Melissa's book is a warm, humorous guide to building a creative practice and unleashing your creativity. It gently yet firmly leads you through 10 "rules" that help you remove the barriers and rediscover your innate playful, creative nature. Beautifully put together, with oodles of space for your thoughts, experiments and reflections, as well as loads of doodles to play with as you wish, this really is a collaborative, interactive book. There is plenty here to go back to again and again, as this is about a practice and a continual learning process. The lessons shared, and which you are encouraged to discover for yourself, apply not only to your creativity, but to many wider aspects of life.
This book is a joy to read and scribble in. Yes, really: it's an interactive book with space to draw your thoughts as you work through each of Melissa's precepts for Living Creatively in handy chapter form. There are colouring pages and doodles aplenty and it's a joy to work through. I especially love the Contents pages—for those of us who think in pictures I wish more books did this!
Attributing negative self-talk to gremlins is not a new idea, but encouraging your gremlins to go and get pedicures is certainly a new one! I spent a very happy half hour imagining sending gremlins off for a pedicure and then sketching what happens afterwards (hint: in my scenario they can’t keep up when you run because they don’t want to smudge those newly polished claws!). This is just one example of the brilliant ways Melissa encourages you to look differently at the challenges that anyone wanting to live more creatively faces.
Chapter 10 provides one of the nicest, kindest, most compassionate ways anyone has described picking yourself up, dusting yourself down, and getting back on the wagon. Probably ever. If you were to read the book and take only of Melissa's rules to heart, I sincerely hope it’s this one. It applies to SO much more than art and creativity. Though art and creativity provide some great scenarios to practice self-compassion! ;)
The Creative Sandbox Way helped me unblock and loosen up my creative practise. Melissa is full of energy and kindness which shines through in this book. I loved the way she taught me to recognise my 'gremlins' and the process of trying to create 'ugly' art was so revealing. Not only will this book help with your creative blocks, it will also help you understand yourself better, and be kinder to yourself. Thank you Melissa for sharing this delight.