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In today’s episode of Creative Lift, Creating Space: Designing with Apprenticeship in Mind, we’ll explore another essential mindset for creative thinking: apprenticeship. So far in this season, we’ve considered the importance of improvisation, critical thinking, and reflection, and their related skillsets. We’ve given each of these thinking modes a specific space in our mind. We’ve visualized a building to hold these rooms, our creative Illuminary, and considered the look and feel that each room might have. We’ve noted how these rooms can provide shortcuts into a particular way of thinking, and help us to effectively approach the specific creative work in front of us.


In books like Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, or Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon, long-time creatives have emphasized the importance of deeply studying the work of other artists. The goal isn’t to copy, but rather to learn by heart, and after that learning process, build beyond what we’ve learned. In this way, we navigate using the light of those artists who have illuminated the path before us. We’re apprenticing with them, even if we can’t sit in their studios with them.


Today’s room is a Library. Instead of thinking of that Library as a place filled with only shelves and books, I invite you to allow your Library to be expansive. Give it listening rooms, art galleries, and even a live stage. Regardless of what your artistic medium (or mediums) are, you aren’t limited to apprenticing with artworks that look and feel like your own. In fact, sometimes you’ll learn much more about pacing or tone by apprenticing with an artist who uses those tools in an entirely different way than you do as you create. 


Inspiring works of art are all around us. How might we use them as tools of apprenticeship? How might we create an inviting space for ourselves as learners that guides that reverse-engineering and skill development process?



Find me on Instagram: @naomikinsman

Find Alex on Instagram: @ag.doherty


You can also help others find the show by rating and reviewing it on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to the show. Your words make such a difference for them—and for me, as I continue to create this show. Many, many thanks in advance. And of course, a huge thank you to Alex Doherty for his fantastic editing of the show.