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Friday, April 27, 2007

Book Review: Creativity

In his new book, Creativity for Life, psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel delves more deeply into the issues that are raised by Art & Fear, the book I reviewed yesterday. Maisel's book is subtitled "Practical Advice on the Artist's Personality and Career from America's Foremost Creativity Coach." The underlying theme of the book is the art-committed life. Here is a comprehensive look at the challenges facing artists, including writers, painters, musicians, actors, dancers--all creative people. The book is divided into four parts. First, Maisel looks at the challenges of the artistic personality, including the ever-present concern about creativity, talent, and handling obscurity or stardom. Next, Maisel says to find your work, figure out what it is you want to do, learn to handle blocks, resistance and the business end of the artist's work. Third, the author addresses the challenges of relationships, not only personal, but also community and cultural issues. These three parts conclude with exercises consisting of numerous questions to heighten your awareness of your personal issues and ideas for handling them. Part Four includes strategies and tactics to help direct your art-committed life. As Maisel says, the creativity practice is like a snowflake--both simple and anything but simple. This book works as a life-plan or a reference book on creative issues, but it is interesting casual reading, as well.

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