suckdotcom’s 1998 Takedown of The Artist’s Way

I’ve like the creativity self-help book The Artist’s Way and have gotten a lot out of it since I first read it back in 1995. But you have to admit, it does tend to get a little indulgent and precious after a while. Jeffrey Taylor mentioned how he detested the book on Facebook so I dug up this old gem, a screed against the book from July 20, 1998 by Abrose Beers (aka Chris Bray):

“[T]here aren’t many references to art – the thing, the product of all that self-gratification – in the preceding pages, either.  Missing in this vision is the strong, persistent understanding that writers read, painters look at paintings, and musicians drive around listening to the radio and trying not to get day jobs or move out of their parents’ house.  The understanding, in short, is that creation follows some kind of effort to discern, to see before trying to show.  The artist’s way is about making art, about a task and a product; The Artist’s Way is about being an artist, about wearing the identity.”

Full essay in the the archives