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Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go Paperback – March 31, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (March 31, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570623570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570623578
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"McNiff is able to expand the reader's view of what it means to truly live with the labyrinthine path of the creative spirit, conveying an unlimited sense of the ways of the lived imagination."— Common Boundary



"The instructions and insights in this 'artist's guide to letting go' can lead you to creative heights and depths no matter what your medium."— Yoga Journal

About the Author

Shaun McNiff is internationally recognized as a founder and leading figure in the arts and healing field. University Professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he is past president of the American Art Therapy Association and the author of several other books including Art As Medicine, Trust the Process, and Creating with Others .

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Customer Reviews

Art education is very restricted with mandated assessments, etc.
Ann Osgood
This book is a wonderful read for any artist to help them work through the difficulties facing them during the creative process.
Devoted Satellite
I read it slowly over a period of a couple of months, and plan to pick it up and read a chapter here and there when I'm stuck.
Rebecca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

229 of 232 people found the following review helpful By Kat on October 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book helps and inspires me (a visual artist) in a way that Julia Cameron's popular (and wonderful) work has not. For those of us who have a kneejerk negative reaction to following rules and doing "exercises", preferring instead to create our own structure, this is a refreshing alternative to her more structured approach. McNiff emphasizes that the sense of despair we feel when the "flow" isn't flowing is itself an integral part of the process of making art, which I found particularly encouraging and true to my experience. He also encourages the reader to get going by creating multiple small, "disposable" works, which can contain the roots of larger pieces... Read this book!
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248 of 253 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have done visual art and writing for nearly 20 years.Several years ago I hit what first appeared to be a "dry spell". To my dismay that "spell" become a year, then two, then three and so on. I found myself profoundly blocked on all levels and the creative energy seemed to have left me altogether. I fell into a state of depression, due in part to this loss of creative energy which felt much like a loss of that which is most core to me. No what what I tried, the door remained tightly closed.
In the process of looking for the skeleton key to reopen this door I looked at nearly every book on creativity and things on the market. Many of them lacked the substance and understanding that I needed. Some were aimed at people that had never been creative and therefore the exercises never worked for me. Others used almost a Twelve Step approach which, while effective for some, didn't work for me personally. Like another reviewer said I, too, found many of the "Step 1, Step 2, Step 3..." approaches to be more frustrating and limiting, only further closing this door of creative expression.
...I had never read the book, but decided to buy it based on some good reviews and a large dose of desperation. I was skeptical and figured I would likely be disappointed by yet another run of the mill "how to be creative" work.
I couldn't have been more wrong. When I finally began reading the book it felt different - totally different. I found things that were pragmatic and rooted in a perspective I understood - the artist that has lost the inspiration and creative flow. It felt like a tangible guide that had the potential of reopening that locked door.
The book has helped me move into a place that I had previously thought to be gone forever.
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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is simply one of the best books on the subject of personal creativity & art. Author McNiff doesn't get preachy and didactic, and always gets to the point. He also doesn't engage the reader with "new age" solutions and descriptions. Clear and balanced.
If you have a curiosity about your creativity, or bringing about artistic expression in your life, or you're an artist on the "path", this book is a gift.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Karen Carnabucci on August 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Whether you are an artist, dancer, writer, musician, healer or seeker, you will find inspirition and validation of your path with this book. Shaun McNiff, artist and internationally known advocate of the creative arts therapies, presents a thoughtful and beautifully written case for trusting the natural movement of the creative process. This wonderful book includes observations from "famous" artists about the creative process, anecdotes from ordinary people who are experimenting with new attitudes in their daily lives and suggestions from the author about creating a satisfying life. In a world where destruction has become a form of popular entertainment, this book offers an alternative. Worth reading, then rereading again and again!
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is must reading for anyone interested in making art-- even the non-artist will find encouragement and inspiration in McNiff's poetic observations and wonderful infusions of art and life. Wonderful book for those who want to make art, but dont know where to begin and need both practical and soulful advice on how to start. McNiff is a gifted writer who brings the art studio to life through his words and sensitivity to the creative process in life and art.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By AMK on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've ever read on the creative process. I have owned it now for 3 years, and refer back to it regularly. I wish there were more books like this. I bought most of the ones recommended with this book, but none of them come close to this one. I look forward to another book by the same author.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Devoted Satellite on December 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We artists are a moody bunch and we are usually our own worse enemy when it comes to being productive and creative. This book is a wonderful read for any artist to help them work through the difficulties facing them during the creative process. I highly recommend it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By taneyae on December 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So far, I am loving "Trust the Process." I find it intriguing. The author said, "the ultimate goal of the creative process is an "enlargement" of imagination for all people. Yet, instead of expanding, most of us tend to confine ourselves to the limitations of habit. . . . I find that the most consistence obstacle to creative discovery is the average person's reluctance to become involved in free experimentation." What limitations am I putting on myself? Why do I feel reluctant to involve myself in "free experimentation"? Basically, I don't know how to do something so I am afraid to start. I don't want to start because I might fail and the possibility of me failing makes me procrastinate it until I don't have enough time to properly create. It is a frustrating path. As time goes on, I become a little more accepting of the possibility of failure. I am realizing that you cannot create art without that possibility. It's frustrating, but like the subtitle of the book says, it's a "guide to letting go." Now that I know a few of my limiting habits I just need to figure out how to adjust them to work in my benefit

One of the chapters was on training people to work within the creative process. The author mentions that personal immersion is vital. He then shares an example from some of the teachers he worked with. He explained that the teachers were able to "describe how there is a pattern to the way they face every new art experience with resistance and fear. They feel an equally consistent thrill and satisfaction after completing each new phase of work.
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