Flow’s creative director Irene is currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Here, she tells us what she thinks.
Big Magic is about creativity (or as the subtitle states: “creative living beyond fear”), and of course something like this always piques my curiosity. The nice thing about the book is that it is written from a mindfulness angle: let go of perfectionism, try to stay in the now without ever thinking about the end result, and enjoy the process of making. That’s a message we also like to convey in Flow. The downside about the book, though, is that it really is about Elisabeth’s own process and has the kind of self-help jargon that sometimes makes your skin crawl.
Regardless of this, I’m going to bite the bullet and finish reading the book. But, I will also say this: I have had more pleasure in listening to the podcast Elizabeth made about the book, called “Magic Lessons,” especially episode 12, in which she talks about creativity with Bréne Brown (who has written books and held TEDTalks on vulnerability). In it, Brené says: “If you would had asked me five years ago what creativity meant to me, I would have said, ‘Oh that’s cute, that’s fun, I don’t really do a lot A-R-T, ‘cause I’ve got a J-O-B, so you go take your paintbrush or do your scrapbooking and you have a great time, but I’ve got to get shit done.’ If you ask me right now what creativity is, it is, for me, the way I share my soul with the world, and without it I am not okay.” Beautifully put, as far as I’m concerned. And it is a sentiment that is so current. Creativity is something that is being taken seriously more and more: large companies are fostering creativity in many ways, and more attention is being paid to artisan work. Creating and creation is such a beautiful process, and it’s being noticed again. It’s lovely to see that it is no longer in the “bad books,” and if it books such as Big Magic are helping this positive movement, then Elizabeth Gilbert has succeeded in her mission.
If you would like to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, click here.