Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Parenting Pointers: The Artist's Way

Last summer I got to review The Artist's Way for Parents, a helpful book for anyone interested in sparking creativity at home. This week it will be released in paperback, and I had a chance to interview the author to learn a bit more about the book and creativity.

What was the inspiration behind writing The Artist's Way?

JC: I have to say the inspiration was my own temper. I felt that many artists were being bullied. I wanted to write a manifesto that would assure creators of their right to create. I wanted to undo the negative conditioning we have as a culture about life in the arts. For example, we believe artists are broke, while I believe artists can be solvent. We believe artists are crazy where I believe artists are sane. Most of our negativity can be undone. That is what I hoped my book would do.
For many years, people asked me, "How can I help my children?" I always replied, "Help yourself-- creativity is contagious. Children will learn to do what they see." I thought this was a sufficient answer until my own daughter became pregnant and I found myself wishing to give her a toolkit that would reflect my own lessons, growing up in a creative family and being creative myself. 
Why are art and creativity important for kids?

JC: Children need joy. They need a sense of play. Art and creativity bring to children optimism. As they create, they learn their power and strength.
How can parents encourage more creativity in their kids?

JC: As parents nurture their own creativity, they also nurture the creativity of their children. The book is filled with festive tools for parent and child, alone and together.
Why is it important for parents to nurture their own creative sides, and how can they do that?
JC: We have an expression, "the play of ideas," yet we seldom realize that it is a directive. Parents who nurture their own creativity model for their children a creative life. The book contains simple bedrock tools that encourage growth and expansion-- daily writing, daily check-ins on happiness, weekly expeditions to do something enchanting-- all of which work toward the play of ideas.

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