Upcoming event will discuss 'The Artist's Way,' Julia Cameron's book on creativity

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: KATE GAVIGAN - Kate Gavigan will lead a workship on creativity at the Estacada Public Library, Friday, June 29.

Kate Gavigan was working as a mental health therapist when she discovered "The Artist's Way," Julia Cameron's book on creativity.

Cameron recommends freewriting for several pages every morning. One morning Gavigan wrote that she wanted to teach suicide prevention training in Ireland. Several months later, she had the opportunity to do so.

Gavigan credits "The Artist's Way" with helping her become more aware of "the synchronicity that comes our way." She's transitioned from the mental health field to teaching full time at the Seattle Artists Way Center and leading classes around the Pacific Northwest. She will come to Estacada for an interactive discussion on "The Artist's Way" from 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, June 29, at the Estacada Public Library, 825 N.W. Wade St. Those interested in attending the event should call the library at 503-630-8273 to preregister.

While working through "The Artist's Way," participants engage with daily freewriting, known as morning pages, and creative outings, known as artist's dates. Published 27 years ago, the book also focuses on creative exercises and potential blocks to imagination.

Though the name might suggest otherwise, Gavigan said anyone can benefit from "The Artist's Way."

"Whether you see yourself as an artist or not, the material helps tap into your creative side and benefits other parts of your life," she said. "(The classes in Seattle) often have a huge cross section. There are actors, writers, and directors, but also teachers, therapists, architects and school principals."

Gavigan noted that participants often report feeling more fully themselves, rediscovering forgotten talents and generally having more fun.

"What I hear from students is that they may not end up quitting their day job to be an actor, but it makes for a more well rounded life experience," she said. "It allows them to give more time to themselves to be creative, and energizes and propels their lives in ways they hadn't anticipated."

Though the 12-week courses at Gavigan's Seattle location focus on the entirety of Cameron's book, the event in Estacada will focus on the morning pages, artist's dates and several of the creative exercises explained in the book.

Gavigan said one of the most rewarding elements of her work is seeing how the process influences people.

"We all have gifts and talents. Some of us are able to use them, and others have had time where they put them aside," she said. "I love seeing the transformation in people as they bring out their gifts and talents and acknowledge them in themselves. They leave just as more of who they are."

If you go

What: The gifts of "The Artist's Way" creativity workshop.

When: 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, June 29.

Where: Estacada Public Library, 825 N.W, Wade St.

Preregister: Call the library at 503-630-8273 to complete the required preregistration.

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