Monday, May 28, 2012

Reading's one of my favorite pastimes, and if I can find a book that relates to sewing in some way? Even better. The Creative Habit is the most recent book I've read and it was so inspiring, I immediately ordered my own copy from Amazon. If you are involved in any creative hobby-- or want to be and don't know how to get started-- this book is a must-have. 

If you're majoring in something artistic-- like I am-- people will often assume that you spend your time doing, well, not a whole lot. That you have it easier than engineering or mathematics majors, because your homework is normally sewing or drawing-related. I've encountered more than a few people who seem to think that Apparel Design is a joke of a subject to spend a college degree on. What I liked about this book is how accurately it shows that being creative, or artistic, takes effort, time, and a significant amount of skill. It's not for the lazy or unmotivated; if you want to produce something beautiful, you can't simply sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. It's just as valid of a career choice as something scientific, and you have to work just as hard for it.

"No one can give you your subject matter, your creative content; if they could, it would be their creation and not yours. But there's a process that generates creativity-- and you can learn it... There's a paradox in the notion that creativity should be a habit. We think of creativity as a way of keeping everything fresh and new, while habit implies routine and repetition. That paradox intrigues me because it occupies the place where creativity and skill rub together." 

This book is a great motivator. If you want to produce something of quality-- wether it's a garment, a piece of music, or even a business negotiation- you have to actively work, hone your skills, and do things that will help spark your creativity. Sometimes, great ideas really will hit you out of the blue; but you have to be willing to get them and to then do the work it takes to realize them. An artistic lifestyle takes motivation and perseverance.

"It takes skill to bring something you've imagined into the world: to use words to create believeable lives, to select the colors and textures of paint to represent a haystack in sunset, to combine ingredients to make a flavorful dish. No one is born with that skill. It is developed through exercise, through repetition, through a blend of learning and reflection that's both painstaking and rewarding... Even Mozart, with all his innate gifts, his passion for music, and his father's devoted tutelage, needed to get twenty-four youthful symphonies under his belt before he composed something enduring with number twenty-five. If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge." 

You can get your own copy here. (By the way, all quotes were taken from the intro chapter.)

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