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The story behind the creation of You Are a Circle, a book on creativity . . .

For a long time, I’ve been wanting to write a new book on creativity that would follow up my previous books; but this time, I wanted to try a completely different approach and do something never seen before.

For months, I’ve played with different ideas, but nothing seemed to lead me into the right direction. Then, out of the blue, I woke up one morning with this curious title in mind: “You Are a Circle,” then I saw this visual in my head: a big, black circle on a white cover. Something very minimalist.

As you may know, I teach at Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena. There, I always invite students to take extra care in their designs by making them unique. More often than not, it means spending a few extra hours creating something by hand instead of just working on the computer.

When I started working on the cover (I always create a cover first, before I start a new book—for motivation), I naturally followed my own advice and I carved a circle on a linoleum block and started experimenting with block printing. It meant playing with paint and getting my hands dirty (which I love).

Surprisingly, the more I printed these circles by hand, the more I realized there was something there. It was so simple—but it touched me on a deeper level. These black circles seemed to have their own language, and the unique, intricate details of each circle were mesmerizing. And as I kept printing each circle individually, I realized that this repetition should make the foundation for the book.

Next, I thought that, instead of writing a long-winded book, I should instead find the essence of what I wanted to say and condense it into short quotes. Cut all the fat. Simplify everything.

Then, the gruesome part began. I worked up to fifteen hours a day for a period of several weeks in order to finish the book before the new year. Writing, designing, scanning, and revising until everything was perfect—the works. Then, of course, pushing myself so much, I ended up seriously sick. But I eventually finished it (and now I’m still tired; but much better health-wise).

So there you have it. You Are a Circle is a curious book, indeed.

The text works like a conversation about your creativity. It’s packed with a collection of aphorisms (from the practical to the poetic), and it encourages you to always evolve. It’s an invitation to live your best life.

But there’s one more thing . . .

And this is where it becomes a bit magical (and I have nothing to do with this part). As you browse through the book, something curious happens. The combination of the circles facing the quotes creates a third language. There’s a third hidden narrative that doesn’t talk to your intellect but to your heart. You Are a Circle is not a book—it’s an experience you have to discover for yourself. Every time you read it, something new comes up.

So—yes—I’m exhausted but happy.

I feel You Are a Circle is probably the best book I’ve released. Not because I did something “smart” but because I removed my critical mind from the process entirely. It’s a project straight from the heart (this is why I dedicated it to my baby daughter Margaux). I also know it’s the beginning of a new creative journey full of surprises (the book is the first step for bigger projects).

If you're curious, you can check out You Are a Circle on Amazon, here: