadership and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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I really enjoy reading about creativity from a variety of creators, because I think it’s fascinating to see where those individuals pull their creativity from and how they have harnessed it to make amazing things. When I saw this one available as an advanced reader copy, I was excited to dive in!

Some things I loved:
⚡️ The book addressed many of the common misconceptions people have about creativity, as well as sharing a variety of stories about past creatives and the results of scientific studies done on the topic.
⚡️ The “a day in the life” descriptions of modern and past artists that show how important hard work and structure are when it comes to allowing creativity to flow.
⚡️ Most of the chapters have a section with specific and practical actions one can take to work on a specific area of unlocking creativity, and these are really helpful for self-reflection, self-awareness, and getting creative juices flowing.

Some things I didn’t love:
⚡️ Right from the get go, the book talks about the monetary value of creativity. I can appreciate creativity from an entrepreneurial perspective, but this is a theme that was brought up several times. I didn’t need to see the progression from an idea to its eventual dollar amount or net worth, and those little facts kind of cheapened the value of creativity to me a bit. (Maybe this is more on me, since the cover addresses turning creative ideas into gold. I just felt like was too much of the focus.)

I feel like this book has really useful information, and I got a bit out of it, but I don’t think I was the target demographic for this one. If you’re someone looking at connections between creativity and entrepreneurship, this is the book for you!

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

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I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy read. Loved the way author has described her personal experiences and has helped others to get inspired. It's a well written book with good details. It's a must read for those who self doubt. Creativity isn't inherited. I hardly read nonfiction books but it was easy to get into it.

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This book was everything I needed as a creative. There is so much going on in the world, and art is always evolving, and this book was just an amazing reminder that you have to keep going, creatine new habits to get back into creating again, and I want this book so bad because you can tell she gives you space to write things that you learned from each chapter, this book was just THE BEST! Once it comes out I will be buying this book and walking around together with my sketchbook and pencils.

Thanks Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this gem.

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I loved this book! The title and cover really spoke to me and I'm happy to report that those elements, along with the synopsis, all held true in delivering a thought-provoking yet fun read! We are all creative beings, it's part of who we are as humans. We we born to innovate, make, create, brainstorm, improve and build. I loved the examples that this book offered and flew threw this book as a result. Highly recommend! :)

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If you have been told, "you lack creativity" or you hear that some people, "are simply a creative genius" - this book should be your next read. Whether you purchase through your favorite book retailer or check out of the library, Maria Brito introduces everyone to the possibility that creativity can be learned. In How Creativity Rules the World, Brito addresses all the common roadblocks of creativity. Most useful to me was how to overcome limiting thoughts, how to view creativity as a well that will never run dry and the habits that had propelled others to success. This book will help linear thinkers and big dreamers alike!

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I found this book to be a very helpful guide and look at/into the creative process. Highly recommended.

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I found the way the author worked on creativity very interesting. More than that, I found the division of content into parts very smart. It is a book rich in knowledge and brings many insights. Of the last non-fiction books I've read, this was by far the best. Really enjoyed!

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Maria Brito discovered a new way to approach business, and this is a different kind of business book. How Creativity Rules the World is a quick look into the world of creative business strategies. In order to understand creativity, we must first understand what it means to be creative and who is in that camp. Harvard law school graduate and art history buff, Maria Brito has classified creativity as an inexhaustible resource. It’s for any struggling professionals looking to change up their stale business plan.

Initial Thoughts

The first few chapters, while captivating as a subject, read like a business book. While it can be a bit dry, the alchemy lab turned the tide in keeping me going through the reasons to be creative. I came into this book from a creative’s perspective instead of an entrepreneur’s. The book is clearly geared toward the latter, which made it a slow read. Getting through more allowed more ease of reading and comfort with the writing style.
Contemporary art curator - Maria Brito

Maria Brito has spent years studying creative minds as they’ve curated art exhibitions and shared more about their precious skill. She discovered in her own business that modern entrepreneurship can be as much a creative accomplishment as a lesson in drudgery to become a thriving entrepreneur.

Final Thoughts

How Creativity Rules the World shows how a meaningless life or humdrum business can inspire creativity and foster innovation in any business. Maria Brito has distilled down her experiences with the creative process and successful seven-figure artists to harness their immense creative power.

Creative entrepreneur Maria Brito encourages you to employ creativity by telling stories spanning business and the contemporary art world. She also distilled her years of teaching creativity and her students’ creative successes in this book.

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What a very interesting book how she would hide different things in together and how she explained things from the past to the future and at the end of each chapter she explained how to go about that chapter and it was like a tie in. Learn a lot from this book especially some things I never really realized and realized and it's kind of interesting how things from the way past came into the future like Braque. Our photoshoot came about because of the style painting thrwell I'm painting 3 or 400 years ago and how the modern people in the twenties also did this as well so it was like an evolution like you did the basic thing and then you added a little more flavor to it and then you added another flavor to it and I think that's pretty amazing Especially like how she talked about this black writer and how he did different things But you should read this book especially if you're in business or the arts because I think it would explain a lot to you and how to relate to that. And how creativity is really important because when you get bored you lose interest in the job but if it's a if people let you be creative and thinking to do new things or how to do new things job would be much more interesting and more challenging and I think this book shows you how to do it

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An interesting take on creativity and looking at in a new way. Maria Brito makes you rethink everything you ever thought or had been taught about creativity and find a new way to process it. Making it possible for anyone to find their creative side.

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A great resource for people that want to tap into their creativity a little more, or perhaps are already creatives and merely want to celebrate that. This is an inspiring book that I would recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved the author's enthusiasm and left the book feeling that creativity is something that can be nurtured within myself. I liked the idea that creative people can reinvent themselves over and over again.
Thanks to the publishers and to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review an arc.

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I loved this book! It is an inspirational read that provides solid insight into how creativity is nurtured, applied, and also taken away from people through traditional education and commonly held belifs. Perhaps the biggest take away is the fact that people don't just wake up one day and become creative. People work and develop their skills which allows for a time of trail-and-error in their creative process.

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*A review copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book inspired me to finally start on the creative projects I’ve been dreaming of (and putting off) for months.

How Creativity Rules the World was inspired by Maria Brito’s grandfather who despite being kidnapped, led a life full of creativity, curiosity, and joy. He inspired Maria to explore her creativity, which led to her switching careers at 33. From her ‘dark ages’ of working as an attorney to becoming an art curator, travelling to multiple art shows a week and demystifying contemporary art for everyone, Maria Brito also conducts classes on creativity.

Maria Brito breaks down the aspects of creativity: its myths, habits required to cultivate creativity, how to start your creative cogs and how to maximise it to its fullest potential. It is written in short chapters, each drawing from real-life examples from the habits and successes of famous individuals and the author’s experiences. Enough for a bite-size bit of knowledge and more time to digest. I appreciate the examples in the book, it is relevant, ambitious, and inspiring. Without them, I wouldn’t have known about the Sleep No More experience in The McKittrick Hotel (now on my bucket list), Monet's Water Lilies in Musee de L’Orangerie and other fun Google Searches of things I wouldn’t be able to enjoy. It’s truly a book for general knowledge enthusiasts as well as people who want to learn ways to reframe their thinking.

At the end of every chapter is Maria Brito’s alchemy lab where she writes a few tasks and takeaways from the chapter for readers to practice their creativity. It covers deep reflection on understanding your skills, visualising your goals, establishing confidence, exploring museums, and more actionable tasks that slowly change how you understand creativity.

I think that developing creativity takes time and dedication, and this is a book that works well to point you in the right direction. I'd recommend for you to read it, no matter your field, age or hobbies, you’ll find some knowledge to look at the world around you with a new sense of curiosity.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Leadership for the review copy of How Creativity Rules the World by Maria Brito.

This book was quite fascinating. It was so interesting to see how much creativity affects innovation and business. It was a great book to read slowly.

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As someone who works in a creative field, I was really excited to read this book. I love that it dove into myths of creativity and provided tangible things you as an individual can do to harness your creativity in whatever industry you are in.

This is a great book for anyone who feels like they need inspiration or would love to hear more historical anecdotes about creativity has shaped so many great people and icons throughout the world.

My favorite takeaway was to honor your authenticity - this is a theme that is always harped on, and for good reason. Another was the idea of monotasking - I am the queen of multi-tasking and maybe that's what's hindering my creativity. The book gives you so much to think about!

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This is the ultimate book for those seeking to bridge creativity and business. Rich with stories and examples from the art world and the lives of artists, author Maria Brito busts myths and provides actionable "alchemy lab" exercises to help readers solve problems and expand their capabilities through creative practices. I appreciated the art history lessons and the glimpse into Maria's fascinating world and career as a lawyer-turned-gallerist. I recommend this book for anyone seeking more joy, originality, and satisfaction in their careers or for business leaders who want to spark creativity within their organizations.

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Thank you Netgalley for the e-arc in exchange for my review.

For once, a book on creativity and working in a creative field that didn’t make me roll my eyes. I loved the how Brito framed using creativity to solve problems both on a personal level, but also professional.

Creatives, I think you’ll enjoy this one!

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