I’m delighted to welcome Rachael Forsyth and Helen Sanderson-White as my guest writers this week. They have recently written an eBook; The Resilient Artist – a book which will, no doubt, be especially useful for those who have suffered during this terrible pandemic. The eBook is available as a download, all you need to do is click the links at the end of this post to get your copy. Over to Helen, who will tell us more…
Rachael and I met at university and through a love of good food and great music, we created a deep connection from working together. Together we managed to be each other’s cheerleaders, sympathetic shoulders and snack inserters during our studies and since we graduated, we have kept supporting each other either in composition, writing or from performing together. Over the years we have both chatted, encouraged and consoled each other through the ups and downs of the music business. It was during one of those rambling discussions that we realised that we had both been harbouring blog posts on the topic of the turbulent world of working in the arts for some time, only for the time to never be right to publish them. But with COVID, the world suddenly turned upside down and we could see a need for a book on creative resilience.
As we are both multi-disciplinary artists, we wanted the book to help artists from all walks of life – musicians, painters, crafters and everything in between. As two active musicians and business owners, we have weathered many creative storms in our lives and wanted to share how we have overcome these in the thought that others might find this experience helpful.
Rachael and I recognised that our main struggle has been fostering creativity when life seems to get in the way. Especially when new life, either children, relationships or animals, causes the path of direction to waver. In our book, we have shared tips on how to boost creativity, find a new way of working and how to regain some areas of art that might have fallen apart.
We have also written honestly about what we have both felt during these difficult periods. One of the main things we both found was that we felt that we were alone in this difficult time and that no one else could possibly be going through the same emotions that we were. Artists don’t always talk about the struggle to create for fear of being rejected by the artistic community. During the work for this book we discovered that we’re not alone; many people go through a “wilderness” period with their creativity – it’s all part of the artistic journey. Life is full of difficult twists and turns; recession, divorce, death, illness, failed businesses and, of course, the unforeseen pandemic. These situations are tough for anyone working in business; however the unpredictable nature of the creative industries can make this a lot tougher. Rachael and I have walked through the valley of boredom and lack of direction and wrestled with the doubt of “will I ever create again?”
One of the scariest moments we have both experienced, and one we knew straight away needed to be included in this eBook, was falling out of love with music and our instruments. Finding a way back into making music took longer than expected but we both agree that it made us stronger for it.
We designed this book to give you some hope that your setback is only a season and not a life sentence! Better times will come and eventually you will feel stronger from what you have learnt through this experience. There are plenty of ideas to get the creative juices going, and stories of how we overcame obstacles and found a new way to make things work.
Amazon Kindle Download HERE
Download the eBook HERE
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
For more information, please visit the publications page, here.