Brain Pickings

Her Idea: An Illustrated Allegory about Procrastination and the Creative Process


A charming all-ages picture book about the endless dance between idea and execution.

The question of where good ideas come from and how creativity works has long fascinated artists and scientists alike, but the most believable and useful of answers often seem to spring from experience and intuition. Last week, the 99% Conference explored not just how ideas originate but also what it takes to make them happen through an admirable roster of speakers, including Australian designer and illustrator Rilla Alexander, who presented Her Idea — a story within a story about a girl named Sozi, who loves ideas but can never seem to finish them. Despite the delightful children’s aesthetic, the parable is really an allegory for procrastination and the frustrations of the creative process all too familiar to us alleged adults.

Hmm, maybe later
Not today anyway
It’s such a big task
And she’d much rather play

The book was accompanied by an equally clever and whimsical exhibition.

With its all-ages appeal, Her Idea is a fine addition to these timeless children’s books for grown-ups, and its clever cover joins the rank of these die-cut books to die for.

Images courtesy of Rilla Alexander

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

Share on Tumblr