Can a book inspire you to be more creative? “Conscious Creativity” (Book review)

Social media is filled with people (me included) who are using the current coronavirus lockdown to spend more time being creative. But for all the posts about people using their extra time to exercise their inner creative urges, there as just as many people admitting they have far less time than usual (especially those with children,) and then there are those who say they’re struggling to get inspired to be creative.

Coronavirus and creativity

When it comes to creativity and unleashing it you should never push yourself, it can’t just be forced out of you on demand, so no one should feel bad if they aren’t currently feeling any creative vibes.

Creativity can strike at any unexpected moment. I’ve come up with my best ideas when I’ve least expected it (like while chopping vegetables in the kitchen or sitting in a café and eating), but there are also some things can trigger creativity. For example, can a book inspire you to be more creative? Certainly flicking through books that interest you will at some stage engage your curiosity to the point they urge to ‘get creative’ but there are also books written in mind to inspire your creativity like Conscious Creativity by Philippa Stanton.

It’s a title that had been recommended to me because of its visuals and I was already familiar with Philippa’s signature flatlays of colourful objects. But I hadn’t twigged that her book was so much more than just that, until I read it this week.

How to be consciously creative

Philippa takes an honest and reassuring approach to her writing which focuses on how you can find your creativity simply by being more self-aware. There’s a particular sentence in the introduction of the book that struck an immediate chord with me, where she describes a conversation she had with a friend:

“a dear friend said to me, that because her family was comfortably off, she knew it made them less creative”

I don’t think I’ve related to words so much in a long time. This rings true for my own experiences and many people that I know. Last year I also read the biography Coal Black Mornings by Brett Anderson who writes in detail about the poverty he faced throughout his childhood and how it was poverty and the boredom connected to not having money that made him write songs – fast forward 20+ years his band Suede are still going strong.

Conscious Creativity is is genuinely useful, positive and thoughtful book.Philippa shares her own opinions and observations and also gives the reader a chance to pause by asking questions and suggesting tasks we can do ourselves; like things to look out for when you’re simply sitting at home ‘doing nothing’ and focusing on different colours on different days of the week. There’s a lot of content and all of it is valuable (she even advocates taking daytime naps, what’s not to like?!)

Before I read it, I assumed that Conscious Creativity would be a pleasant, visual and enjoyable book, but now having delved deep into it I can honestly say that it’s also incredibly useful. This is absolutely a book that will inspire you to be creative, it won’t tell you what to do with your creativity; it doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, a musician, a crafter or scientist, but it will guide you on how you can uncover and unlock new parts of you, by ‘’looking, connecting and creating’. I think that anyone who picks it up who is struggling with their creativity will find it beneficial and even those who say they don’t have time,  they’ll still find something in there that will give them some relief.

Conscious Creativity by Philippa Stanton in published by Leaping Hare Press. You can purchase a copy on Amazon.

Need an excuse to get creative? Why not take part in The Great Rainbow Crafts Swap that I’m organising?

(I received a review copy of the book – all opinions are my own)