do it. create. walk and see. cut and paste. scratch and sniff.
do whatever you have to do to feed your soul.
this is my commitment.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

recommended reading

OK, so I'll refer to the above image towards the end.  Just start here and keep reading: I am constantly using my library.  My account is constantly in flux.  I am continuously searching for titles and reserving them.  Sometimes, I pick up my reserves at the library and drop them immediately in the return slot.  Sometimes, I pick up my reserved books and they sit around my house in different places until they are overdue.  Sometimes they don't leave the seat of my car.  Once in awhile, something aligns and I find the perfect book for the perfect day.  Yesterday, I picked up such a book.  It was a small book and I was a bit skeptical about the title and presentation but, I gave it a shot and I am glad I did.  I'll get to the title and author soon.  For right now, keep reading.

So yesterday, given my state of mind and mood, I appreciated a short read that got to the point.  Much of the contents I already practice or believe in, some of the contents prompted memories and others gave me a jumpstart into today.  

Here are a few excerpts and quotes:

"You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards" - Steve Jobs

How many of you can raise your hand on this one?  Man, my hand is waving all over the place...  Anyway, it's always quite comforting to have a creative genius  (yes, I do consider Steve Jobs just that) affirm my reality at times (who am I kidding?  MOST of the time!)  This is why it is SO IMPORTANT for me to keep creating before analyzing.  Didn't Andy Warhol say something like, and I am paraphrasing here: just keep making art.  By the time other people decide if they like THAT art or not, be on to the next creation.  Gol' BAD paraphrase.  I need to find that quote...

"It isn't necessary that you leave home.  Sit at your desk and listen.  Don't even listen, just wait.  Don't wait, be still and alone.  The whole world will offer itself to you." - Franz Kafka

This is something I write about so often here and I just can't seem to get enough.  It reminds me, again, how important space, time, quiet, and sitting are to the creative soul.  It also reminds me that the ideas are there and do arrive with continued discipline and trust even though we never think they are there or will arrive ever again.

"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work" - Gustave Flaubert

The author of this book (yes, I am going to get to the title and author soon) speaks about being a "boring guy with a nine to five job that lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife and his dog".  Ha!  Me too!  I LOVE my life but others might have a tendency to consider it uneventful most of the time.  The author says, "It takes a lot of energy to be creative.  You don't have that energy if you waste it on other stuff."  Well, golly - be!  Seriously, ain't THAT the truth?  I take pride is reserving my energy for the things that really matter to me.  

The author recommends "keep(ing) your day job" but what really resonates with me is this: He says, "The trick is to find a day job that pays decently, doesn't make you want to vomit, and leaves you with enough energy to make things in your spare time."  I just left a full time teaching job for a waitressing job and to pursue my consultation and coaching business more thoroughly.  'twas matter how I tried to shift around my teaching commitments, at the end of the day there wasn't much if anything left.  I showed up for my creativity everyday but it was forced and always difficult with a few flurries of insight every once in  a while.  Having a job that leaves me with enough energy means the flurries are coming at a steady flow.  Possibility is happening all the time (or more of the time than not).  This is what keeps the creative mind and soul moving.

I love being reminded that "Creativity is Subtraction" and that by isolating variables within my creative world, all of the sudden, sparks start to fly.  I remember a time when I resisted using any white paint to see what happened.  Currently, I am enjoying "using what I have" and seeing what happens - "use what you have" a great quote by a good-fellow creator and doll maker, Brenna Busse.

So the book, you ask?  What was the book?

Rock on, Austin, I hear ya...

Oh, yeah...Austin talks about hobbies, the importance of maintaining them as an integral part of the creative process.  I know I have a million hobbies but what are they specifically?  I think they are so much a part of me, I need to take a step back to redefine. 
Also, the log book!  Oh, Yeah!  Let there be a log book...
I have logs of my days intertwined into all my other journals, sketchbooks and calendar but I am going to commit to starting a log book exclusively just for daily logs (radical, huh?)  Interestingly enough, I jotted a visual log of the last 22 days before I read this book (that's what that image above is all about).  I'll start with this and continue...daily...

Oh, yeah?  Did I mention the recommended reading Austin (isn't it funny how I am referring to him like a long lost friend - someone I didn't know of, however, before last night) put together?  Well, let's just say I have a few more books on reserve at my public library...

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