Art Thinking

How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses

Amy Whitaker


Art Thinking is a meditation and a manual, a manifesto and a love story, for how art—creativity writ large—and business go together. It is about how to construct a life of originality and meaning within the real constraints of the market economy.”—from the Introduction

Whether you’re a CEO or a freelancer, you know how hard it is to think big, let alone follow up on big ideas, while under pressure to get things done. Art Thinking offers practical principles to acquire skills, inspiration to rethink what’s possible, and a healthy dose of pragmatism to help you navigate the difficulties of balancing creative thinking with driving toward results.

Amy Whitaker, an entrepreneur-in-residence at the New Museum Incubator with an MBA and an MFA, draws on stories of athletes, managers, writers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and other artists to engage you in the process of “art thinking.” If you are making a work of art in any field, you aren’t going from point A to point B. You are inventing point B. Art Thinking combines the mindsets of art and the tools of business to protect space for open-ended exploration and to manage risk on your way to success.

Art Thinking takes you from the earliest inkling of an idea to realizing your highest aims, helping you build creative skills you can apply across all facets of business and life. It is about how to make space for vulnerability and the possibility of failure within the world of work, with its very real and structural pressures to get things done, and about how to successfully build a future of your own design. Warm, honest, and unexpected, Art Thinking will help you reimagine your work and life—and even change the world—while enjoying the journey from point A.


Amy Whitaker is a writer, artist, and teacher working at the intersection of creativity, business, and everyday life. She holds an MBA from Yale and an MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. She is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at the New Museum Incubator and a principal in the curriculum development company Eggshell Knight. She was the recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She lives in New York City.