Sep 28, 2011

The Creative Habit...

Books are my favourite! Books about the creative process...well it just doesn't get any better. I am fascinated with people's work habits and love discovering how they create. Let's just say that if I could be a fly on the wall in every creative studio in the world for ten minutes I would...but admitting that sounds creepy and the creative side of me knows that I work best in complete solitude, so this dream of being a spying insect (though fun for me) would be very invasive for some creative individuals (me).
Knowing this makes it more special when someone does share their work habits or their raw, unfinished, process work. It is very brave!

As a designer, especially when I was first starting out, I believed that you have to do many thumbnails first, and while this is true, thumbnails and sketches are necessary (at least for me), somewhere along the line I learned that they don't have to come first. I could never just sit down and start drawing. I have to organize my thoughts and I do that by writing, which gets my hands moving and warmed up for the drawing bit. To realize this though I had to try a few things and that's how I learned what works and what doesn't and that there isn't a set formula. You have to find it for yourself.

Now, you might be savvy at the whole creativity thing and your process may have come naturally to you, or it may seem commonsensical that there isn't a formula, but it wasn't for me and that is why books like The Creative Habit exist.

This book, written by choreographer and dancer Twyla Tharp, is one of my favourite reads and I keep coming back to it over and over and each time I discover something new. She talks about everything: fear, rituals, skills, tools, ruts and grooves, using your memory...I could go on and on and will not exaggerate in telling you that if you care about your own creative process or find others' fascinating there are gigantic diamonds on every page.

She is a dancer, so if you like dance you will appreciate it ...but this book is not about dance and the ideas and exercises cut across all mediums of creativity. It is a book about work, and while you find it in the self-help section of your book store it is never preachy and simply gives great advice from someone who has been working at her craft for a very long time.

"...More than anything, this book is about preparation: In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative." - Twyla Tharp

Photos by: me, Kinga Subject, but you can buy the book here or here


Daniella said...

I'll have to take a look at this next time i'm at the bookstore, looks interesting! I'm definitely guilty of overplanning and then getting a little stuck. It can be a real pain sometimes.

Re: Alicia's photography, I love it too! It has such a great "natural" and "homey" feeling, doesn't it? If that makes sense, lol. I pulled out my Dad's old SLR this week, that I used for our photography course in college. I want to start using it again for that "film quality". I need a TOTAL refresher in manual photography though.

Anywho... I actually just wanted to let you know this blogger also has great photography that you might like. It's kind of the same style...

Kate said...

I love books like this! I'll have to check this one out. Thanks for the tip.

Kinga said...

Daniella, I am totally with you on the gets too out of hand and overwhelming at times, but there is so much in this book that totally resonates with me, and it's a fun read!

As for Alicia's photography, AMAZING! I noted it in my sketchbook as "gorgeous, life documenting work". Every shot is so candid and spontaneous and there is a consistent tone and colour throughout!
I haven't used my film cam in a while and have probably 75 rolls that need developing so I think I'll start with developing those first...heaven only knows what's on them lol. You'll have to share some of your progress with the film though...I love a good grainy photo! As for a refresher, I have some books if you need...but you'll get the hang of it quickly.

Ooh...and I'll check out "mocking- bird"...thanks! Hope you're well!

tina said...

Hi Kinga.

I am a huge fan of books on Creativity and Twyla's is definitely up there with my favourites.

Nice review.

Nice to meet you. Hope you're enjoying BYW...

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