Just over a year ago I had the privilege of reading Blaine Hogan’s book, Untitled: Thoughts on the Creative Process. Blaine is the creative director for Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, and was an actor for many years before that. He walks through the creative process every day, and when I stumbled across his book on Twitter I immediately wanted a copy.
Blaine hits on four main points in Untitled, the first of which is that creativity is hard. Despite what you might think, I found this really encouraging to hear. I’ve grown up with the idea that if you’re a real creative genius, the ideas flow and the work of putting it on paper is effortless. But as everyone discovers that is far from the case, and hearing someone acknowledge this and then offer ways to press through the hardship was amazing. Blaine then goes on to talk about risk, how to handle fear and failure, and why it’s all worth it.
In a way, you could say that Untitled is about dealing with the emotions of creativity. This isn’t a how-to book or steps to making good art, but rather a journey through what it means to be an artist and how to think about and deal with the obstacles that get in the way.
One of Blaine’s thoughts that really struck home for me was a line at the end of part two: “You are not a salesman. You are storyteller.” As an artist who is a Christian, my goal is not to sell people my belief in God, but to take people on a journey through that faith and relationship. (I wrote about it here.)
I read Untitled initially as an ebook, and my immediate thought was I would love to have a printed copy of it. I knew it would be one of those books that years from now still sits on my shelf, dog-eared and marked up, worn and bent from constant use. The great thing is, next week Blaine is at last releasing just that, with revised and expanded content.
There have been a number of books coming out the last couple years by Christian authors talking about creativity and how to mix it and our walk with the Lord. Out of those, Untitled: Thoughts on the Creativity Process is forefront in my mind when recommending books to others.
You can find the book on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I got to read this awesome book for free. Thanks for the promotional copy, Blaine.