Tuesday, October 23, 2012

G4 The Artist's Way; A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Title of the Book: The Artist's Way; A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Author: Julia Cameron

Name of Publisher: Tarcher/Putnam

Publishing Date: original 1992 (version I have 2012)

Other Works: The Artist's Way Morning Pages Journal, The Artist's Date Book, The Vein of Gold, The Right to Write, God is no laughing matter, Finding Water, Walking in This World

Author Background:

(from the back-flap)Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years. She is the author of over thirty books, fiction and nonfiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: Walking in this world and Finding Water. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film, and telivision. Visit the author's website at www.theartistsway.com

ISBN: 978-1-58542-146-6

Theme:

(from page XIII)"Art is a spiritual transaction. Artists are visionaries. We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance- often visible to us, but invisible to those around us. Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work. Art is an act of faith, and we practice practicing it. Sometimes we are called on pilgrimages on its behalf and, like many pilgrims, we doubt the call even as we answer. But answer we do."

Problem Addressed:

(from page XXII) "No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not to late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativty."

Summary:

The Artist's Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, it has inspired millions to overcome the limiting beliefs and fears that can inhibit the creative process.

Perhaps even more vital in today's cultural climate than when it was first published nearly two decades ago, The Artist's Way is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In it, Julia Cameron takes readers on an amazing twelve-week journey to discover the inextricable link between their spiritual and creative selves. This groundbreaking progralms includes:

Introduction to two of Cameron's most vital tools for creative recovery- THe Morning Pages and The Artist Date.

Hundreds of highly effective exercises and activities

Guidance on starting a "creative cluster" of fellow artists who will support you in your creative endeavors

A revolutionary program for artistic renewal from teh world's foremost authority on the creative process, The Artist's Way is a life-changing book.

Thesis:

(from page XXIII) "If you are creatively blocked- and I believe all of us are to some extent- it is possible, even probable, that you can learn to create more freely through your willing use of the tools this book provides. Just as doing Hatha Yoga stretches alters consciousness when all you are doing is stretching, doing the exercises in this book alters consciousness when "all" you are doing is writing and playing. Do these things and a breakthrough will follow- whether you believe in it or not. Whether you call it a spiritual awakening or not."

Why its interesting and informative:

Contrary to the title, this book addresses all sorts of artistic people; from writers to dancers to sculptors, to painters and so forth, although I feel that besides the writers other groups are mentioned only in passing. I have to be honest that I simply read this book straight through and haven't done exercises (not at that point in my life I suppose,) but I feel that the exercises such as Artist Date and Morning Pages are universal and could apply to anyone. I felt that through art we express our inner selves and often daily life becomes embedded in art as well as becoming the blockage. I found her theories that extremely driven people are blocked artists themselves as interesting. My parents and family members have always encouraged me to write and were never put off by my writing. (They didn't encourage me to become a full time writer however, and feel that writing should be more of a hobby rather than a life occupation.) I honestly had no idea that people dissuade others from pursuing the creative path.

Issues raised:

I can imagine that this type of book impacts the creative souls as well as others who aren't happy or unfulfilled. Why? Perhaps the person is not unleashing the creativity thus they can't release the inner demons so to speak, a lesson I should more often follow. I would also imagine that something like this would probably give the artistic world, which became more commercial, more freedom and appreciation. Perhaps that's why a lot of media suffers; its because its no longer fun and the artist within becomes a rebellious child who refuses to serve us. (Something the author always talked about.)

Agree/disagree:

Although I read the book straight through and hadn't really done or worked the exercises, I feel its a very powerful book and its also well written. The author's thoughts and opinions never bored me and it also helped me understand some people that I thought I didn't understand. If I could I'd recommend that book to that certain but I doubt he'll read it or even care about it. Since I was a teenager I often wrote stories, and I always felt that I had to fit in writing like other authors. (Even now I still tend to criticize my own writing because I'm bad at describing the inside of the house and whatnot and could care less.) The times I got true compliments was when I wrote poetry, but I always wanted to write novels and short stories. Few years back I combined poetry with story telling, somehow developing and polishing the inner voice inside and now I get a number of compliments on the way I write and describe nature scenes as well as psychology. Basically, I think the whole book is about acceptance of the inner artist within.

Sources:

The author used a lot of anecdotal sources as well as evidence from years of experience. In this book there aren't footnotes or endnotes or anything like that.

Conclusion:

I would advise someone to read this book, whether reading it without doing exercises or reading it and doing it, I can guarantee that this is not a book that's to be taken lightly and instead you'll we surprised by different conclusions as well as thoughts you'll have by it.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog.

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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