Monday, January 18, 2010

Creativity - Twyla Tharp

I'm a ballet fan and have been for years. Twyla Tharp is possibly the leading choreographer of her generation. So when she put out her book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. I looked forward to reading it. Her basic premise is that there is nothing magical about creativity, it is the product of preparation and effort, and it's within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it.
Her focus is often on process not product which is a common topic for Knitters. Much of the book does refer to dance as she inhabits that world, however she uses exercises for creativity that would apply to anyone in any creative endeavour.
She uses many other artists as examples and speaks of the power of practice. I especially liked a section where she tells us to accept that there aren't totally new ideas and to stop worrying that we won't be seen as breaking new ground. Instead that we are rearranging things in a new way. This comes up a lot among Knitting Designers as we all use the same stitch dictionaries and work with similar silhouettes while being influenced by main stream fashion. This is a book that I will reread again in the future as I pursue my own creative career.

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