A creative reading list for 2017: starting points
I’m really excited to share my creative reading list for 2017 with you. I’ve been working on this list in the quiet moments since Christmas and can’t wait to get started on it. The first thing to observe is that these kind of books seem to have MASSIVE titles..!
You can read more below about my reasons for embarking on this effort – well the reasons aside from the obvious, that I love to read, and love craft books – it’s all about pressing the reset button for me this January.
I had a thought of setting up a small closed Facebook group for people who are interested in sharing books and thoughts about reading on topics of creativity, stitching, textiles and personal development/mental health. If it’s an idea that appeals, do let me know, no worries if not!
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Elizabeth Gilbert)
- Mark-making in Textile Art (Helen Parrott)
- Stitch Stories – Personal Places, Spaces and Traces in Textile Art (Cas Holmes)
- Connected Cloth – Creating Collaborative Textile Projects (Cas Holmes/Anne Kelly)
- Slow Stitch – Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art (Claire Wellesley-Smith)
- Eco Colour – Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles (India Flint)
- A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric; Traditional & Digital Techniques; For Quilting, Home Dec & Apparel (Kim Kight)
- The Art of Manipulating Fabric (Colette Wolff)
- Natural Processes in Textile Art – From Rust-Dyeing to Found Objects (Alice Fox)
- Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living (Krista Tippett)
- A Passion for Colour – Exploring Colour Through Paper, Print, Fabric, Thread and Stitch (Ruth Issett)
- The Crossroads of Should and Must – Find and Follow your Passion (Elle Luna)
- Creative Strength Training: Prompts, Exercises and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius (Jane Dunnewold)
- The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (Julia Cameron)
- The Creative Habit – Learn It and Use It for Life (Twyla Tharp)
- Art and Fear – Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (David Bayles / Ted Orland)
- Free Play – Improvisation in Life and Art (Stephen Nachmanovitch)
- Creative Journal Writing – The Art and Heart of Reflection (Stephanie Dowrick)
So here’s a bit more about why..
Early last year, after the death of David Bowie, I scribbled down a few thoughts about the way he lived his life and the way that his creativity resonated with me. Here’s the list I made back then.
When I wrote that, right at the beginning of the year, I knew I wanted to take these intentions forward with me into 2016, and in some ways I did – they certainly bubbled away under the surface throughout the year.
Back in the spring, I took the risk (see point 3!) of paying a monthly rent for a workroom of my own (I may have mentioned this a few times ;-)). This step was definitely about the practicalities of having the quiet, the space and the light that isn’t available at home, but more importantly, it was about taking myself seriously as a creative person. I also decided to stop selling Liberty lawn too, for the same reasons – I was so keen to free up more time to devote to ideas and developing my craft. I don’t regret either of those steps for a second – it has been fantastic to be surrounded by other people making fabulous work, talking about collaborations, art & craft markets, exhibitions and being excited to be part of the resurgence of our city.
But taking on the responsibility of finding my rent and whilst still paying myself a wage, with no income from the fabric selling, has been hard, and there’s been very little time for learning, being curious, exploring, moving forward. Sometimes I’ve been too busy with commission work to take part in my own swaps, which doesn’t feel right at all.
So, here we are at the start of 2017, and I am going for it again… And I’m going to start by really getting back to the roots of my creativity – what works for me, what doesn’t, different ways of working, things I want to learn, things I want to do, developing goals, being authentic, being playful and moving forward. I’m also going to work more on my research into the relationship between craft and mental health (which if you are a regular reader, you’ll know I’ve written about a bit before). I’m sharing this intention with you all because I really want to put in the work, but will no doubt suffer crises of confidence (my inner committee is already telling me this is a stupid idea…) and boredom (my honey bee mind wanting to move along to the next flower) along the way, so need to be held to virtual account!
Oh yes, and if you have recommendations to add to my eclectic list, or if you’re interested in chatting on Facebook in a little reading group (see above) do get in touch. Here’s to my making 2017 a year of following my curious creative whims.