Saturday, 2 May 2015

Week 30: Book Club

A couple of weeks ago we were tasked with writing a self reflective essay, going over our work of the year and linking it to our own career aspirations. I wrote about my aim of becoming a visual developer (with a focus on character design. ) and how the work that I have produced this year pushed towards that goal. Though  I'm  happy with the end result, writing the essay was a bit of a struggle.
During this process I  rediscovered  my dislike for academic styled writing. I love fictional stories, and recently I've found that I love auto biographic works as well;I've also enjoyed writing bits of both.  But when the purpose of my writing is self reflection, it is frustrating when I'm required to find other peoples' words and thoughts to put into my refection to make it valid. Doing this didn't bother me in all aspects, the most successful parts of my essay came when I was citing books that I've been reading over this year. They did aid my writing in a more organic way and was probably the main aim of citing others for this essay I'm sure. unfortunately too many of my references were found specifically so I could reach the required reference count before a deadline. The information found is still valid and still useful; but it needed some time to breathe and sink in. There wasn't enough time to meditate on anything new, which was a little disappointing for a self reflective essay.

Writing this essay has made me appreciate this blog more as my medium to write, and though what I write might not be as polished or academic as my essay it is certainly less dull.

To end of this post I'd like to recommend some books that I've read, and were included in my self reflection this year. These are written by authors who lives and writing style inspire me to write the way that I do, and to continue reading. This list is also the reason why this blogs a few weeks late; as I needed some time to finish reading a few of these and return them to the library, so people can actually try out these recommendations. So without further a due:

Austin Kleon:
Steal Like an Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative
Show Your Work: 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered

Having had Steal Like an Artist recommended to me a few times before I finally got round to reading it around half a year ago. I then took the time to re-read and pick up the sequel Show Your Work for the essay. These are two easy and fun reads on being an artist and doing good work. These two books also have a recommended reading list in the end pages, and I haven't found a bad recommendation on there yet.

Twyla Tharp:
The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life
The Collaborative habit: Life lessons for working together

These two books have taken a little longer to digest and I'm still reading through sections at the moment. Both books look into Twyla Tharp's experiences with individual and collaborative work. The creative habit includes some practical exercises to boast your own creativity and a look into Twyla Tharp's own (highly efficient) creative process.

Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on writing and life

A book that, at the bare minimum is funny as hell but also filled with solid advice. Though specifically about writing (and life) this book can easily apply to art; with topics on jealousy, false starts and allowing yourself to write "shitty first drafts" without wanting to die by the end of it.

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