For those of you who are familiar with the work of David duChemin it will come as no surprise that many of us here at Mortal Muses are big fan. As a traveller, I’ve long admired duChemin’s photographs of the world’s landscapes and it’s people. I also admire his work as founder and “Chief Nomad” Craft and Vision, a company dedicated to photography education. If you’re not familiar with the Craft and Vision manifesto, I recommend you read it here. I have purchased and enjoyed a few books from Craft and Vision and when I saw that duChemin himself had written a new book I snapped up the e-book version.
A Beautiful Anarchy is not a photography book. It’s much more a call to arms for creatives everywhere. Whether you want to make photographs or paintings or a successful business, A Beautiful Anarchy aims to support you, provide you a road map and at times deliver a swift kick to the backside. According to duChemin:
Th[e] book is about the freedom to create – to live a life of unapologetic, passionate, daring creation. – David duChemin
Oh David, count me IN!
duChemin calls this his “most personal book” and while he often talks in generalities about the creative process you absolutely know while reading it that he’s aiming to write a playbook for all of us, based on his experience. Maybe this book came along for me at the exact right time but I found myself nodding along as I was reading it. As someone who has only recently come to think of herself as a creative (an ever *gulp* and artist) I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to me to live a life that honours that creativity.
The book speaks to all of the issues that we, as creatives, must grapple with, like taking risks (because we all know that the good stuff is only made outside of our comfort zone), confronting the critics (internal and external), and taking decisions to make creating a priority in our lives.
duChemin writes about creating a life that allows for and supports creativity. He also talks, importantly about creation. That is, to be a creative, one must produce something.
Creativity is about creation, not merely ideation. – David duChemin
As I say, this book and its messages came along at a good time for me. When my photography muse went on vacation this past winter I knew that I couldn’t just hang out and wait for inspiration to arrive. Instead I sought out other outlets for my creativity, including drawing and lettering and pottery because as much as it still sometimes surprises me, I am a creative person and, being a creative means producing work. At the time I wrote in my sketchbook Just Make Art. I think duChemin would agree.
You can pick up your copy of A Beautiful Anarchy here, and I recommend you do. At only $10 for the PDF version, it’s a very worthwhile read.