Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity” as Want to Read:
The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  702 ratings  ·  158 reviews
What does an idea look like? And where do they come from? Grant Snider’s illustrations will motivate you to explore these questions, inspire you to come up with your own answers and, like all Gordian knots, prompt even more questions. Whether you are a professional artist or designer, a student pursuing a creative career, a person of faith, someone who likes walks on the b ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shape of Ideas, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Shape of Ideas

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  702 ratings  ·  158 reviews

Sort order
Mutasim Billah
I came across Grant Snider's work on Facebook, through his page Incidental Comics . His illustrations mostly deal with the struggles of a creative mind trying to cope with life and rinse out some art.

The book is divided into ten parts full of sequential art.

-> Inspiration
-> Perspiration
-> Improvisation
-> Aspiration
-> Contemplation
-> Exploration
-> Daily Frustration
-> Imitation
-> Desperation
-> Pure Elation

Grant Snider didn't aim to make this book look like an answer
David Schaafsma
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This book reminded me of an Academy-award-winning short from the seventies, Why Man Creates:

Culled from comics created for Snider’s Incidental Comics site, it’s very attractively—shall we say creatively?—designed, sweetly colorful, with plenty of reflections about the nature of creativity, philosophy, therapy, advice. It opens with a letter to The Reader that makes it appear to be intended as a textbook. As a writer, I have not typically found these books
It was not as good as expected but beyond my expectations of goodness :)


Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
IDEA-a very small word with only four letters. Yes, the word is tiny, but the universe of possibilities that it hides within those four letters is vast! One simple idea can change things in greater ways.

But is it really easy to come up with an idea? No, it is not as easy as it seems to be.

So why are we talking about this silly word? Because-

Ideas matter. Ideas make things. Ideas change things.

Ideas can be different. Ideas can be strange. Ideas can be lame. Ideas can be peaceful.

Ideas can pop
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was truly a unique idea and amazingly done. I loved every part of this graphic novel and would suggest creative thinkers give this a go and would get a lot more out of this!
Tukunjil Nayeera
Shaun Tan এর গরাফিকস নভেলের উপর ভালো লাগার রেশ কাটতে না কাটতে নতুন একজন গরাফিক আরটিসটের সনধান পেলাম যার ই-বইয়ে রীতিমতো বুদ হয়ে আছি! হারড কপি হাতে পেলে বোধহয় অতি আননদে পাগল হয়ে যাবো! অথচ আজকের আগেও Grant Snider ছিল সমপূরণ অচেনা একটি নাম। লেখকের (নাকি আঁকিয়ে বলবো?!) অফিসিযাল ফেসবুক পেইজ Incidental Comics সমপরকেও আজকের আগে অজঞাত ছিলাম। Mutasim Billah এর লোভনীয় রিভিউ পড়ে নতুন জঞান সঞচয় করলাম। গুডরিডস একটা মযাজিকযাল জায়গা! এক ঝাঁক ঝলমলে সাহসী পাঠকদের বদৌলতে নিতযনতুন কত কিছু জানা যায়!

The Shape of
Stewart Tame
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent and rather whimsical exploration of the creative process. This is a collection of one and two page cartoons dealing with creativity. Not all are funny, but humor isn't really the main point. Most of the laughing I did came from recognition of some insight or truth that Snider encapsulated so perfectly. Anyone who's been even the tiniest bit creative--even just writing a review for Goodreads, for instance--will appreciate this book. Snider has a nice, clean, warm style going for him. ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
"Today I will do nothing... but encourage the grass to grow greener, wait for the flowers to unfurl, analyze the ambitions of robins, study the physics of squirrels, read the writing of branches on the sky, as the wind turns my unread pages. I will master the pursuit of aimlessness. Today is a holiday dedicated to boredom." pg 72

I really liked this one. It was poetic, interesting and engaging. Can be pretty relatable and puts things into perspective. This is definitely the kind of book I could r
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was fun and inspirational. As an artist and writer I knew exactly what he was talking about in the process of creativity! The art was amazing and fun. Well done!
Asma Akhi
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
গুডরিডসবাসীদের অনেক ধনযবাদ।
এতত ভালো আমারতো হারডকপিই কালেকট করতে ইচছে করতেছে। ^_^
হাঁটুপানির জলদস্যু
সনাইডারের ছবিমালার কয়েকটাকে কবিতা থেকে আলাদা করা মুশকিল। "ছবিতা" একটা পৃথক জাতিবাচক বিশেষয হতে পারে এর জনযে। বিষয়বৈচিতরয এই ছবিতার বইয়ে নেই বললেই চলে। কিনতু একটা কিছুকে যে কতো হরেক দৃষটিকোণ থেকে দেখা যায়, এবং দেখানো যায়, সেটা সনাইডার হাতে-কলমে করে দেখিয়েছেন। কিছু ছবিতা গড় মানের, কিছু হয়তো গড়েরও নিচে, কিনতু বাকিগুলো খুব সুনদর, এবং ভীষণ বুদধিদীপত। অলপ কয়েকটা রেখা আর রঙের কারিকুরিতে এতো সূকষম রস ফুটিয়ে তোলা খুব কঠিন, সনাইডার সেটা এতো অনায়াসে করেছেন, নতুন করে মুগধ হতে হয় পাতায় পাতায়। এরকম বই আরো চাই ...more
Krista Regester
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing art!
Simant ♥ Flipping Through the Pages
Thank you NetGalley and ABRAMS for providing this ARC in exchange of an honest review

Actual rating: 3.5/5

A truly unique book with lots of great ideas and beautiful illustrations. I have never seen any work of author Grant Snider before. I went to reading this without too much expectations. But it was too good for the first time read of the author.

The books has been divided into 10 different categories: Inspiration, Perspiration, Improvisation, Aspiration, Contemplation, Exploration, Daily frustr
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, cartoons
This is a collection of cartoons by Grant Snider, which you can see on his website at Incedental Comics. If you like the sort of humor he exhibits there, then this is definetly a good collection to pick up and have in one place.

I found, however, never having read him before, that it seemed a little much to have it all at once, that yes, I get what you are saying, and what you said three pages ago, and yes you were amusing, but what a long book of cartoons. There were a few that I laughed at, or
Nakwan sriaru
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shape of idea
Grant Snider

ลายเสนแบบนีคุณอาจคุนตา เพราะสามารถเสพไดฟรีๆ ทีเพจ incidental comics ซึงสวนใหญคือไอเดียกระจุกกระจิกทีจบใน 1-2 หนากระดาษ วาดวยเรืองความคิดสรางสรรค และบอยครังกลาวถึงแรงขับดันภายในทีปะทุออกมา แตไมไดพูดดวยทวงทาโออาหรอกนะ ติดจะถอมตัวและมีอารมณขันนิดๆ เหมือนทีผูเขียนเลาไว วาคิดอะไรไดกจดๆ เอาไว แลวคอยมานังวาดตอนกลางคืน (กลางวันเขาเปนทันตแพทย)

ไลสายตาไปแตละชองอาจไมถึงขำกาก แตเพียงพอใหยิมมุมปาก ผมตามอานเปนประจำ และติดงอมแงม พอรวมเปนเลมกดูมีเนือมีหนัง และชวยบำบัดยามสินไรไอเดียและซั
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute cartoon book about the struggle to come up with ideas.
J & J
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was just too cutesy for me...I don't mind some graphics/drawings but this was too much like a cartoon with no punchline.
Pooja Pimputkar
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Make a fresh brew of coffee, put on some jazz-soul-alt rock and jump into this book experience ! Better still, do all this on a Sunday Morning !

You may already be familiar with some of the profound concepts mentioned in this book.
But the book presents them all in a coherent flow of the creative process, with beautiful illustrations!
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you think you don't have ideas , indulge in this book and you will realise where your ideas evaporate into. Minimal illustrative depiction of people who tend to live more inside their heads than out in the world.
Emily Mills
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great graphic collection of cartoons about everything, especially creativity and ideas. These comics will find you saying "me too!" a lot of you're a human, and especially so if you're a designer, illustrator, or creator. I love the creative way Grant visualizes concepts!
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple illustrations bring to life the obstacles we face and hopefully overcome throughout the creative process.
I first started seeing these cartoons about creativity on Facebook, and some of them really spoke to me. In Grant Snider's first book, some strips are stronger than others, but he consistently looks at abstract ideas in a unique and simple way. My favorite thing about him is that he is a practicing orthodontist:

34 - hitting a wall
57 - disclaimer
67 - balloon
71 - colors
73 - pay attention
80 - spiral
120 - American Art
136 - creative thinking
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I first heard of Grant Snider's Incidental Comics through the variety of book-related Facebook pages I follow (he frequently draws comics that relate to reading).

This book, a collection of his works, is just as delightful as I expected it to be. The only reason I'm not buying a copy of my own is that it wasn't actually as book-centric as I expected it to be! BUT it's great (probably) if you're a creative type (which I am not). I'd say the majority of comics had to do with inspiration, or lack of
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the subtitle of this book—"An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity" because I feel that's the essence of this book. I've read a couple reviews that indicate that this book isn't great at motivating or being a self-help book. However, I'm not sure that's what it's meant to be.

If you've ever consciously engaged in the creative process in any way (art, writing, creating in any form including sewing, fiber arts, paper crafts, anything!) you'll find some familiar feels in this book. From var
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Emily gave me this book for xmas and I love it a lot
Ieva Naikienė
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Inspiring, reliefing, humorous piece of art.

Amazing book! I would compare to favorite CD of an artist that you can never be tired listening of. And from whichever track you want – all of them are perfect, makes you dream, laugh and think.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An amusing and thoughtful collection of comic strips about the very broad concept of ideas. Snider gets quite creative visually in order to explore the topic. He is also quite adept at looking at it from many different angles. The book is helpfully split up into a number of sections which break apart the concept. These are: Inspiration, Perspiration, Improvisation, Aspiration, Contemplation, Exploration, Daily Frustration, Imitation, Desperation, and Pure Elation. The headings alone give you a c ...more
Aude Odeh
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been following Grant Snider for a few years on his twitter, so when this book came out it was an immediate buy for me.

It did not disappoint. At all.

If you've never seen his comics before, Snider has a fantastic way of taking an idea and making it tangible in the form of a comic. The ideas are all simple enough if you've ever done anything creative, but his point of view is refreshing and invigorating.

You won't be disappointed by this book. I know it is gonna be one I will go back to over
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I tried to savour it and not read it all at once. It's one I'll go back to and read again for sure. It kept me smiling the whole way through.
Liz Matheny
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read this month! Full of graphic essays that will continue to inspire me (& my students). A thoughtful, emotional, and genuine collection.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw
  • Birding Is My Favorite Video Game: Cartoons about the Natural World From "Bird and Moon"
  • Pitch Black
  • The Balkan Express: Fragments from the Other Side of War
  • Verax: A Graphic History of Electronic Surveillance
  • A Chinese Life
  • Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir
  • Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard
  • The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas
  • Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats
  • Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love
  • Vampire Knight: Memories, Vol. 2
  • Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural
  • Infographic Guide to Literature
  • Deer Woman: An Anthology
  • Plants Can't Sit Still
  • What Gives Us Our Names
  • Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad
Grant Snider is an artist with an attempt to master words and drawings. His current profession is being an orthodontist. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Kansas City Star, The Best American Comics 2013, and all across the internet.

He currently resides in Wichita, Kansas with his wife, daughter, and two sons.