Daily Rituals

Daily Rituals

How Artists Work

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"How artists work, how they ritualize their days with the comforting (mundane) details of their lives: their daily routines, fears, dreams, naps, eating habits, and other prescribed, finely calibrated "subtle maneuvers" that help them use time, summon up willpower, exercise self-discipline and keep themselves afloat with optimism. Artists considering how they work--in letters, diaries, interviews, beguilingly compiled and edited by Mason Currey. Portraits that inspire, amuse, and delight and that reveal the profound fusion of discipline and dissipation through which the artistic temperament is allowed to evolve, recharge, emerge. From Beethoven and Kafka to George Sand, Picasso, Woody Allen and Agatha Christie; from Leo Tolstoy and Henry James to Charles Dickens and John Updike, here are writers, composers, painters, choreographers, playwrights, philosophers, caricaturists, comedians, poets, sculptors, and scientists on how they create (and avoid creating) their creations. A Sampling of Daily Rituals Charles Dickens Dickens's eldest son recalled that, "no city clerk was ever more methodical or orderly than he; no humdrum, monotonous, conventional task could ever have been discharged with more punctuality or with more business-like regularity than he gave to the work of his imagination and fancy." Dickens rose at 7:00, had breakfast at 8:00, and was in his study by 9:00. He stayed there until 2:00, taking a brief break for lunch with his family, during which he often seemed to be in a trance, eating mechanically and barely speaking a word before hurrying back to his desk. On an ordinary day he could complete about two thousand words, but during a flight of imagination he sometimes managed twice that amount. Maya Angelou I keep a hotel room in which I do my work--a tiny, mean room with just a bed and, sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin. I keep a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards, and a bottle of sherry in the room ... "--Provided by publisher.
"How artists work, how they ritualize their days with the comforting (mundane) details of their lives: their daily routines, fears, dreams, naps, eating habits, and other prescribed, finely calibrated "subtle maneuvers"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307273604
Branch Call Number: ANF 700.922 CUR
Characteristics: xvii, 278 p. : ill., ports. ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Currey, Mason


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 01, 2018

Not enough women represented.

Amy_MarkhamPL Dec 08, 2016

An easy, eye-opening look at the creative processes of great artists throughout history. Although everyone works differently and some are quite unhealthy, all the artists covered in this book have in common an overwhelming urge to produce.

Dec 05, 2014

Charming, brief, random comments from artists of all types, though mostly writers, on how they do their work. Some are very ritualistic, doing the same thing every morning or they can't work at all. Others are very free-wheeling. One of my writing instructors suggested we had to write at the same time every day. My life is way too chaotic for that. Maybe that's why I'm not published! This book was quite enlightening. Most of the authors I've read are very disciplined, whatever that discipline is. They may only have an output of 100 words a day, but they stick to it.

Dec 17, 2013

This book introduces the reader to a variety of artists -- largely writers. You will learn interesting details such as sleep patterns, breakfast and general meals, social routines, and what "routine" made each creative person work the best.

As a budding artist, this book made me feel closer to home. All people portrayed share the will to art but are vastly different -- there is a good message here that you should follow your natural path. I enjoyed reading about the shared human weakness of fooling ourselves into believing we can force our selfs to be other than who we naturally are.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VIRL

To Top