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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What would you do?


My Artist's Way group is on the chapter that calls for reading deprivation. I am already terrified by this assignment, even though I have no doubt it has value. To add insult to injury I got the most delicious shipment from Amazon today. My California Berkeley Bad Girls Book club friends, Diana, Martha and Cynthia gave me a gift certificate for my birthday and I ordered these books...

An Illustrated Life (of course!)
by Danny Gregory
Where Wanderers Cease To Roam ( A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put)
by Vivian Swift
The Decorated Page
by Gwen Diehn
I am also doing daily drooling over a gift sent to me by my SIL, Gretchen..
True Nature (An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons of Solitude
by Barbara Bash

So what would you do?
1.Stick with the program and deprive myself of reading to unleash my creativity
2.Postpone this week's Artist's Way assignment for one week so I can devour these books?

Here's another look at my temptations. What's a girl to do??

34 comments:

Wendi said...

Wow!! Your dilema is worse that I thought.

Okay, so you'd only have to delay gratification for ONE week, right?? Hmmmm?

So, maybe wait a week to dig into your books, it will be a nice gift to yourself... this week will probably be a bit busy with the holidays and all anyway, and waiting a week may allow you to really savor them when you can sit down with them, uninterrupted. It would also be nice to focus on your Artist Way project, as well, and get past it so you can move on.

Deborah Lowe said...

This girl would ... wow - what a dilemma you really have! I sort of have a similar problem. I just received Danny Gregory's new book from Amazon, which I bought myself for Christmas, and as you know it's not Christmas yet; but I can hardly wait to devour this book - in fact I'm even tempted to stay up all night with my devouring. I haven't decided yet what I will do.

Well, here's what I would probably do if I were you. I'd open the books and just take a little peek through them - not reading, just peeking to see what you have to look forward to. Then I'd wrap them up nicely and spend much time tying a pretty Christmas bow and put them under the tree. On Christmas Eve (obviously you can't wait until Christmas Day!) I would open the package and savour every delicious moment you've made yourself wait for for a whole week! The Artist's Way is a great book and I too have done the reading deprivation as it suggests. Do it! You won't be sorry you waited!

Blessings,
Deborah
daloweartist.blogspot.com

Cecelia said...

I think you would gain more by reading than by depriving yourself of it. You might try deprivation later, but, the way I feel about is, so many books to read, so little time! So many things to create and so little time!
I guess we are evenly divided, so far. You just have to weigh what is best for you. Good luck!

Waiting... said...

Now you have given me a dilema...I have Danny's newest book, but not the others...do I order them or do I not! They look awesome so you can probably guess what I would do :-). Follow your heart!
Libbi

Spinneretta said...

Easy- the week has already started so you're late with the AW. Read the books this week ;)
Alternatively, if you think you might just get more books for Christmas, do the break this week :) and allow yourself to read over Christmas :D

Karen Winters said...

I'm probably going to express an unpopular and immodest opinion here, but I don't think that reading deprivation has anything to do with becoming more creative.

In my not very humble opinion, I'm one of the most creatively active people I know and I read voraciously when I'm not creating. In fact, I think that reading stimulates my creativity - especially if I'm reading about creative things.

So I'd say ignore that chapter and do what your own instinct tells you is right for you.

Now, if you're the kind of person who uses reading to avoid creative challenges, that might be a different story. But I don't think that describes you.

Enjoy your purchase, have fun and keep creating

Brenda Yarborough said...

I agree with Karen 100% -- go for it! I think the exercises in the Artist's Way are SUGGESTIONS :)

Ann said...

I agree with Karen and Brenda. And after you have read them will you give us a review of each of those books? They all look very inspiring.

peachtreeart said...

Have your cake and eat it too! No one says you can't do a little of both! The thing is that guilt from doing one or the other will prevent you from doing both.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

What would I do? dump the project and enjoy the reading. I see nothing benefical to not reading. Creative thoughts often come while reading for me.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Ps. I wouldn't dump the 'project' only that one week's project. :))
It would have been fun to have sent E&E to Texas. Maybe next time if they come for a visit. :))
You could have sketched them.

Deborah Lowe said...

Okay, after I posted my comment to you, then I started thinking - we don't even know if we will live 'til next week! Morbid thought, but I read a page in Danny Gregory's Creative License about setting deadlines for yourself and contemplating the BIG deadline... And I thought - to heck with deprivation - we can deprive ourselves anytime - she should read the books!! Then I went right to the living room and picked up my new copy of The Illustrated Life and started pouring over it! and I feel better! READ THE BOOKS - btw, The Decorated Page is a great book; I have it.
Deborah

Alison said...

The idea behind restricting reading, I believe, is to get people to actually DO not to avoid DOING by just reading about doing. So I would DO a sketch each day, then, if I had more time, enjoy some reading but to make the readin a bit less passive, I would take some notes on what I liked, techniques to try or whateevr was my focus. A reasonable compromise, i think.

Kim Saxe said...

Well, I have to say that I would go ahead and read the books. When Wanderers Cease to Roam is my new favorite book. I carry it with me much of each day, and it makes me just so happy. Sometimes, I'll open a page and just have it nearby. So much talent. So, my feelings about that book are swaying my reply. I would not want you to delay - even by a day - the enjoyment you will find in her book, and the others, (which I will not go check out on Amazon!)

Just my two cents,
Kim

gabi campanario said...

reading deprivation as a way to creativity is a tough proposition, but it's true that sometimes too much looking outside to the works of others is an obstacle to finding your own artistic voice, subconsciously you end up copying others instead of doing 'your thing'. if you are already aware of that i say read on

Mark Hill said...

I also have to agree with Karen W on this one, Lisa. And personally, I get cranky and insufferable when I don't get to read and this inhibits my creativity. And they do look like such intriguing books too. An Illustrated Life is awesome...

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Hmmmmmmmm.
I've never heard of this one before. I can see the potential benefits, I guess. I think? It does sound harsh, though. To me this would be the same as giving up music for a week. I would not and could not do that. I couldn't survive. I hyperventilate just thinking about it.

I dunno. Interesting one though.

Heather said...

You're going to be surprised about my answer on this one... but I think you should delay the reading until after your assignment. Many good things in life come from a change in perspective and getting out of your comfort zone!

Kathleen said...

I'm not sure what I would do but I think I'd maybe delay the assignment -

Heather said...

PS: Don't blogs count as reading??

jessica said...

Lisa,
These are GREAT books. I totally agree with Karen on this one - they will get you to "do".

I have 3 of them, and Vivian's Book and Danny's make me go sketch every other page.

I wrote extensive reviews of both of those on LoveThisJournal.com

Diana said...

Just because you were on a diet doesn't mean you wouldn't open a cookbook to create a satisfying meal. Those aren't novels, right? It would be different if you had a pile of novels there. You're reading to connect and receive inspiration - it's like a daily scripture for an artist, right? Chances are you'll get into one of those books and feel compelled to do some great art.

Is that justification enough? ;0> (As my mother used to say, "Go ahead and blame me, if you need a bad guy." This was to help us if we needed to get out of a peer pressure situation, btw.)

Shirley said...

Lisa,

I refused to deprive myself as I was working through TAW in 2003 and it made no difference overall! I vote READ and enjoy!

Leigh said...

I think what Julia Cameron is more concerned about is the inordinate amount of time people spend watching TV and reading things like magazines and newspapers, things that are anti-creative. I vote that you dive into these books as they are more likely to help your creativity rather than stifle it.

kazumiwannabe said...

Stick to the program, it's worth it. And nothing says you can't watch the nice pictures in the books ; )
You're going to have a wonderful time next week with all these great books.

Sherry said...

I've worked myself through The Artist's Way, and skipped that requirement with no ill effects. On the other hand, sometimes reading about other artists is just an excuse not to make art! You have to decide.

Margaret Ann said...

This one is easy...Belly up to the "book buffet" and have yourself a jolly good time...overindulge for 'tis the season! Don't even think twice...Just do it! Yum!

winna said...

I can see the benefit to either side of the coin here---I sure hope to hear in the future how it all went for you.

Paloma Chaffinch said...

Stick with the Artist's Way program. The books will still be there in a week's time and you'll be even more eager to get your hands on them.

I want straight to Amazon and ordered the Barbara Bash book! So thanks for posting it and I hope you solve your dilemma!

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

I vote..that tomorrow is only a dream, read the books TODAY!!!
I too am off to Amazon to order books I'd never heard of before... Thanks Lisa.

differenceayearmakes said...

Well, not you've added a couple books to my book obsession. I'm no help at all.

Artist Unplugged said...

Book fasting huh? I don't really get the sense behind it. Maybe a day, just to whet your appetite for reading more.

Nancy said...

Ooh, "True Nature" I LOVE that book!
Nancy

Parka said...

I see a couple of books I'm going to get!