Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book I love - The Creative Habit

I want to share a great book that I love and helps this Creative Beast in her journey as an artist: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.

I was recently reminded of this book by Communicatrix, Colleen Wainwright, who wrote a
great review of it on her blog and I recommend you read her review. However, I will also share my take on what makes this a great book for the Creative Beast...

It is my personal belief that creativity can be learned and isn't just for special talented people, which is why I was so excited when I saw that the title of this book included the word "HABIT". I have had people express to me their view that they think art is created 'spontaneously', which is probably why many people stop 'playing' creatively as they grow into adulthood. I can tell you, if you are not already experiencing it yourself to some degree, that much practice, work and planning goes into every work of art created.

I love that Twyla Tharp, a dancer, writes about creativity and she includes examples not just from her own experience, but she cites many examples of hard-working, and amazing artists such as Rembrandt, Mozart and Philip Roth. She also gives examples of their creative process and includes great exercises to get your own creativity going.

Having been a dancer in my life, I love that she talks about the importance of MOVING the body and I think this is important since we are all mobile beings. I often come up with ideas while walking and see things in nature that get my mind going. As a result, I often take time to bring my camera to photograph things I see when walking that I might use for a collage work later. Sometimes it helps me to put on some music and dance around the house to get the juices flowing. Creating art is a physical activity though not as physical as dancing or also takes discipline and practice to become really excellent just like dancers and athletes. Creativity can come in many forms, not just artistic, and working consistently with your tools of the trade, whatever those tools may be, will help you hone your skill (be it art, writing, baseball, running, gardening, cooking or photography) into real artistry.

Yes, it does mean the dreaded word "discipline" but perhaps we should substitute discipline for "commitment" and remember the words of Vince Lombardi:

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."

The Creative Habit is a great book and I encourage you to run out and get yourself a copy!


Cathy (tinniegirl) said...

I often have my best ideas when I'm riding my bike. I have to pull over and dig out my notebook and pen so I don't lose the idea by the time I get home.

I'll definitely check out the book.

Creative Beast said...

i hope you enjoy the book as much as i do! i will have to ride my bike soon to see what ideas come to me =-)

i do miss riding my bike...