The Artist’s Way

Summer Reading Guide for Creative Recovery and Inspiration

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It’s summer and an excellent time to catch up on reading!

Although typically summer is good to read more fiction-based works, don’t neglect the opportunity to learn more about how to enhance your creativity, especially if you are striving to reach some creative goals before the end of the year.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite books that I have found to be helpful with my own creativity.  They all can be found in a variety of formats (Kindle, hard cover, soft cover or audio) and range from including exercises to help you get going with your creative work to providing motivational messages to keep you on track.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

What it is about…

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.” http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/

The “Skinny”

The first thing I noticed about this book is how upbeat it is.  Gilbert gives down-to-earth and at times humorous testimony on the creation process in a fun and provocative way.   She provides anecdotes about personal creative triumphs and failures as a writer, as well as share stories from other artists which helps us all not to be discouraged from our own short-comings. The one-liners and awesome testimony ultimately focuses on encouraging readers to over come their own fears, whether by other people or themselves and have curiosity instead, lead the way to creative fulfillment.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

What it is about…

“The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity.  An international bestseller, it’s an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life.  Perhaps more vital in today’s cultural climate than it was when it was first pulbished a decade ago, it is powerfully provacative and inspiring work.”  The Artist’s Way

“The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills.  Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection with God.” Wikipedia

The “Skinny”…

I consider this book is the “Grandmother” of creativity books and one that is most recognizable all over the world.  The book was first published in 1992, is divided into 12 chapters with exercises that can be conducted on a weekly basis, with topics such as recovering a sense of creative identity to recoverging a sense of faith.  Two important tools that Cameron shares for creativity recovery is Artists Dates and Morning Pages.

I first read this book in the early 2000s and was amazed how much it helped me to not only open my own creativity but also manifest success in other areas of my life.  I highly recommend it as the starter book for anyone who is interested in reclaiming their creative gifts at any point of their life.

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

“The Desire Map is a holistic approach to life planning that uses your core desired feelings as the guidance system for your goal setting. Over 125,000 copies sold and print in multiple languages.

Here’s the vibe of it: “With an organic elegance The Desire Mapcouples our primal desire-energy with the inborn intelligence of our feelings. The result? Optimizing our time on Earth. LaPorte’s joie de vivre is contagious. Prepare to catch it!” – Michael Bernard Beckwith I Life Visioning

And here’s why you need them: You’re a seeker who wants to get things done. You want to take your life from good to great. You want to strive less and at the same time, open up to the fortunes of life — from greater life force and passion, to cash, adventure and freedom of every kind. You’re here to design a life that’s an expression of your soul.” – DanielleLaPorte.com

The “Skinny”….

The Desire Map was a life saver for me when I became personally dissatisfied with the way my art career was moving.  The book brilliantly leads you to the core question…”how do you want to want to feel?”   That question has lead me to make a lot of decisions based on what she defines is the “core desired feelings”…the main 3-5 feelings you want to experience with whatever you are doing, the relationships you are in engaged in or the choices you are making.  Since 2016, I have been working with the Desire Map to serve as a guide regarding almost everything I do.  If I am engaged in a project that does not meet my current (annual) core desired feelings, I get out of it.  As a creative person it is important that I stay true to my commitment to my creative practice. Using the Desire Map process, I am able to identify the projects and activities that resonate with my soul rather than from an ego-based perspective.

This book is perfect for those who are defining their creative goals and need help ensuring that they choose the kind of projects and activities that support them.

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe by Karen Karbo

What it is about…

“Most people associate Georgia O’Keeffe with New Mexico, painted cow skulls, and her flower paintings. She was revered for so long—born in 1887, died at age ninety-eight in 1986—that we forget how young, restless, passionate, searching, striking, even fearful she once was—a dazzling, mysterious female force in bohemian New York City during its heyday.

In this distinctive book, Karen Karbo cracks open the O’Keeffe icon in her characteristic style, making one of the greatest women painters in American history vital and relevant for yet another generation. She chronicles O’Keeffe’s early life, her desire to be an artist, and the key moment when art became her form of self-expression. She also explores O’Keeffe’s passionate love affair with master photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who took a series of 500 black-and-white photographs of O’Keeffe during the early years of their marriage.

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living delves into the long, extraordinary life of the renowned American painter, exploring a range of universal themes—from how to discover and nurture your individuality to what it means to be in a committed relationship while maintaining your independence, from finding your own style to developing the ability to take risks. Each chapter is built around an aspect of living that concerns women today of all ages: how to find your own path; work with passion and conviction; express yourself; be in a relationship without sacrificing your sense of self; and do it all with an effortless, unique style.

As with Karbo’s previous books, How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living is not a traditional biography, but rather a compelling, contemporary reassessment of the life of O’Keeffe with an eye toward understanding what we can learn from her way of being in the world.” – KarenKarbo.com

The Skinny…

This is not a how to regain your creativity book.  It is an inspiring read, focusing on one of the art world’s most talented and renown artists in the 20th Century.  Karbo takes us on a journey of how O’Keeffee became…well…O”Keeffee.  The story of the artist’s life provides a timeless testimony on how Georgia took risks and worked outside social norms at a challenging time for women artists  to stay focused on her own individuality and creative talent to produce some of the most beloved artwork that is still celebrated today.

This is the perfect book if you are looking to learn about an artistic icon and how their life can be an inspiration for your own creativity.

Feel free to add your favorite books on creativity in the comments so you can share with others as well.

 

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Your Ally Within, A Free Creative Workshop @ #Artomatic – 4/9/17

Your Ally Within-

Do you feel that you have an inner artist or creative side but need help coaxing it out?

Do you find yourself stuck in moving forward on that next creative project?

Affirmations can help! Positive affirmation are great messages to have around an art studio or office or creative space as reminders of your creative talents. During this engaging workshop, we will talk about our identities as creative individuals, via the best selling book The Artist Way by Julia Cameron, the benefits of affirmations, create our own affirmation cards using index cards, magazines, paper and other mixed media. These cards will reflect images of your affirmations that you can take with you where ever you go or have placed around your office, studio or other creative space to look at when you need an extra boost.

You don’t have to be an artist or creative to participate! Bring your creative passion and an open mind! Space is limited. Register now at https://yourcreativeally.eventbrite.com/

About the Facilitator:

Sharon Burton is an artist, art curator, and has been active in the fine art communiy in the Washington, DC area for over 12 years. Learn more about her at www.sjbcreativeart.com or follow her on social media at twitter/instagram: @sjbcreativeart or Facebook: SJB Creative Art. Her artwork can be found at Artomatic 2017 in room 3108, 3rd Floor

Directions to Artomatic:
Artomatic is located next to the Crystal City Metro Station on the Yellow and Blue metro lines. If you come in from the underground, simply turn left at the top of the first escalator and go through doors into shopping area. We are just above the Synetic Theater, there is an elevator bank by the optometrist. If you are outside on ground level, cross 18th Street to South Bell Street. We are in the same building as the University of Phoenix.

Driving Directions to Artomatic

From DC:
Take 395 South into Virginia (crossing over the 14th Street Bridge). Follow signs to “Route 1 South – Crystal City” and take the left exit. Get into the left hand lane on Route 1 and turn left on 20th Street and then take an immediate left into the parking garage under the Crystal City Marriott (there are two Marriotts in Crystal City). Follow the signs for Artomatic down the ramp to the left to park. Do not park in the Marriott lot on ground level – they will not validate for Artomatic patrons, only the underground parking is free.

From Rockville:
Take 270 or 495 South into Virginia. Take Exit 43 for the George Washington Parkway. Merge onto the GW Parkway and continue South. Take the exit for “Reagan National Airport.” Stay in right lane and follow signs for “US-1 – Crystal City” (keep bearing right). Take the right exit ramp for Crystal Drive. Take a left onto 20th St. and take a right into the garage just past Bell St. (there are two Marriotts in Crystal City). Follow the signs for Artomatic down the ramp to the left to park. Do not park in the Marriott lot on ground level – they will not validate for Artomatic patrons, only the underground parking is free.

From Southern Maryland:
Take 495 across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Take Exit 177B to Route 1 North. Continue on Route 1 through Alexandria. Aftercrossing into Arlington County (across Four Mile Run), take a slight right onto the exit for Crystal Drive. Turn left on 20th Street then take an immediate left into the parking garage under the Crystal City Marriott (there are two Marriotts in Crystal City). Follow the signs for Artomatic down the ramp to the left to park. Do not park in the Marriott lot on ground level – they will not validate for Artomatic patrons, only the underground parking is free.

From points south in Virginia:
Take 395 North. Take Exit 8C (to Route 1 South – Crystal City). Go straight at the light onto Hayes Street. Hayes Street becomes 18th Street and will take you into Crystal City. Turn right onto South Bell Street, then another right onto 20th Street and an immediate right into the parking garage under the Crystal City Marriott (there are two Marriotts in Crystal City). Follow the signs for Artomatic down the ramp to the left to park. Do not park in the Marriott lot on ground level – they will not validate for Artomatic patrons, only the underground parking is free.

From points west in Virginia:
Take 66 East. Take Exit 75 (Route 110). Route 110 will end and continue as Route 1 South into Crystal City. Get into the left hand lane and turn left on 20th Street then take an immediate left into the parking garage under the Crystal City Marriott (there are two Marriotts in Crystal City). Follow the signs for Artomatic down the ramp to the left to park. Do not park in the Marriott lot on ground level – they will not validate for Artomatic patrons, only the underground parking is free.