Women Embracing Creativity: Unleashing Your Inner Artist by Christina Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Christina Thompson's Women Embracing Creativity: Unleashing Your Inner Artist does an excellent job of bringing together tips on motivation, creativity concepts, fear of success, making room for creativity and more. In one book you can discover how to set time aside for yourself and how to begin your creative practice which can be dancing, fine arts, writing, singing and more! I have so many books in my library that cover these same subjects, but in Christina's there are all in one source and they are built upon and thoroughly investigated. This book is a companion to Christina Thompson's 8 week Creativity Course she teaches several times a year, but it can certainly stand on its own and does. Christina also includes specific homework exercises such as logging your successes, starting a gratitude journal and paying attention to what's around you.
I can't talk enough about how wonderful and encouraging this book can be for emerging artists. Christina weaves in personal stories, academic references and solid results-oriented solutions for when you feel stuck. She encourages her female readers to stop being an Artist-in-Hiding and stop doing everything for your family. Be creative and be yourself! But I like that she doesn't just say be selfish with your needs and totally ignore your family, either. Instead she tells us to communicate with our families our creative needs and make sure everything is out in the open.
I know in my busy life, I have to make sure that I tell my husband what's going on in my week so there are no surprises in our schedule, and sometimes he wishes he wouldn't have to take care of the kids all day or all weekend. But I have to work at my success and at my career and that involves spending time away from home occasionally. I also try to not have two night events two days in a row so I can be there for my family. Sure my writing career is important but not at the expense of my family. All artists have to know how to balance work and family since we live with being an artist all of the time. It's a lifestyle and not something we leave at door like most traditional W-2 jobs.
One of the points Christina stresses is that successful artists must practice. Do you think Rob Thomas just started singing "Smooth" that first time and it was perfect? I don't think so. Or did a beautiful painting emerge from the first series of brushstrokes? No! A masterpiece emerges only from returning to the canvas, or to the page, or to the dance floor again and again. Chistina also encourages emerging artists to find a great teacher/mentor who guides them on their way. The ones who fail are the ones who don't put the work in and stay glued to the world of ideas. Christina also does a great job of breaking down fear and enumerating the excuses artists make when they don't want to get a project going. After all, who wants to start something that you know will not be perfect because you're new at it? Christina stresses that it takes dedication and commitment to follow through on your dreams and nurture the seeds of creativity.
She also talks about how parents tell their kids not to be artists because this lifestyle isn't "safe" and that's why so there are so many would-be artists who haven't found their path yet. This point I could totally relate to and why I volunteer so much with young people who want to be writers.
Thank you, Christina, for writing this book for all artists and artists to-be. This book is must-have reading.
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