A creativity guidebook aimed at awakening one’s inner artist.
This contemplative work by author, speaker, and consultant Funke (War on Sunday Morning, 2018, etc.) concentrates on a set of disarmingly simple precepts—the most straightforward of which is that “art matters.” She offers a serialized discussion of creativity and art in brief blog posts that range widely over many aspects of the artistic life, from dealing with rejection to challenging cultural stereotypes and understanding the importance of never feeling completely comfortable in any creative endeavor: “When was the last time a project frightened you?” The author warns neophytes and reminds experienced readers that steady creativity exacts costs, including sleepless nights, long workdays, and the torment of doubt and self-criticism, among others. To justify such a state of affairs, Funke stresses that everybody is brilliant sometimes; it’s only what she refers to as “realized genius” that’s uncommon. This effectively buttresses her assertion that “we have new opportunities to engage in dialogues that will help us understand each other better” through sharing our stories in artful ways. Funke’s prose throughout this volume is brightly engaging and strengthened by her rapid-fire insights into the creative process, as well as by her recollections from her own life. The latter often underscore how “especially vulnerable” artistic people tend to be—and how their only sure refuge, she asserts, is in art. There’s no shortage of empowering manuals about creativity, but readers will likely find Funke’s to be a memorable one.
A compassionate and encouraging look at the costs and deep rewards of the artistic way of life.