The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse

I was given the awesome opportunity to read Michael Gungor’s first book The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse: A Book For Creators before it hit shelves yesterday.


This was one of the most encouraging books I have read on creativity (number one is The War of Art…go read that too!)

Now, I love Gungor. Their music inspires me and this book gives an insight as to why it really resonates with so many people and to top it all off, Michael Gungor is a phenomenal guitar player. So, I may be a little biased but at least I’m honest 🙂
If you are anybody, you should read this book. We are all creators in some way and Michael Gungor does a great job encouraging you, yet still warns you, that good art can be made but it demands a fight.

The book is divided into three parts: Art, Roots, and Soil

Art: tackles the meaning, use, beauty, and struggle of Art.

Roots: stresses the importance of where our art comes from and that fruit is telling of the tree.

Soil: explores faith, doubt, hope and love and the effects of those four nutrients on our creativity.

Gungor emphasizes the importance to being connected to yourself, your community, and God  When we are disconnected we become creatively sterile. There are times when we, as artists, need to get away and reconnect with ourselves and that is when colors seem brighter, words seem heavier, and music makes sense again. As a musician I can say I don’t do this enough.

This book resonated with everything I have been thinking, reading, and writing about this semester in school too. Sort of ironic how that happens huh?

In my World Poetry class we have been talking a lot about the impact of poetry on the world. We have argued if art can have an affect on history or if it is just an after thought. My favorite idea is that art is telling the story of what is going on in the world and in the hearts of the people living real lives that experience real things. Poetry, Music, Photography, Film, Short Stories, Buildings, Gardens, they are all simply barometers. I don’t know that any of these things can alter the course of history, but they sure are telling of the weather of hearts of those who create them.

I would definitely suggest this book to any person that creates anything from film to food. It is a quick read and really motivating. We all need a reminder of why we do the things we do and for Artists…this is one of those books.

Go buy a copy here!

Or on iTunes

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