Episode Date October 31, 2023
Featured Guest Susan Collett
Featured Book "The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life " by Twyla Tharp

Episode Summary

Susan Collett reading from Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit and discussing the variety of a creative life.

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I did a beginner’s class in ceramics earlier this year, and it was a pretty interesting experience to go up against a potter’s wheel and lose. Forget actually trying to create a pot, I found it nearly impossible just to get the lump of clay centered on the wheel. I did end up with a few lumpy, bumpy things to glaze – and glazing is its own adventure where you never really know how your project will turn out since every firing in the kiln is different. Do your best, create blindly, have your creation tempered by forces beyond your control, and end up with something unexpectedly gorgeous. Gosh, it’s a bit like life, really.

Susan Collett is someone I’ve shared a glass of wine with more than once on my balcony, as she lives just around the corner from me in Toronto. She also happens to be one of the pre-eminent artists who works in clay sculpture and printmaking, something she’s been doing successfully for 30 years.

Susan reads two pages from ‘The Creative Habit’ by Twyla Tharp. [reading begins at 14:15]

Hear us discuss:

  • What art does for the artist, and for the world: “Something good always comes forward out of chaos, difficulty, and struggle, and I want to remind people of their strength amidst fragile times.” [6:32]
  • How to engage with art. [8:52]
  • Planning helps the wheel go ‘round. [17:59]
  • Working through the doldrums as a creator. [20:01]
  • Our inner critics: “Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s real.” [21:52]
  • The importance of drawing. [25:55]
  • The next project: “Within one piece there are ten other pieces.” [27:31]
  • “The clay, itself, teaches you to let go into the materials.” [30:01]
  • How to find your audience. [33:49]

Get access to full transcripts and past episodes at www.MBS.works/podcast

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Mentioned Episodes | Ep. 104: Danie Mellor: How to Travel Through History | Ep. 144:  Debbie Millman: Succes, Failure & Design

Susan Collett | Website | LinkedIn

Twyla Tharp | The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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