Media Review: David Usher ‘Let the Elephants Run’ & the Creativity Process

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This might seem to be an off-topic post. However, I’d like to talk to you about the creativity process according to David Usher and review his new book ‘Let the Elephants Run: Unlock Your Creativity and Change Everything’ published by the House of Anansi Press in 2015. The book is in English, comprises 256 pages and available in print and e-book version. I’ve got the e-book as review copy and downloaded the ‘Action Worksheets Companion’ to the e-book edition.

Well, you know David Usher don’t you? From my recent article about him, we’ve learned that he is a half-Thai artist who had Nr. 1 singles singing in English, French and Thai. Thus, this post might after all not appear too odd within the context of this blog 🙂 What is more, David’s insights are indeed super relevant for me the the creation of my blog!

David Usher ‘Let the Elephants Run’

David Usher 'Let the Elephants Run' (photo credit: speakers.ca)

David Usher ‘Let the Elephants Run’ (photo credit: speakers.ca)

You know, it’s sometimes hard to constantly find good topics to write about. Hence, David’s new book comes in the nick of time. The book is described as “an essential guidebook to reconnecting with our imaginations and nurturing our creativity in accessible and productive ways” (Anansi publisher).

Nevertheless, this is not going to be a typical book review since Usher’s ‘Let the Elephants Run’ is not an ordinary book 🙂 Hence, I will focus on the central points of the book and include some recent interviews with David concerning this topic.

‘Let the Elephants Run’ starts off as an unconventional book.  It claims that the creativity process is about letting the child’s mind run free. Thus, David begins his book with a picture of himself as a small boy in his underwear and argues that as a child everyone is endlessly creative because the child does not know any boundaries and is not restricted by limits and rules. Hence, the mind is out to explore things and to get creative. However, as we grow up, life and its demands separates us from our child’s mind. Thus, the book lists reasons that change people and obstruct their creativity.

Thus, it sounds like reviving the inner child which is a term from psychology meaning all that we’ve learned and experienced as children. These qualities are connected with curiosity and wonder. In order to revitalize the child’s mind, ‘Let the Elephants Run’ is also designed as an ‘action book’ that asks the reader to become active, bold and to break the rules by writing and scribbling into the book, for instance. Hence, there is also a survey about creativity.

However, David argues that the conditions for the creative process are never perfect because distractions are always great and present. According to the author, the most important point is to find one’s personal time and mental space for creativity. This may be very early in the morning or late at night, depending on one’s preferences.

In short, the book argues that everyone is able to be creative and if you’ve found your process, then you may also transfer your creative experiences to other areas of your life. According to David Usher, creativity might be inefficient in nature but a necessity, an investment and a transportable skill that leads to transformation. Thus, he invites the reader to break with patterns and to leave his comfort zone.

In other words, this is an invitation to try out unfamiliar things, to leave routine and to become more experimental which again leads to personal development and changes. As a matter of fact, considering David himself, he developed, like the title of the following clip says, from a ’90s rocker to a creativity expert’.

What is more, the book wants to make the reader aware of his inner attitude, whether he is ‘monster  or mice’, i.e. extroverted or more introverted. In a broader sense, the author thus also invites the reader to be more self-confident by trying, for example, a ‘power pose’.

You may take a look inside the book here:


Summing up, we may say that engaging in the creative process is a matter of seizing the moment and to make the most of it. David Usher sets us an example with his work ‘Let the Elephants Run’. Hence, what’s this all got to do with my Thailand blog now? Well, the most important statement of David’s book is that you should always follow your interests because by doing so, other aspects and hence a network of ideas will arise 🙂 This is exactly what I do when creating and writing my blog nearly every day!

Yours, Sirinya

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar david bonnie says:

    I think this guy is typical of 21st C’s triumph of style over content. The only true thing he says is that creativity requires work. Not everyone is creative any more than everyone is athletic, disciplined or intellectually talented. Bunkum.

    • Avatar Sirinya says:

      Thanks for the reply. Of course, it’s a matter of opinion but if one is interested in becoming more creative or to make more of one’s creative efforts, David’s approach might be useful. It’s like making the most of oneself 🙂 Best, Sirinya

  1. 25. June 2015

    […] forward the thesis that creativity is a learnable skill. In this context, please check out my review to this […]

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