August 12, 2011

This book will change you as an artist!

I have a bittersweet relationship with creative energy. It seems like I need all my inspiration to hit at the exact same moment when I can actually sit down and make an idea come to life. For the longest time, I've blamed a lack of productivity on time. Or organization. Or other people. Or life in general. It's honestly ridiculous. In fact, I got so used to blaming my lack of time to crochet, I began to feel extremely overwhelmed by creative energy. This energy was within and struggling to come out in a myraid of ideas and designs, but I just put up a wall. I just couldn't bring myself to sit down and do it. "Planning a few lessons for school is more important..." and the excuses continued. It was then, I realized, that I was allowing myself to be overwhelmed by creative energy.

There are so many amazing, dedicated, inspiring artisans out there that I admire with my whole heart. I dream of the day when I could be standing next of them, but what was I actually doing about it? Not much. I have been thinking about this overwhelmed sensation pretty much all summer. I even took a few weeks off from crocheting to "re-focus" myself and combat the nervous feeling head on.

Then, a few days ago a sweet friend of mine and extremely talented jewelry designer, Chrissy Gemmill, posted on her blog about a book she had just finished reading. It was EXACTLY what I needed.

I immediately sprinted out to Barnes & Nobel, grabbed the book, and finished it within just a few hours sitting by the pool. That's right. All it took was just a few hours to kick myself in the rear, enjoy Pressfield's ability to identify and name my issue with creative energy, and then recharge my batteries. It was incredible.

Ultimately, if you have ever struggled with creative energy, you should read this book. For example, if you've ever wanted to write a story, design a dress, learn how to knit, paint a portrait as a gift, or... organize your closet... but "never got around to it" and then felt really sort of guilty about it... then this is for you.

Essentially, Pressfield starts by explaning the idea of Resistance. When you have an idea, feel overwhelmed, and never bring it to fruition (um, hello... that was me nearly every day), you have succummed to Resistance. Pressfield explains the various froms of Resistance and why artists allow it to overwhelm themselves (insecurity, nervousness, etc.) in the early days.

He then begins to address how experience plays a part in allowing Resistance into your life. He separates us into two groups: ametures and professionals. I am an amerture... for now.
I completely understood what he was saying and I knew that I had been my own worse enemy. I'm not being overly negative on myself, but the fact of the matter was I needed toughen up and get serious!

The most incredible part of the book was while I was reading this particular section, it was almost as if three of my biggest inspirations, Yokoo, Maggie from GussySews, and Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess were reading it aloud to me. Honestly. It was such a magical moment, and that is why I emplore you to read it as well. It is such a quick read and has totally motivated me to think more clearly, jump on ideas, and be true to my creative spirit.

I'm fortunate to have such a strong creative energy that I need to embrace it and stop resisting it!

So, go. Go read this book. It will encourage you, probably make you giggle a few times, and encourage you to combat the negatitvity and pressure. I promise!

Happy Friday!


  1. Oh you're right! I need this! Thanks for sharing it!!!

  2. That book made me feel okay with feeling overwhelmed, now I don't feel bad about the emotions instead I feel it is part of the process! That is huge to me!

  3. thanks for sharing this liz, and for tagging me on twitter! xoxo

  4. Thanks for the tip! I'm reading The Artist's Way and The Crafter's Devotional, but I'll keep this one on the list, too. :)