Books For Creatives | Six Books To Boost Your Creativity

Todd Dominey

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Six Books To Boost Your Creativity

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How’s it going? Everyone well this week. I’m going to be talking about something, which has rather low-tech going to be talking about books. My name is Todd Domine. I make videos here on Youtube about photography. Now this being a photography related channel, you’re probably expecting me to be sharing a list of some of my favorite photo books from other photographers or perhaps technical books about photography, but for this video. I’d like to try something a little bit different because chances are if you’re watching my channel. Any photography books that I would share you may already own or you may have already seen so instead of focusing on photography books, What I decided to do for this video was look outside of photography to look at my library and to pick out some books, which may not, you know, be specific to photography. You won’t find these in the photography section of your bookstore, but for me, at least these are books, which have everything to do with photography because these are books about crafts. They’re books about the creative process, So let’s begin with a recommended book number one. And that is big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’d be willing to bet that no matter who you are. You have probably experienced moments of creative self-doubt times in which you have compared your work against the work of you know, other people that you admire, you know, you’re trying to be creative. You’re trying to, you’re trying to make something and you’re just overcome and filled with negative emotions, negative voices. That are telling you that you know. Why are you even bothering doing this? This is such a waste of time. You’re never going to be as successful as that other person that you’re comparing yourself to, you know, what is the point of any of this, You know, wouldn’t it be just so much better for you to just not do it at all or to just do something far more practical than the no wasting your time on something creative, those those dark feelings and emotions and feelings of self-doubt, those things are never going to go away because they are part of the creative process, and Gilbert shares extensive stories about her own life and the way that she has worked to try and manage it, and that’s really what it comes down to is just managing it not necessarily overcoming it and managing it and managing those emotions in such a way so that they don’t get in the way of what it is that you’re trying to achieve creatively. [APPLAUSE] Okay, book number two. And I am really excited to be talking about this book because I bought this book last year and I bought it not knowing what to expect what I was getting into. I bought it totally on a whim, and I just fell in love with it. I absolutely adore this book. This is a book called landscape painting by Mitchell Al Balla. I don’t paint. I don’t have any, you know, particular interest in becoming a painter right now. At least not at this point. My life anyway, but what? I’m fascinated by reading. This book is the fact that with you know, landscape photography, everything is, you know? There’s a high degree of realism in it because a photograph is like a living document, which captures an environment with a high degree of realism, whereas with painting and landscape painting in particular, everything is is up to the interpretation of the the artist, the person who is out there in the field with their easel and their canvas in their paint, brushes and their paint and and and the method of painting that they talk about extensively in this book is a method known as the plenary method, which I honestly didn’t know anything about before plenary is an approach to painting where you are purposely given a short window of time, like. Let’s say something like five minutes, and you have five minutes to capture the essence of what it is that you see and to do it in such a way so that you’re not focused on detail because you you are short on time, Plein air is more about broad kind of gestural strokes. It’s not about going in, and, you know, trying to dial in all the little specular highlights on blades of grass or anything like that. It is about capturing the essence of the landscape. I mean, they cover all the same topics that you would find in a photography book. Everything from like, you know, value and rhythm and color and luminosity, and and you know, creating a composition and and finding a subject and all those types of things, but all of it is through the lens of painting instead of a camera so again highly recommended. Check it out. Escape painting by Mitchell Al Balla. [MUSIC] Okay, so book number three is a book. This is one of those books that when I went back to my bookshelf to look for some old things to read. This is one that jumped out at me and I bought it years ago. I think I bought this for, like a dollar at a used bookstore because I think it’s one of those books. A lot of students read. I enjoyed the book back then. And I think I probably enjoyed it. Even more now and well, without further ado, The book is on writing well by William Zen, sir. So obviously as you can tell by the title of the book. This is a book that is about writing, but when you read the book and when you when you get into what? Zen sir is is talking about in this book. What he’s really talking about and what this book is really about. I think this is a book that’s actually more about editing. This is a book about clarifying your intent. When it comes to your writing to the words that you choose to use to your sentence structure, whatever it is that you’re writing whether it’s you know, nonfiction or fiction, this book is all about, you know, finding what it is finding that voice and what you’re making and to, you know, go at it and to edit it and refine it and continue to refine it. You know, without, of course, losing the essence of what it is that you’re writing without losing the soul of it, then once you’ve removed all the unnecessary and and everything that is getting in the way and perhaps clouding the picture that you’re trying to create, then you end up with something. That’s, you know, not only clearer and easier to read, but is more enjoyable for at the end-user, and I think just creatively The message that’s in this book is awesome. Love it unwrite and well bye. Williams in Sir [Music]. Okay, so book number four. This is another one of those books that I bought. Just, you know, knowing full, well going into it that there probably wouldn’t be or the majority. The book probably wouldn’t be applicable to the type of creative work that I was doing, but I could. At least you know? Just, you know, get into it, right, my head around it and perhaps find something of interest in it. Perhaps be inspired in some way. This is a book that is called making music 74 creative strategies for electronic music producers by Dennis de Santis. If you’ve ever heard of Ableton, which is a software and hardware company, which makes gear for electronic music creators. This book is was published by them and is distributed by them. And you know, yes. There is a fair amount there. There are some chapters in this book, which get into. You know, the minutia of you know, creating an electronic work, you know, using beats and loops and melodies and samples and all these different, you know, things which go into a composition. So there is, you know some of that in here, and if that’s of interest to you, then yeah. I mean, you’ll love that part of the book as well, but what I found to be most inspiring about this book and what I love most about. It is its practical nature and the fact that the 74 creative strategies that they talk about in this book, they really are applicable to any field any type of creative field that involves some type of craft whether it’s writing photography. Everything else in here, all of the problems that they talk about. Here you will find, you know, you’ll be nodding your head reading this, and you’ll be like oh yeah. I’ve experienced that same problem, but in this different medium, even though it’s written for a different audience. The problems in the solution set he offers in this book can be picked up and could be applied and translated to just about anything anyway. I could go on and on about this book, and if you want to check it out By the way, the first I think it’s the first eight chapters of this book, You can actually read online for free. You can check that out over at making music dot. Ableton dot-co’m. Okay, but number five is not a book. Have a hard copy of because I downloaded it to my Kindle, but I’ll put the cover up here on the screen. This is a book called. The obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday. This book, if you if you’re not familiar with this book are with the work of Ryan Holiday. It is rooted in the ancient philosophy of stoicism, which goes all the way back to ancient Greece and like third century BC. It’s not a a religion or anything like that, but rather it is a philosophical framework that that you can use in order to contextualize life events to recognize what in your life you can control versus the things that you cannot control Stoicism is all about taking responsibility for your own happiness and not relying upon other people in order to give you that happiness or to give you that satisfaction that you’re looking for either in your life or even, you know, creatively for that matter, So what the title is referring to is the fact that the obstacle, you know, whatever it is is in your path, Whatever it is that it blocking you from getting from point. A to point B that is preventing you from advancing and moving forward instead of viewing it as something that you know you should, you know, circumvent or go under or, you know, try to find a different path around or maybe just totally ignore altogether. The obstacle is exactly the thing that you should be focusing your attention on because by focusing your attention on the obstacle and hopefully by overcoming that obstacle that obstacle would then give you the necessary momentum and velocity in order to propel you forward to where it is that you’re trying to get to now. Obviously all of that is easier said than done because it’s a lot easier to write a book and to read a book about overcoming obstacles as opposed -, actually overcoming them in real life, but nonetheless. I I find there to be something inspiring in the in the ancient philosophy of stoicism and the practicality of it and kind of like the the No Bs of it, You know, the fact that you should be focusing on the work focusing on on overcoming the obstacle and not get so caught up in the things that you can’t control not get so caught up in the in the opinions of others people whose opinions quite, frankly, really don’t matter to what it is that you’re doing and their trajectory in the path that you’re on and trying to get to creatively with your work. I think you can find a lot of wisdom in stoicism. And if you if you don’t know all that much about it. I think the obstacle is the way by Ryan. Holiday is one of the better places where you can get started. [MUSIC] Okay, the final book. I want to talk about is one that oh, man! I think I bought this probably about 20 years ago, and I’ve read it a number of times since then, and it’s a very thin. It’s a rather kind of quiet, unassuming book and which is perfectly aligned with the with the the topic in the subject. Matter of this book, This is a book called Wabi-sabi for artists, designers, poets and philosophers written by Leonard Koren. Now, if you’ve never heard of Wabi-sabi before it is an ancient Japanese philosophy that is rooted in the idea that the true beauty and and soul of something, the true character of something, you know whether you’re talking about architecture or you’re talking about pottery or even life itself, The true beauty is in the imperfection, and as in the end, the objects impermanence it’s kind of a way of like flipping your whole brain around. If you’re someone who’s like very detail-oriented, someone who’s focused on perfection on symmetry and getting everything exactly right and everything exactly perfect. And you know, you want everything to be. You know, lined up just so in a particular way. When you do pursue that, there’s a certain point you reach. It becomes something else. It becomes something that exists almost at a distance and it’s not as successful as something that retains some degree of impermanence of imperfection so that it’s more relatable so that it’s more translatable to your your everyday life to what it means to be a human being and that you shouldn’t always be so focused on the perfection on making things exactly so all the time, which is something which for me At least I directly translate to the world of photography Because I think I mean, I know I’ve been guilty of this where I’m trying to line up things exactly, right and then finding just the right rhythm of objects within the frame and it’s something. I can’t help doing because I mean I spent so many years doing design work. Doing, you know, print layouts doing digital layouts, all that kind of stuff. It’s just how the brain works, right, You’re trying to bring some order out of the chaos. What this approach would this does. This is almost like a you know? I’ve used this metaphor before, but it’s like a bucket of ice water thrown on you because you, you’ve kind of realized that the more perfect and the more aligned. You’re trying to make everything the more distant. It’s going to be, and the more kind of manufactured. It’s going to look at the end of the day as opposed to something which feels more relatable and perhaps a little more authentic and real, which is really damn hard. If you’re someone who’s always focused on details and getting everything lined up perfectly, it’s a beautiful introduction, and and I think it’s so worth reading Wabi-sabi by Leonard Cora [Music] all right, so that’s going to do it. I would love to know what books would you recommend if you could recommend a single book that I should read or anyone else who follows? This channel should read. Please leave the title of the book below down in the comments would love to know what has inspired you. Which books have helped you? You know, be more creative to feel more creative, which ones have given you a new perspective, which ones perhaps change the way in which you approach photography or any other kind of creative field would love to hear from you. So please leave a comment below. If you’re interested in doing so by the way, just want to say thank you. To all of the recent subscribers to this channel, the channel has been growing quite a bit over the past couple of months and which has been. I’m obviously really glad to see, and I’m glad to see that. You know, people are getting some value out of what I’m putting out there. So if you enjoyed this video and you learned something from it and you were inspired to pick up. Perhaps something new to read. Please remember to give this video a thumbs up. And if you haven’t already subscribed, you can do that while you’re down there as well. That is it for me, everyone. Thanks so much for being here. Be safe and be well and I’ll see you next time [Music]!