The Creative Habit

I’m currently reading the book “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp. In this book she has provided a list of questions to get you thinking about your art, whether it be dance, writing, papercrafts, what have you. These questions got me thinking about my own craft, so I thought that you would appreciate the list of questions as they may serve to grease the wheels of your own creation.
Answer quickly and honestly. Don’t spend too much time on one question.  I have provided my answers. :)

Q:  What is the first creative moment you remember?
A:  I remember being in kindergarten and creating a Power Cookie for my Dad.  He still has it!

Q:  Was anyone there to witness or appreciate it?
A:  Yes, the other children.

Q:  What is the best idea you’ve ever had?
A:  Deciding to leave my job and go to work for an art store.

Q:  What made it great in your mind?
A:  It was great because it spurred my love of paper and rubber stamping.

Q:  What is the dumbest idea?
A:  Taking “art” in high school.

Q:  What made it stupid?
A:  The idea that a teacher can assign a grade to a piece of art. (Seriously pissed me off!)

Q:  Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea?
A:  I was forced to take an elective.  In retrospect I should have taken sculpture, but I’m not very good with clay.

Q:  What is your creative ambition?
A:  To express myself and preserve the art of handwritten correspondence in a fun way that people will appreciate.  To have fun and bring smiles and a bit of joy to people.  Ultimately I’d like to be able to support myself in some fashion with paper crafts, part time.


Q:  What are the obstacles to this ambition?
A:  I don’t know if I WANT to be so financially strapped - there are a lot of papercrafters and to rely on income from my art is risky.

Q:  What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?
A:  Keep plugging away! Not giving up, keep constantly creating and growing my customer list and doing shows, donating to causes that I believe in and community events and outreach.

Q:  How do you begin your day?
A:  Slowly. Mornings are dedicated to waking up and getting moving to make it to work on time.

Q:  What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?
A:  Work, read, move/exercise, education, view other’s art.

Q:  Describe your first successful creative act.
A:  I have no idea.

Q:  Describe your second successful creative act.
A:  I have no idea.

Q:  Compare them.
A:  This is a hard question because I consider ALL of my art successful.

Q:  What are your attitudes toward: money, power, praise, rivals, work, play?
A: Money: Its nice. Its a motivator when you don’t have it.
Power: Meh. It depends on what context you talk about - world domination? No.  The power to do what I want? Yes.
Praise: YES! Praise much and reward yourself for doing a good job. Its important to be good to yourself (or your employees) to cultivate the desired response and effect you want.
Rivals: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Never underestimate them. Most importantly, LISTEN, WATCH and LEARN.
Work: Work hard and always have two projects going so you can switch between the two of them.
Play: Play harder than you work.


Q:  Which artists do you admire the most?
A:  Kahlo, Van Gogh, da Vinci, Monet, Dali, O’Keefe, Renoir, Waterhouse

Q:  Why are they your role models?
A:  Usually because they are interesting people with fascinating lives who created beautiful and lasting pieces of art with a subject I am interested in. Or because I admire their work or style, techniques, or manipulation in one way or another.

Q:  What do you and your role models have in common?
A:  Not a whole hell of a lot!

Q:  Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?
A:  Nope.

Q:  Who is your muse?
A:  Mother Nature.

Q:  Define muse.
A:  Something that inspires you - something that fuels your fire to create.

Q:  When confronted with superior intelligence or talent, how do you respond?
A:  Ask as many questions as I can in order to learn and grow.

Q:  When faced with stupidity, hostility, intransigence, laziness, or indifference in others, how do you respond?
A:  I have learned that sticking your neck out for people usually just ends up hurting you, so I steer clear of these types of people at all costs.

Q:  When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond?
A:  Keep on truckin’! (Celebrate or lick my wounds, but keep on keepin’ on.)

Q:  When at work, do you love the process or the result?
A:  A little bit of both. Its fun to work on a piece and see it come together, but it also gives me great pleasure to look at a completed piece.

Q:  At what moments do you feel your reach exceeds your grasp?
A:  Often times when I am stumped and nothing seems to be coming to me easily.

Q:  What is your ideal creative activity?
A:  Papercrafting, sketching or creating monoprints.

Q:  What is your greatest fear?
A:  Being alone. Being with someone and being locked into an unhappy marriage. Living a wasted life.

Q:  What is the likelihood of either of the answers to the previous questions happening?
A: I don’t know.

Q:  Which of your answers would you most like to change?
A:  My greatest fear. As John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”

Q:  What is your idea of mastery?
A:  Doing whatever the hell a person wants and still rocking the fuck out of it!

Q:  What is your greatest dream?
A:  To own my own art store and offer classes.

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