Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Search for:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Think Tank > Creativity > The Book Club
User Name
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2008, 04:37 AM
illuminous art's Avatar
illuminous art illuminous art is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 421
Hails from United States
Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

This may not make me the most popular person in this forum, but I felt the need to post this. I'm not here to argue with those who swear by The Artist's Way. If it works for you, great.
After seeing all the threads about The Artist's Way on here, I went over to Amazon to look at an excerpt. I was totally creeped out by what I read.
I've looked at many art books. Some I liked very much, others not so much, but never before have I seen a book for artists written by someone who seems so....controlling.
Everything from the contract you have to sign to the X hours of time each day you are supposed to follow her obsessively detailed plan, to the talk of ""ego surrender" reminds me of the ways cults use to indoctrinate their new members. I'm all for positive thinking and getting rid of your inner critic and liberating yourself and all that, I just don't think it needs to be so complicated. And when there's talk of tearing down egos and defenses, I get concerned. That's something that should be left to licensed medical professionals if it needs to be done at all.
Cameron apparently doesn't do much else except going around teaching this method and hawking more books which are basically rehashes of previous books. Sort of the Tony Robbins of art. She makes her living through "motivational" seminars and books. One reviewer on Amazon called TAW "the EST of the new century". That's exactly how I feel too. EST also featured creepy cult-like organization and a scary level of dependence on its leader.
Maybe it's just me, but when I'm looking for a book to help me become a better artist, I prefer books which are simple, straightforward, and appeal to my reason rather than try to bully or manipulate me emotionally. I also like books written by actual working artists, and I would rather avoid ones written by people with a vested interest in my taking their seminar/buying their next book.
I'm wondering if anyone else at WC had a similar reaction.

IlluminousArt.com _____________________ Illuminous Blogspot

Last edited by illuminous art : 01-23-2008 at 04:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:18 AM
sekulastudio's Avatar
sekulastudio sekulastudio is offline
Veteran Member
San Antonio, Texas
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 782
Hails from United States
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

I'll need to flip through it again to be able to tell you more of why I was disappointed and even turned off but I do remember wondering what all the hype was about. I don't remember enough to be able to comment on whether or not I felt it was creepy. I know there were a couple of books that left me with that feeling. This may very well be one of them. It was a waste of money for me either way.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-06-2008, 02:17 AM
Touch of Color Touch of Color is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 123
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

Now you have me. I will have to go back & see how I felt when I read the book. Maybe it is one of those things that are in the eyes of the beholder.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-06-2008, 03:37 PM
Clive Green's Avatar
Clive Green Clive Green is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,123
Hails from New Zealand
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

Yep, creepy. Mind you I feel like this about most motivational books. I think that for most people a particular way of organising the process is best, but there is no one method. It's like going to an Amway meeting to be told the 'everybody' wants a fast car and a bigger home - sometimes it just isn't true.
Kia Ora o Aotearoa Feckless and Irresponsible
My website http://www.otaki-artist.com
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:42 AM
Andrew's Avatar
Andrew Andrew is offline
A Local Legend
Charles City, Iowa
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,657
Hails from United States
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

I don't know if I would go so far as to say creepy. But I have found, after several attempts, that it just doesn't work for me. Some of the bits in there like the artist date, is stuff I do anyway, so that wasn't anything special. The Morning (or is it Mourning) pages and I never clicked.

Must work for some people, just not for me.

"Never ascribe to malice what adequately can be explained as stupidity"-- Robert J. Hanlon

“What a genius, that Picasso. It is a pity he doesn't paint.” - Marc Chagall
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-07-2008, 11:11 AM
sekulastudio's Avatar
sekulastudio sekulastudio is offline
Veteran Member
San Antonio, Texas
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 782
Hails from United States
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

There are a lot of books like that. I have about 6 along those lines. They were highly recommened and yet left me feeling I had wasted my time and money. I've never been one for "motivational" things for motivation's sake. Not a "Chicken Soup for Soul" kind of person. Nothing against those who are, mind you. My greatest inspiration comes from those who have been there, been in the trenches, so to speak, those who are deep thinkers, those who are doers.
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-08-2008, 04:14 PM
debra d. debra d. is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
Hails from United States
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

When I first read it, some 12 yrs. ago, I highlighted what was important to me at that time. I still go back and touch base with these areas when I'm blocked or just discouraged. Seems to help me identify the problem, and get going again.
I have since purchased all of her books, along with others, done my highligting for quick reference, and get through the hurdles much faster.

As for the journaling, I journal only when I need to. Like an emotional cleansing. Sometimes I write happy, and other times I write very negative. I do what I need and only at the time I need it. Can be morning or midnight.

I've painted for over 30 yrs., and sometimes a little block can turn into a major problem when the bills are due. Many times a little encouragement from a motivational book has helped me get back on track.

If nothing else, Camron's books have helped me take charge of my career, and not let so many outside influences get in the way.

I've learned to do things the way I need to to be successful.

Lighten up, laugh at your mistakes today, 'cause there's more waiting for you tomorrow.
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-15-2008, 04:42 PM
kcurrin kcurrin is offline
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 48
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

You've opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about this. i'm going to have to take another look.
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-16-2008, 06:48 AM
TFB's Avatar
TFB TFB is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 382
Hails from Australia
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

I have had this book for many years...so long that my copy mentions listening to the side of an album. I just browsed, but never got around to doing more than a week of it. Yes, I can understand people finding it creepy, as I think I did slightly too. I am not verbally eloquent like many of you on Wet Canvas and find it hard to explain. I have recently completed it, morning pages, artist's dates and some of the exercises, but not the contracts. Doing it I found it more like a gentle way of making me reflect. Nothing like others have mentioned in this forum. I am still doing the morning pages, don't really know why, just like the routine of doing them with a cup of tea in bed before the day starts. Mine are more like a diary with a bit of reflection. I have always created and didn't consider my self blocked, other than procrastination. However, I seem to feel more settled, but open to new possibilities, 'synchronicity' etc in my life. I am a bit of a skeptical person, but in a strange, maybe sort of creepy way, they might have worked....snuck up on me! Could be coincidental of course! Lol!
ps. I see she has now added walking to her 'tools,' I have done this for years and I find it very beneficial for mind and body.

Last edited by TFB : 02-16-2008 at 06:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-17-2008, 11:11 AM
BonArt's Avatar
BonArt BonArt is offline
New Member
Orlando,Florida, USA
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 36
Hails from United States
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

I have had this book on my shelf for many years - even bought a special notebook for the morning pages. But I have not done more than read a few chapters. I am now working only 2 days a week & planned to spend several hours every day painting. One month & so far I haven't done it! I may try doing the activities in the book to get me started. I'll let you know if it works.

Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-18-2008, 04:56 PM
micoli's Avatar
micoli micoli is offline
Senior Member
Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 151
Hails from England
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

I had a look at this when I hit a creative block. Actually it was a block on everything - but that's another story! It had been recommended by someone who said it had worked for her and so I had a look on Amazon. I was completely put off buying it because I felt I was the subject of a high pressure sales technique - sell the dream as we salesmen used to say. It added a lot of new age touchy feely hugs type hype but essentially it was a process for those in need of something else other than creativity and motivation in their art, (in my opinion).

So, creepy? I think so. I also think there are better ways to find nirvana.

But then if it works for you, why not???

My Web Site: www.oliverarts.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-18-2008, 10:51 PM
hopelance's Avatar
hopelance hopelance is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 234
Question Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

"Creepy" no (maybe something else?!!?? ).

The morning pages are unusual & difficult/different for most. In the end, it is the participant who 'controls' ...

The book offers direction, you choose how to use it & what to take from it.
Take care,
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-24-2008, 11:52 PM
katieface's Avatar
katieface katieface is offline
Senior Member
Denver area
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 210
Hails from United States
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

Glad it's not just me!

Yes, I found it creepy too but moreover very dull and repetitive and... mushy, somehow. I picked up a copy for a quarter in a thrift store & I'm not sure it was worth it. All that stuff about the importance of the morning pages and do them WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT- it did come off as a little cult like or maybe like AA and yes, controlling. Geez, Louise, I'd rather be painting than scribbling down my thoughts, and making art is a better use of my time, in my opinion.

I'm glad some people found it useful, but my copy is going back to the thrift store. This book is not for me. However, I really liked the book, "Art & Fear" by David Bayles & Ted Orland.
My small works blog:
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-25-2008, 03:37 AM
Magical_Realist's Avatar
Magical_Realist Magical_Realist is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 315
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

Someone gave me a copy back in the early '90s--at a time when I was completely fed up with AA and trying to leave. That Julia Cameron's own devotion to 12-step spirituality pervades The Artist's Way didn't endear it to me (to put it mildly). I've gone back and looked at it a couple of times since then, and while the 12-step influence isn't so bothersome all these years later, the overall tone of the book is just so--heavy. I heap enough seriousness onto the making of art as it is; I don't need a book to reinforce that.

Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-02-2008, 12:43 PM
Julianne's Avatar
Julianne Julianne is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,331
Hails from Australia
Re: Anybody else find The Artist's Way kind of creepy?

I'm with Rose and debra d.!

Like any system that you work with, the idea is to suspend judgement and work with it for the duration. After that you can do whatever you please.

Unlike things like EST, there is no hype and hope whatsoever that you will continue to spend large amounts of money on it.

It ultimately is about deepening your own connection to your creative source.
Its hope is to help you find a way of connecting deeper to your creativity and inner self to find your answers from within and to open up further to your own creative flow.

Definitely not for everyone, but definitely NOT a cult in my eyes.

I did morning pages for quite a few years. I was journalling before that anyway, and I still journal now, though not in that strict format. My time living in the TAW universe was extremely and productive and transforming for me personally. Not that I was into all her exercises, but, as already mentioned, the main tools of morning pages and artist dates, as well as focus on creativity and also the relationship with creativity and one's spirit, are the real tools (along with regular walks, as found in a later book, Walking in this world). If you just used those tools and did nothing else you'd probably see shifts in your life as well, though the book is set out quasi 12 step, I think she had a background in a 12 step program, so maybe that's where you glean the 'cult' feel from it. But it's no more cultish than a 12 step program, and certainly can be just as transforming. Just like other 12 step programs you don't need to stay with them for the rest of your life. You use them to make whatever changes you need to make and are totally free to move on, using any helpful tools as you see fit. Unlike other 12 step programs where you're trying to give up an addiction the premise is that you're 'recovering' something in you that you have been burying/stifling/whatever, (your creativity) in a way that's empowering, rather than (like say AA) you're feeling like there's something wrong with you.

Of course like anything there may be some zealots, but you accurately can't judge the material by that.

My 2c.
Music and art: http://www.julianne.net
Art blog: http://sunrisearts.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:24 PM.

© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.