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Creative Quest

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,340 ratings  ·  436 reviews
A unique new guide to creativity from Questlove—inspirations, stories, and lessons on how to live your best creative life

Questlove—musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-around cultural omnivore—shares his wisdom on the topics of inspiration and originality in a one-of-a-kind guide to living your best creative life. 

In Creative
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Ecco
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,340 ratings  ·  436 reviews

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Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook of Creative Quest however, around 60% of the way through, I decided to buy the actual book too because I was enjoying it a lot and know it’s a book that I’ll be able to refer back to again.

Questlove is best known for being part of The Roots. In addition to being a drummer and producer, he’s a DJ, has dabbled in the culinary world, and is also an adjunct professor at NYU.

Creative Quest discusses the artistic process, providing a perspective on creativity: it’s defini
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author, favorites
Love, love, loved listening to this book. But now I want to buy a physical copy to mark up because he really has some great pieces about creativity and creative work

Watch me discuss this book in my November wrap up: https://youtu.be/vzYX9EeZvRs
Angell Johnson
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is genius, and universal concepts are simplified. Just about anyone can benefit from this information. And anyone who wants to create the unthinkable can understand and improve their own unique craft with this brilliant masterpiece. As a writer, sometimes it’s hard to stay original. This has helped me tremendously.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a warm book, a great joy to read. It's like The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles but without the weird cancer victim-blaming, and with more of an introspective, self-reflection vibe going on.

There's so much mature, smart stuff here:

Especially in a hyperconnected world you cannot stop 'stealing' from others, it's impossible to remember whether an idea you had is novel or whether you saw it on Twitter late at night 2 years ago. That's not a bad thing, but
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a junkie for books about writing and books about creativity, and a lot of them make me want to shake the addiction. This book is a notable exception. It’s readable, clarifying, and was something I immediately put to use for a museum visit that definitely enriched the experience. For that last one it was obvious advice I usually feel too guilty to embrace: skip the stuff that doesn’t grab you and save the time for work that moves you.

The narrative and stories in this book are probably the mo
Jul 18, 2020 added it
While I admire of his work and enthusiasm to share his experiences, and his intentions for this book, I would be lying if I said it resonated much with me.

*Note- I also followed the audio which had all sorts of production added to it; music, sound effects, special guests, the whole nine yards! So if you are interested in this, you might want to consider the audio.*

I realized I, as someone who dabbles in art, have never picked up a book on creativity! A friend recommended this, and I had seen it
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, ensayo
Yes! At first I thought this book was kind of self help (which coming from Questlove would be a great one anyway) But it´s not. He tells a bunch of great stories that have to do with creativity. I recommend this to anyone, not just artists or people who do something that is more obvious with being creative. I think we all require of creativity in one form or another, and this book is a great read. It´s like having a friend give you tips, and anecdotes about different ways of inventing and reinve ...more
Laura Noggle
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, improvement
I'm probably not the intended audience: I don't play a musical instrument and I'm only marginally familiar with Questlove.

That being said, I'm glad I gave this a chance. It had some decent tips for living a creative life, and was interesting from an outsider's perspective.

“There's species-wide programming and then there's individuality. The overlap between those two opens up a space for creativity. Live in that space. I'm here too. Maybe I'll see you around sometime.”
Pat Loughery
Very fun book, and one that's superb in audiobook form because it's read by the author, who uses the audio format to actually MAKE it an audio experience - sound effects, dropped samples, etc. Probably great in print as well. ...more
Rebecca Renner
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on creativity I've ever read. It's right up there with Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Creative Quest is more about the creative process and how ?love can find inspiration for creative endeavors across various platforms than it is about how to be creative. So it’s an interesting look at the sparks of creativity he finds for himself, along with some life memories and wisdom from the legendary Roots drummer. His stated goal is “This book is a way to resolve these questions, and it’s also a way to leave those questions unresolved. I will explore my creative process by examining the c ...more
Sherif Nagib
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
An author who opens his book on a subject by saying he read almost every book on that subject raises the bar for himself, there's a promise there, and it was not met. The anecdotes were amusing sometimes, but overall the book was very disappointing. I really don't wanna waste more time on elaborating, the time I wasted listening to the audio book is enough. I just wanna reply to another comment that compared this book to "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield by saying HOW DARE YOU!! ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This is an interesting book about creativity. While most examples are about music, the ideas about collaboration and building on the work that came before you, crosses all creative disciplines. I found this book more informative than inspiring, but I believe the disconnect is personal, I didn't know, or sometimes understand, a lot of the musical references. ...more
Nicole Chilton
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listened on Audible and halfway through, bought my own copy so I could highlight and make notes. Can Questlove be my new best friend? I love his storytelling and realism about how much hard work it takes to be creative.
Going to write a nice, juicy review for this one shortly. But know it's outstanding, motivating, encouraging, insightful, and absolutely powerful in audiobook format. ...more
Dr. J
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I enjoyed the concept of this book, but I didn’t completely connect with all the aspects of creativity that Questlove discussed. The only part that bothered me is was the references to the other books he has written. I’m reading this book, it’s not considered a sequel, so thus I’m not interested in your past projects, let’s just focus on the current project.
I've been following Questlove on Instagram for a while now, and I think he's one of the smartest, most interesting people out there. Hope to read his book about creativity soon. ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have never considered myself a creative person – at least in the traditional sense. I’m not a writer, designer, photographer, painter, songwriter or chef. In my career, I rely on my creative problem-solving abilities, and the “I know it when I see it” side of creativity when directing marketing projects, but I’ve always admired truly creative people. Those who create.

In my efforts to cultivate creativity, I often listen to podcasts and pick up the latest books on the subject like The War of Ar
Heard Questlove on a BN Podcast: http://bnpodcast.barnesandnoble.libsy...

Brilliant book about creating and creativity. Full of pop culture references and musical insight. As a 64-year-old grandmother, I realize that I am not the target audience. Still, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this book and soaking up some of the creative inspiration found between its pages. Fun, entertaining and informative!
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I FINALLY finished this after so long. Uni has been already super busy and not even from class; I finally made friends that haven't not made plans like almost every single day. It's been good, and I'm glad I've got friends, but my reading time has been halved. I feel like I need to hide from them to get my reading time in xD But I love them all so I can't be too mad. ...more
Through quarantine. I read and discussed a chapter of this book every week with a friend. It allowed me to slow down and really absorb all the lessons & suggestions within. This book has a lot of entertaining anecdotes and great thoughts about music especially, but it helped me approach creativity as practice, too. There are a lot of useful, practical suggestions — and quite a few that worked for me. Definitely recommended.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Creativity is one of those concepts I find endlessly engaging. As a label, it seems to be used as both a blessing and a curse. It carries certain similarities across individuals and mediums, such as drawing unlikely tangents, combining ideas/approaches in novel ways, facilitating the expression of feelings or ideas in ways not otherwise possible, etc. But it also operates on a uniquely personal level when it comes to inspiration, process, output, and so forth. It can be essential to one's profes ...more
His observations are interesting and useful. I thought the book was a little rambling and verbose, though I enjoyed hearing the stories about Questlove's own experiences. He seems to have mostly creative professionals in mind at several points. ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
You know when they ask if you could choose any person to have a conversation with, who would that person be? One of my top choices is always Questlove. My reason is that Questlove is an amazingly curious person. Curious about music, curious about people, curious about food. That curiosity, in turn fires amazing creativity. As a musician, designer, DJ, and foodie, he has an interesting take on the topic of creativity.

Creative Quest is his exploration of the topic. Be prepared for many 'semantic a
Mars Leung
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Questlove's book on creativity and how best to harness it is a fun and entertaining read, but also brings up useful exercises and questions for every creative person to consider: Should you create for the sake of creation or create with an intended audience in mind? What's the balance between art for the sake of art and art for commercial purposes? Is any idea truly original or is all creation based on the works or ideas of another?

As with a lot of his books, Questlove uses tons of examples fro
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questlove projects a very likable persona and has some very down-to-earth tips for energizing one's creativity, along the lines of pointing at random words in the dictionary. He also gives advice on living as a creative person. There are even a few moments in the book about how science is also a creative process like the arts. One of his first points is that not everyone is equally creative so this book isn't meant to make you creative if you aren't.
Overall, there was too much "inside baseball"
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always pick a word to define my upcoming year- this year I chose 2- Grace and Create. Questlove’s book is my first read on creativity and it is inspiring. The cover is an image of his own creativity as a Rube Goldberg machine. He is a student of creativity and his book is replete with examples of creativity in others as well as how he has used their experiences to inform his own works. Last year I read about art every Sunday- I now read wider!
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have much to say about this one, I enjoyed Questlove's writing style as usual, and this solidified my notion that I enjoy his writing in general. I thought it was a neat take on discussing creativity and found it helpful and encouraging. I read it in snippets, which can kind of work, but some sections played out better with continuous reading (which is also easy to do if you aren't experiencing reading hangups (I have been)). That said, I do want to get a copy so that I can return to it. ...more
Michelle Weston
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you’re a creative, of any kind, no matter what kind, you need to read this book. It’s conversational in it’s writing (which is not my favorite style) BUT it’s inclusive and chock-full of creative wisdom, nuggets, and quality advice. Questlove doesn’t give you any formulas, but he shares his own creative experiences (and that of other creatives) in a way that actively guides you and enlightens you to your OWN personal creative process. He helps you discover yourself as a creative and gives mea ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jims-reviews, audio
What a freaking fantastic book about creativity. I have to be honest, and say that about 75% of the references were kind of beyond me - I just don’t have the background in hip-hop. But I was still able to get all the concepts that quest love was trying to impart.

I like his idea of channeling emotions (which might get in the way of every day life) into your creativity.

Cognitive disinhibition. This is something that our culture likes to suppress. Is this why we don’t have as much runaway creativi
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Ahmir Khalib Thompson, known professionally as ?uestlove or Questlove (also known as BROther ?uestion, Questo, Brother Question or Qlove), is an American drummer, DJ, music journalist and record producer.

He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman (with Black Thought) for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, serving since February 17, 2014 as the in-house band for The Tonight Show Star

Articles featuring this book

With so many amazing audiobook releases this year, it can be tough to choose what to listen to next. Luckily, Audible has done the...
29 likes · 17 comments
“There's species-wide programming and then there's individuality. The overlap between those two opens up a space for creativity. Live in that space. I'm here too. Maybe I'll see you around sometime.” 5 likes
“[Creativity] is about finding your own unique way of fitting into the continually repeating human experience.” 4 likes
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