The reason I wanted to read Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art is because it addresses an ongoing problem many artists have, finding time and space to do art.
Possibly everyone feels they don't have enough time, but for artists it's even harder. You may find yourself defending the importance of art time, because others view creative time as recreational, and nonessential. This book shatters that limited view.
What the author, Rice Freeman-Zachery does, is investigate our experience of time and space for creating art. She conjures up images many of us had as children, our days filled with long summer hours of uninterrupted creativity, where time became invisible. The author tries to lead us back there, where we can enter that mental space of timeless creativity.
Rice interviews 14 professional working artists about such topics as: exploring time, making time, mental space, soul space, creative habits and taking it on the road.
This is not just a "do what you love" book, but rather it's a serious look at how to transform the way we perceive our art time and studio space, and what we can do to practically make more time and space for our art.
I like that she gives a name for people like myself, "the non-schedulers." Those are people that need to work organically to get into the zone. These artists can't create art between appointments.
I was also relieved that after reading this book, I no longer felt I needed to have a separate studio space outside of my home. She has a great section on how to determine if you really need separate space, or whether you are just fantasizing about a space you think you will work in. For example, one drawback of having offsite studio space is that you end up having 2 sets of everything: one set for home, and another for the studio. Also, because your studio is across town, you just never get there as much as you'd like.
There are also great extensive sidebar exercises all throughout the book called "try this" on how to free up time and space for art, such as how to limit your internet time, and a list of shortcuts to save time. There are other exercises for warming up creativity, such as writing the alphabet in all caps without lifting up your pen, and the importance of creating unusual imaginary stories out of events happening around you.
At the end of the book, I thought she had a great recommendation to schedule days where you create art "in public." Many people are shy about setting up an easel in a park, but she argues how much people love to be in the presence of someone being creative, and that you never know what might happen.
I would recommend this book for artists who feel like their time and space is non-existent, or that they are putting their art life on hold. The book helps you learn step by step how to get out of that rut and that no matter what situation you are in, how you can still take a few steps forward, to the place you want to be.
UPDATE: After reviewing this book, I also interviewed the author. Read Interview.
Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art by Rice Freeman-Zachery
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