Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spark: How Creativity Works

"Work comes out of work." ~ Richard Serra
This memorable quote leapt out of the pages of Spark: How Creativity Works by Julie Burstein, the producer of Studio 360. The book, which chronicles the creative process of many of today's creators, is filled with little nuggets like this to inspire you.

As you know, I am all about the process - the creative process that is! While the finished product is a feat, for me it is the process that is really intriguing.

That's why this was the first non-school related book, in a long time, that I not only read but devoured. From the first story that takes us on a journey with the artist Chuck Close as he discovers his renowned painting style despite his physical and learning challenges, I was hooked. According to Close,
"Inspiration is for amateurs, and the rest of us just show up and get to work. But so much of it comes out of the process..."
The rest of the book continues to explore the creative process, in all its forms, with examples from writers, architects, musician, and actors alike.

There are stories on how artists have dealt with adversity, created modern alchemy through their work, worked with partners and collaborators and just got to work. In this last chapter, the writer, Isabel Allende discusses, in fascinating detail, her ritual of starting a new work each year.

This book provides a deeper look into the creative process of some of the most intriguing contemporary artists and is a must read for process lovers.
  • How have your life experiences influenced your work?


Suzi Banks Baum said...

What a great question Melanie. Have you read Jan Phillips' book "Marry Your Muse"? I too am diligent about tending my creative flow every single day. Just this past week at the International Women's Writing Guild conference I was able to spend 5 straight days in a deeper level of focus and articulation through writing, collage and sharing. The work I created there and the discoveries that came about being in community with other writers/thinkers/ and in this case, women, for a span of time shored up my confidence and my access to my immense inner life that fuels all my expression. Jan's book has very clear rituals around accessing one's voice and the steps to getting comfortable with the dance with our Muses. I recommend that book, and any of Jan's work, highly. xoxo So glad to find your site. Suzi

MELANIE said...

Wow Suzi! That sounds like an amazing and inspired time. I have not read "Marry Your Muse," but I have seen it. Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitley put it on my reading list now.