You know those people you come across in life who fascinate, inspire and cause you to question the way you see the world and how you live in it? Well Claire Burge is one of those special ones. I remember perusing her blog a couple of years back and was immediately intrigued by one particular story of her adventures. On an outing in the countryside she stumbled across an abandoned house which looked like the owners had got up one morning and just left, never to return. Lace curtains fluttered in the breeze and testaments to everyday life from a sewing machine to plates for breakfast lay scattered across the room. My curiosity would have been piqued too but I would most likely have ignored that gut instinct to find out more and simply continued on my way, afraid of offending or drawing unwanted attention, while desperately suppressing the urge to go explore. Not Claire. She managed to find a local man to reveal the mystery and despite falling through the rotting floor boards of first floor, she delighted in every bit of the adventure. Having been so completely captivated by that particular story, one which made me question how often I take the safe route rather than the unknown path, I knew a whole collection of inspiring stories from Claire would be something incredibly special.
In Spin, Taking your Creativity to the Nth Degree, Claire weaves her storyteller magic into a collection of tales from her life, each one teaching her (and us) something about creativity. How we perceive, approach and cultivate it. It’s nothing like any book I’ve ever read before and that’s where the beauty lies. It’s a book, a journal, a map of sorts; one you can doodle on, scribble on and write to figure out where and how creativity can play a role in your life. The illustrations by Brian Dixon infuse the visual guidebook with whimsy, fun and childlike curiosity.
Coming from a musical background and figuring out my love of styling as time went on, you’d think that an awareness of creativity and the role it plays in our lives would be second nature. To be honest it’s not something that I was actively conscious of before now but reading Claire’s book has encouraged me to look at it in a whole new way. Most notably that I was misinterpreting the practical use of creativity partnered with productivity and its role in any job (The illustration 9 lies I was told and believed about creatives was a particular eye opener!) She hits the nail on the head when she says that creativity isn’t generally an attribute that is valued and encouraged in the workplace.
So long story short, my words here really don’t do it justice! Regardless of what you do for a living or what background you come from I would highly encourage you to delve into the pages of Spin and see where you come out on the other side. I for one hope to literally take a leaf out of Claires book and start being a bit braver about life and the adventure that it sends my way.