Questlove + Tywla Tharp on Creativity as Habit
13. Describe your first successful creative act.
14. Describe your second successful creative act.
15. Compare them.
– from Twyla Tharp’s Creative Autobiography Questionnaire
Twyla Tharp’s writing inspired our Campfire workshop about creativity as a practice both in and beyond the classroom. “The Creative Habit” addresses Tharp’s personal creative practice and includes anecdotes and prompts that invite us to reflect on our own creative lives. We love her 33-question “creative autobiography questionnaire,” which includes questions like “When you work, do you love the process or the result?” and “What is your idea of mastery?” She also offers 30 different exercises for a creative jumpstart, including “Build up your tolerance for solitude” (#3) and “Pick a Fight” (#16). The Creative Autobiography Questionnaire is available here: http://unprofessionaldevelopment.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/creative_autobiography_tharp.pdf
Questlove offers a different take on creativity as a habit: His “Something to Food About: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs” is a collection of his conversations with 10 chefs about “their training, their ideas, their relationship to creativity and to change, and their hopes (and fears) for the future).” We waited months for this book to be published, and were not disappointed: The photos are gorgeous and his questions are brilliant. It’s an incredible collection of stories about cooking – and eating – as a creative act. Bonus: Questlove mentions in his introduction that the book was inspired in part by his experience eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro!