So, I know this is a little bit late, but I really want to follow through on my commitment to #theyearinbooks project so here goes...
In August, I read The Creative Habit - Learn It And Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp (a choreographer). It's one of those books that has been in my Amazon Wishlist for ages so I had high expectations, which unfortunately it didn't quite fulfil. The main reason for my disappointment is due to the fact that it's written by a dancer and choreographer and although Twyla touches on other art forms, the book has a strong focus on the creative habit for performance professionals rather than visual artists, photographers, or designers who I think work in very different ways. There were however, a few things that struck a chord and that I'll take away:
- Have a process for every new project. Twyla explains how she creates a box file for every new project to hold all articles, notebooks, music etc. for her latest choreography project. Even the act of buying and labelling the box file subconsciously signifies the start of a new project. This idea may work for me too though I'm not keen on lots of box files so am toying with the idea of either a new notebook or new Pinterest board (or both) for each of my future projects.
- Create a 'bridge' between one day to the next. Having a plan for each session certainly seems to work for my photography and I've noticed an improvement to Photo-shoot Wednesdays when we have a theme to work with. Twyla takes this to the next level by suggesting that at the end of every creative session you have a plan for your next. It sounds obvious doesn't it? However, it's sometimes the basics we forget when we get in a creative rut.
- Get over your ego. Someone has done it before and that's OK. There's a self-imposed pressure on creatives to always produce authentic and original work. This can sometimes be paralysing and let's face it unrealistic. Every artist is inspired by other artists, that's just inspiration. Sometimes copying is even OK as learning how to emulate something you admire can foster a lot of learning and development. This often works for photography; for instance, if you can find an image that you like, assess why you like it and then try to recreate it you can often learn a lot from the exercise.
So that's it. Short and sweet whilst I catch-up.
If you want to play along with #TheYearinBooks project you can find out more here. I can't rave enough about this online book-club from Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees. It's been so lovely to read more, go through my neglected bookshelves and share my experiences in a fun little group once a month. It would be great to see you there!
In the meantime, happy reading! xox