|necklace by Lisa Leonard Designs|
One of her latest projects is her book, I Just Like to Make Things. As the founder of Lilla Rogers Studio, she shares her years of industry insight into making money while staying passionate about your art and craft.
One of my favorite messages from Lilla's book is that "people buy your joy". Simple, right? Maybe, maybe not. Being a designer who worked for companies designing for specific brands for many many years, I became really good at designing for the customer. Sometimes that brought me joy, but I wasn't designing for me. I was designing what I thought (or was told) the customer wanted. Imagine the freedom (and sometimes terror!) of making things that I wanted to make because they made me happy! That's how it was when I first started my blog almost 7 years ago. Liberating. Terrifying. Joyful! Lilla's words give me focus. Remember the joy.
Lilla's book is not a how-to-make-art book. It's how to get motivated, how to find opportunities and how to keep the creativity flowing. She shares interviews with industry art directors, artists and crafters. Lilla's "you can do this" attitude left me feeling like I could conquer the world. Or at least maybe license some of my artwork someday. :) If you want to see a great interview with Lilla, Monica from Smart Creative Women chatted with her not-so-long-ago.
|Marisa's and my footwear: kindred spirits!|
Interestingly enough, the next author is someone I met teaching at Squam Art Workshops, an event that changed my life in many ways. Marisa and I were assigned to each other as roomates. Despite being strangers forced to share a tiny cabin room with about 2 feet of space between our twin beds, we became fast friends. Marisa, who blogs at Creative Thursdays, is the kind of person you can stay up all night talking to. She is one of the most sweet, savvy, understanding, authentic, creative people I've met. That's why I was so excited to buy her new book, Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice.
Marisa shares her creative journey while walking beside you on yours. Her encouraging voice guides you along, empowering you to figure out what works best for you. Her book is full of her own endearing artwork...artwork that has allowed her to be a full time successful artist. Reading Marisa's book is like talking to your mentor, an accomplished artist and your best friend all wrapped into one.
Now that I think of it, you can listen to Marisa's interview over at Smart Creative Women as well! How do you like that.
The next book I'd like to share with you is one that has been on my bookshelf for many years. (and this time I do not know the authors!) First published in the early 70's, brought to my attention during design school in the 80's, The Universal Traveler by Koberg and Bagnall, is one of the best books out there on design process.
Yes, it looks dated and very practical, but I love this book! It's all about creative problem solving. Who doesn't need that? It goes through the creative process using the analogy of travel and basically gives you a map for your design journey. It discusses pitfalls and "tourist traps", "side trips" to develop creativity and awareness, and shares many tidbits for moving forward through resistance and roadblocks. I'm finding this book really hard to describe, I hope I am doing it justice.
Maybe a few little quotes will help illustrate it:
"The design process is a sequence of events that demands creative behavior from it's participants. The activity of design is to improve existing conditions and to find clear paths out of dilemmas."
"Ideas are truly a dime a dozen. There are so many of them; they are of little value until developed. It is only after an idea is translated into reality that it becomes valuable."
"Steady creativity requires a steady determined effort. The more consistently we behave in ways that encourage creativity, the more likely we are to be consistently creative."
"Relax occasionally during the problem solving process. Some people call this allowing enough time to 'incubate'; allowing thoughts to become behavior. We all need time to 'digest' what we eat before chewing some more."
I find that when I am stuck creatively, flipping through this book reminds me about the process, how projects and life in general is a fantastic voyage through both rough and calm seas.
I hope that one or more of these books strikes a chord with you. While they are quite different books from each other, they all agree on one aspect. That creativity is a way of operating. It's something we all have, and it is our choice whether or not to tap into it.
What are your favorite books on creativity? Do you have a secret weapon for getting "unstuck"?