I recently worked through the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. There are a gazillion reviews of this book out there, and that isn’t my thing. So I’ll not do that. My style is more random thoughts.
I really enjoyed reading this book. But what was even better was that I worked through it along with four other people. We met once per week for twelve weeks and discussed a chapter. If you would like to be more creative, or if you want to explore some sort of creative outlet, but never seem to get to it for various reasons, you might have a lot to gain by working through The Artist’s Way. It was really awesome to work through it with others. Bouncing ideas off them, and hearing their reactions and interpretations added to the whole experience in a way I can’t express. (You might have noticed that being more creative with my writing is not something I’ve made a priority. 😉 )
What does this have to do with woodworking, you might ask? I asked myself that too. One of core ideas of the book is that everyone is creative, and that we just have to let it happen. Woodworking, probably like most arts, has both technical and creative aspects. Designing your own pieces would be pure creative juices. And as I was sorting this out in my head I pigeon-holed the more technical building of a piece as not-creative. Cut and dried. You pick your method to prepare stock, cut joinery, etc. And then it’s just a matter of following the steps. But it’s not that simple. There’s also a lot of problem solving that needs to be done on even the most simple piece. And that is another opportunity to be creative.
I think I got very lucky though with my group. In a span of twelve weeks four complete strangers became good friends with whom I’d comfortably talk about things I don’t talk about with anyone else. If I could do it again, I don’t think I could choose four others who would be as open-minded, supportive, and enthusiastic.
Thank you Ann, Sarah, David, and Carolyn. Oh and tell your artists “thanks” too.