I’ve heard of artists and musicians who spent years torn by the pressure to follow up on their early success. As a working artist and designer, I don’t want to fall into a trap like that. Yet, too often, with all the tools at our disposal, and the lack of any formal limits, I can feel like being able to just go make anything means I end up making nothing, or nothing worthwhile, at least. I needed to get beyond that. That’s why I’m so relieved to find this wonderful book. There are 35 brief chapters that break down the steps needed to do well within each of the six major sections: Accepting Yourself, Getting Ready, Finding Inspiration, Developing Your Practice, Expressing Yourself, and Pushing Your Limits. Each chapter is brief, focused, and visually beautiful — with lavish photography and personal tips from successful artists.
To get an idea of what’s covered, these are some of the chapters I found most helpful in my daily working life: Defining Your Priorities, Define in Your Creative Goal, Developing Your Curiosity, Creating Multiple Sources of Inspiration, Establishing a Routine, Creating the Series, Letting Things Mature, Nurturing Your Sensitivity, Sharing Your Creations Online, and a Creative Survival Kit. The book is focused and well-written, while remaining easy to read and engaging, too. If I could go back in time and ask great artists how they managed to create great works reliably, I think (after many years) I’d come up with a list of guidelines similar to this book. I’m delighted to learn from the vast experience contained here, minus the years of time traveling.