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Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go Paperback – March 31, 1998
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"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.
Top customer reviews
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. Whether it is dance, storytelling, musical improvisation, painting, mime, or poetry, the same forces of creation move through the experience, affirming that there is something essential that cannot be taught when we focus only on specialized technical instruction."
Shaun McNiff talks about how teachers are more resistant to free imagination. I thought this was interesting because growing up I had many teachers who would talk about imagination and try to bring it into the classroom. However, looking back at this I realize that most of the time they didn't succeed. McNiff goes on to say that the reason teachers resist is because schools are focused on training the literal mind and the way teachers meet this is to "demand clear directions and immediate applications." Then he goes on to talk about the school system: "Most of the educational system is established on the assumption that learning follows a logical and predictable pattern of acquiring knowledge." This is an excellent way of teaching things like math or science, but I believe that what our students need today is the skill of creative thinking. They need to know how to do things themselves, problem solve with new answers, and become a thinking individual instead of a mindless robot who just memorizes answers for a test. McNiff talks about adding in an education of the imagination, which is based on sustained encounters of uncertainty. When you are faced with uncertainty enough times you will find a way to handle it. With uncertainty it is difficult to use a formula and fit it into a neat box. It requires exposure, frustration and even failure.
Overall, I have found this book very interesting. Shaun McNiff has a lot of excellent points and tips when trying to teach and figure out creativity. More often than not, it is yourself that gets in the way of your creativity. We just need to learn how to get past ourselves and "Trust the Process."
Thank you for caring enough to write this wonderful and challenging book!