Book Review:Letters to a Young Artist

This book still affects me in very positive ways. I still do my morning pages, which I just journalling every morning. Love getting out and about doing an artist’s date. I love my walking adventures. I still do lots of bad work, especially at Toastmasters, however what I do is improving, and I get better and better all the time. I also tell others now you don’t have to do it perfectly just have a go, it is all about learning and all about practice, and small constant improvements.  The following is a re-post from my previous blog Just. At the moment I am working on chapter 3 of The Artist’s Way, another great book by Julia Cameron.

 

 

This is a wonderful book authored by Julia Cameron. It is full of wonderful tips and encouragement. Although this book is focused on an artist most of the tips can apply to all of us. This book will help you develop your creative side and decrease your self doubts.

I like the way she talks about the importance of doing bad art. It not that we aim to do bad work, yet sometimes we will do bad work. It is important to keep going and not let our need for perfection stop us. When we work through are bad art/work, this may be the very thing that gets us to our best art/work.
This is because even if our work is bad/good we are doing the work. Only through doing the work will we be able to achieve doing good work. She also talks about it does not mater if we are inspired or not in the mood we should still continue to do the work. Working through these times and doing the work will often lead us to being inspired.
She talks about self-development and how we are required to develop ourselves. Some of the ways she attends to her own self- development is as follows: “When I wake up, I do three pages of longhand writing just to see where I am and how I am and what I want to do with my day which of course, more broadly, means my life.(Cameron, J., 2005, p33) These are what is known as morning pages, which are a type of journalling. There is not right or wrong way to do them. They are a wonderful way to do a brain dump, explore ideas, be imaginative, self exploration, set a plan for the next 24 hours, relax on paper and so much more.

I also like the advise about our inner critic, and that the critic is the adult in us, our sensible side who doesn’t like to be wasting time or playing around. Our creative side comes from our child who is exploring every thing it comes across with great fascination. Children play and our creative side requires us to play.
We can help our creative side by having creative excursion and participating in playful activities or excursions. This is also a great way to re fuel ourselves and fill up our wells. It is best we do these alone at least once a week.

Another tip is the habit of walking. Julia recommends daily walking. “A good walk moves you out of the questions and into the answers.  …………….. Walking moves us out of our minds and into our bodies. We use phrases like “body of work” without realising how literal the phrase is and that getting into our bodies might be one good way to accomplish that “body” of work. “(Cameron, J., 2005, p47) A 20 minute walk is a great way to get unstuck or simply come up with new ideas. I like to carry an ideas book with me. So as when a good idea comes to me I just write it down immediately. I found that often by the time I got home I would forget many of the ideas I got when out walking. I simply write the idea down and let it go, then follow it up when I get home or have some spare time.
What I really like about this book is the realistic way she encourages us to look beyond stereo types, and  to look beyond what other people are saying and doing.  Rather to be protective of ourselves and who we spend time with and to have faith in what we do. To believe in ourselves and our work.

Cameron, J. Letters To A Young Artist, Random House Pty Limited, London, 2005,  ,pp 33, 47

So now I am of to do a walking adventure  to see what I can find. It is a beautiful hot sunny day so I will be putting on some sunscreen and hat.

Only two more blog post to do to complete the challenge, so I will be back to doing more work latter. 

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