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The Creative Commandments
So I was perusing the Facebook page of one of last year's finalists, the extremely talented Peregrine Honig, and saw a great post she shared with Jerry Saltz (the Simon Cowell-ish Work of Art judge). "This is great--have you seen this?" She asks, posting a list of "Commandments" by the novelist Henry Miller, written in the 30s. "Work on one thing at a time until finished," Miller commands himself. And— "Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is at hand."
There is other good advice here for anyone tackling a creative project (Miller was talking about writing novels, Peregrine and Jerry are referring to visual art). I especially loved "Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it." But perhaps what I love most are the many comments that follow—dozens of artists, aspiring and established, chiming in with what works or doesn't work for them. After all, creativity, any kind of creativity, is a process, and everyone has to find his or her own way. Still, it's nice to listen in for a moment here and there, get advice on issues like losing one's nerve, or not believing one's voice is worthy of being heard. To hear that even the Greats—Henry Miller, Peregrine—are sometimes in need of a little guidance.
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