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Aishwariya's LittLog

On Books, Writing, Editing, and More

The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin, with Neil Strauss, Canongate, 2023.

Reviewed by my dad K.S.Loganathan

Rick Rubin is an American record producer who holds eight Grammy Awards. He is a former co-president of Columbia Records.

The author posits that everyone is inherently creative, and to access it you just need to commit to a creative practice. Artists create art to express who they are, unlike the other trades where marketability is the main focus. Art is a reflection of the artist’s inner and outer world during the period of its creation. Art, however, is an unstable career path, and some other means of livelihood are essential to indulge in it. The best revelatory work emerges when you are self-aware, excited about it, and it’s bigger than you.

A spiritual viewpoint is invaluable to an artist, as also living in harmony with nature, which is unfathomably rich, while its beauty arises from fundamental harmonic proportions. Great art is an offering: a devotional act. Our inner world, born of nature, is as interesting and beautiful as nature itself, whether your content originates on the inside or the outside. It is better to follow nature than those around you, but living in an artistic community and cooperating and skillfully communicating with like-minded individuals enhances artistic creativity.

Cover pic of the book

Artists think outside the standard paradigm, but good habits and patience are practices to be followed. Often, the most innovative ideas come from those who master the rules and can see past them, or from those who never learned them at all.

The artist must be detached from the outcome as the best art divides the audience. They must have faith in experimentation, undertake A/B testing, and learn something from missteps.

My views

If the above gist fails to get you fired up, avoid this book. There are hardly any anecdotes or tips that could help you in the artistic journey where there is no goal in sight. One expects the author to share his experiences in his field. The minimalistic art in the book is the alchemical sun sign, displayed on the cover and repeated in chapter breaks. The impact of artificial intelligence on art is not mentioned, nor are any ideas given about intellectual property protection. The point it makes about creativity in art as distinct from designing for an output is noteworthy.

To learn more about my dad’s book, check out My Dad’s Book – Aishwariya’s LittLog (aishwariyalaxmi.com)

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2 Responses

  1. A crisp review of the book!
    I do agree with the author’s view that there is an artist in everyone. That helps them to appreciate art and also helps them to keep themselves sane in the crazily competitive world.

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Aishwariya Laxmi

I’m Aishwariya. I’m passionate about writing, reading, marketing communications, books, blogging, poetry and editing. I’ve donned several hats, such as freelance journalist, copywriter, blogger and editor.

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