Big Magic: An Invitation to Create

Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert

For those who wish to create Big Magic in your own lives- this post is for you. I originally posted this on my personal blog, but I feel like it really applies everywhere!

I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it is for sure going to top the list of favorites this year. 51YIrJrPxXLThis book reminded me that just living is a creative endeavor and failure is only what you let it be. The creative process is about creating because it’s something you love or enjoy or just want to try; it’s not about becoming a star or an author or a multi-million dollar business or a famous painter. Creativity, writing, business, and art are all about: creativity, writing, business and art. I loved this book. I loved seeing that all that I am doing in my life is great just because I am doing it. It relieves the pressure of this small business thing and my writing. I’m doing Shabby Alpaca and Notes From The Neighborhood because I like it! No, I love it! The book has some new-agey concepts that may disturb more sensitive readers, but like everything- take what you can and move on.

Here’s a summary of the book in someone else’s words:

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Along with reading the inspirational Big Magic, I’ve recently become friends with an artist which has furthered my curiosity and interest in creativity. Jeanne Oliver is….awesome. She is so awesome that I want to live in her backyard just to get glimpses of her walking by. OK, not really, but she really is a great person to spend time with. She is honest, kind, funny, smart, generous and super easy to talk to. TFDec2014-0391e3WEB-500x750

Jeanne is also an amazing artist; she paints and designs and lives a creative life to the fullest. The best part about Jeanne’s art is that she shares it. I don’t mean you can look at her paintings, I mean she shares all of it. She shares her skills by teaching others and her home by hosting workshops and her favorite supplies by telling you what they are. She knows that sharing her skills doesn’t decrease what she has- there is no pettiness or jealousy in Jeanne- and I love that about her. She knows that if anything, sharing increases what she has.  She hosts online courses for all kinds of art, she hosts trips to beautiful places so people can create art and be taught all while hanging out in Paris or some other exotic location, and she hosts workshops at her amazing newly created studio. She’s pretty awesome and I’m so glad I know her.

I’m writing all of this not to brag on my mad reading skills or boast about my new friend (well I am writing for those reasons), but I also want to tell you about her courses and invite you to take one. There is a new course called Letting Go: An exploration of Abstract Painting that she is hosting along with Wendy Brightbill and bonus with that course, there’s a chance to win $250 worth of free art supplies. If you are interested in trying to win some art supplies, just click this link for a chance and use the above link to sign up for this class or any of Jeanne’s classes. I highly recommend it.

I’ll leave you with this: we’re all creative. We can all create Big Magic! Don’t be afraid if you’ve never picked up a paint brush (I haven’t!) just do something you love for the sake of doing it because you are curious or interested- even if it’s out of your comfort zone and even if what you produce doesn’t change the world. It may just change yours! Honestly, that’s all we’re doing with Shabby Alpaca– exploring creativity, enjoying the Big Magic and learning along the way. I’m not afraid for Shabby to ‘fail’ because I will never see it that way- even if we stop doing business. I love what my mom and I are doing and we’ll keep doing it until we don’t love it anymore!

What about you? What are you exploring? What are you creating? Don’t be afraid!

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