Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Mini-reviews: Wildflower and Big Magic
I have long been a fan of Drew Barrymore. Ever After will forever be one of my favorite movies, and it's quite possible that I adore her in part because people told me I looked like her when I was small. I also may have gone through a very heavy Charlie's Angels phase in high school, where my friends and I actually made a spin-off movie for our film class. This is definitely a book for the fans who love her movies and have followed her sometimes difficult life. While I enjoyed having some new insight into who she is as an actress and as a person, I would have appreciated an editor with a heavier hand. I certainly admire her desire to write the book herself, but her writing is sometimes clunky and I wish someone had told her that exclamation points should be used sparingly in print.
By Drew Barrymore
Dutton October 2015
From the library
The book is divided into six parts, including Courage, Permission, Persistence, and Trust.
As someone who majored in theatre, I know it is all too easy to determine our success by our ability to find work in a creative field. I love that Gilbert says that the point of creative living is not becoming a bestselling author or having our painting displayed in a gallery. "I'm talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than fear...And while the path and outcomes of creative living will vary wildly from person to person, I can guarantee you this: A creative life is an amplified life. It's a bigger life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life." Gilbert insists that there is no need to wait for permission from some high arbiter of art - you are ready to create right now, as you are.
It got a little "hippy dippy" for me in some places, where Gilbert explains that ideas are just floating around in the ether, waiting for you to be open and take them in. I liked portions of it, but other sections left me rolling my eyes a bit. This is a great book for the person who is unsure they can be an artist, the one who worries they don't have enough time, or that they aren't good enough.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
By Elizabeth Gilbert
Riverhead Books September 2015
From the library