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Brian Dettmer.. and how to view his brilliance and be kind to your creative soul.

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Sometimes I’m wowed beyond wow… and the sculptured altered books of Brian Dettmer are in that category. A video link is below plus a link of ‘still’ images so you can take in the detail.

But before you sneak off there, know this:

If you are a creative being arriving here because maybe you searched altered books and have been considering taking up that fine craft… Breath.

When you get there and one part of you is in awe, but the other part- the inner critic -starts blabbering stuff like: “you’re not good enough”  “If you can’t do this perfectly, don’t even start”  “oh man, I suck big time” and you feel your enthusiasm and energy start to dwindle, DO THIS:

1. Know that you are normal for a creative person.

2. Showing up to your creativity IS the important part… you’re being called to show up. What evolves is your journey – nobody elses… because you are a unique creative being. (read number 4 on how to show up)

3. It’s okay if you don’t become a Brian Dettmer overnight. In fact, you don’t really want to become a Brian Dettmer.  Being you is your ideal. What that looks like in your creative expression might still be an unknown.  And that’s okay.

4. And if it’s altered books you want to experiment with, get out the razor knife and any old book and start cutting.  Give yourself permission to create something ‘small and crappy.’ (KMCC tool) This is an excellent way of thinking  for sneaking past all the fears, high expectations, overwhelm, and self-sabotaging talk.  Sounds ridiculous, right? It works. It works over and over and over again.  So go, chop up a book!

(If you are freaking out at the concept of chopping up a book, I get it. I personally will go to the used book store and get the books that are ready to go to the dump. It happens in book stores. Then, I feel like I’ve given the ‘dump-designated’ new life.)

Want to know what possessed me to write this? (Apparently, I’m going to tell you anyway  ~smile~) I found Brian Dettmer’s  work while looking up altered book techniques. I’ve dabbled in this art form, and am considering doing a creativity/ discovery course that would involve altered books.  I looked at Brian’s work and I, who helps others get past creative and life blocks, felt my energy drain. But I did notice and, as long as we notice, there’s ways to get past that.

THEN I wanted to share his amazing work, and you know, I hesistated. Because the people I work/play with  are ‘right brainers’ and we do tend to have inner critics to deal with AND SO, I created this long and meandering prelude to introduce you to the works of Brian Dettmer.

Phew. Now, you have the tools to go see Brian Dettmer’s works and  truly be inspired and in awe.

Youtube video:

(it refused to embed here.. sorry)

Still images:

About Janet

Author and artist with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Author: 'Beyond All Imaginings'- a magical memoir. (on Amazon, if you are keen, or contact me for a signed copy) Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

One response »

  1. Be Yourself: everyone else is already taken by Mike Robbins and Soul Without Shame by Byron Brown are great books on the subject of dealing with the Inner Critic



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