A new book (well, it's handsomely used) just arrived on my doorstep today. It's called Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists by Rice Freeman-Zachery. I have barely begun delving into this beautiful book, but I just had to share what I've experienced so far. First of all, this book is an art piece in and of itself. It's a colorful montage of fifteen working artists, who share their work and their insights regarding creativity and living an artful life.
I've been absorbing the first chapter called "The Creative Childhood [It's Never Too Late!]." I realize how clearly I can trace my creative impulses to my childhood. I happened to grow up in a household of writer/artist types, so my artistic explorations were accepted and encouraged. I know that some (many?) people did not experience this kind of familial acceptance of their creative endeavors. Even if your artist self emerged later in life, it might be interesting to think about what things (colors, aesthetics, shapes, images) drew you in as a kid. Perhaps you saved these artistic "goodies" for your adult life. Whether you would describe yourself as having been a creatively abundant kid or not, I recommend your trying the "Try This" below.
So, my Try This comes directly from Living the Creative Life:
"In your journal or a piece of paper, make a list of the things that fascinated you as a child. Snakes? Big trucks? Flying? Going to the moon? List everything, no matter how silly it seems. Maybe you were entranced with a particular shade of blue you found in the lining of your father's suit, or maybe you couldn't resist running your hands over velvet or smushing mud into clay. What captured every bit of your attention? When you're done with your list, circle or highlight the ones that cause a little shiver of interest. Those are the things that still call you."
Do these images come easily? Or is it hard to remember the things you were drawn to as a child? What themes/images remain potent to you even still?