This blog has been created to discuss the topics covered in my book : Beyond Discouragement-Creativity.
My goal is to post relevant news articles which both reflect and refute my opinions and observations. As a visitor, your comments would be most appreciated. - Bienvenue. À vous la parole.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Book

Beyond Discouragement - Creativity is the result of observations over a 40 year period. It summarizes our times; the contexts in which we live, the conundrums we encounter and the resulting devastating impact fear, apathy and victimhood are having on adults and children.

The contents have been defined as

•    politically incorrect
•    harsh
•    a no holds barred reality check

There are no pretty pictures in this "sketch book". Beyond Discouragement - Creativity is a wake up call, a reminder that things are not what they pretend to be. But despite the "discouragements" inherent in the times in which we live, I remain optimistic. My goal is to raise questions and even shackles, cause discussions to happen and passions to be stirred - all of this in the hope that  the encouragement of creativity will become  normal - i.e.: "what there is the most of" in the daily lives of adults and children everywhere.

And now. . .  Time to have your say.


  1. As readers are getting into the book I will submit some of the thoughts that influenced the writing of Beyond Discouragement-Creativity.

    1996 reflection:
    I, like so many others, often stop myself from doing or saying what I want to do or say, lest it be wrong, harmful, frightening, unacceptable. . . Then I discover the wonder of what I have missed, or I discover that someone else dared and even revelled in the thought or action that had previously teased me . . . and that is sad - sad that time was wasted worrying, sad that I am now older, possibly too old to do what I should have done when I had the inkling, the urge, the daring. . . .

    It is when we are older that the soul recognizes having been stifled in its creative potential by rules and regulations formed by those who would have us all submissive, frightened and non-threatening to their status quo.

  2. I received this review in the mail today and was advised that I could use it :

    Bernard Poulin, internationally prominent artist, has written a compelling book, "Beyond Discouragement - Creativity." There are several levels to the book. Each level is valuable in its own right.

    For artists, the book guides readers to a mindset where they can be courageous in their creativity, deal with failures as well as successes, and avoid the pitfall of discouragement when failures crop up, as they inevitably do.

    For parents, the book helps them better understand their children's creative processes. Mr. Poulin reassures parents that their children are not fragile creatures who will be shattered, or whose creativity will be destroyed, when parents do their job as parents.

    For educators, the book is a rigorous reexamination of much conventional wisdom about education and the creative process. The book's extensive bibiliography makes it plain that the author has done his homework; he has thoroughly researched the subject, in addition to being a parent and mentor.

    There is an additional level, which (to me) is the most important. Most books are like a wall. On one side of the wall is the author; on the other side is the reader, who is presented with "the book." In the case of Bernard Poulin's book, however, the wall is removed, and we actually meet him. Turning through the pages, we can imagine him, winking slyly to us as he makes a joke. We are invited into his painting studio, where we meet his children, as toddlers, playing on the floor while Dad paints. We meet the children being creative in their own improvised creative space - nothing more complicated than a bathroom tub, where they can play, make a mess, examine their own creativity without hesitation. We meet Bernard Poulin's remarkable wife, every bit as creative and caring as the husband. We meet the people who mentored the author at differing stages of his own life. Finally, we are invited to think of the people in our own lives who have mentored us. It is a powerful and enriching exercise.

    Do yourself a favor: Check out "Beyond Discouragement - Creativity." It will provide ideas which will keep people thinking for years to come. Also, you will make a new friend, the author Bernard Poulin.
    - MM, San Francisco