KIM PIPER WERKER is a writer and freelance editor who tries to make something—anything—every day. Many of those things are awful; some are not. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she lives in Vancouver, BC. Learn more about her work, teaching schedule, and rag-tag adventures at KimWerker.com. For more on Mighty Ugly, including links to resources and a book-club guide, visit MightyUgly.com.
Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain't Pretty, by Kim Werker, has us aim directly for failure so we can get it over with. Upbeat without being saccharine, Kim invites us to identify our personal monsters and listen to what they have to say in a series of exercises designed to loosen up our creative muscles. Even if you think you don't have any creative blocks, you may find the exercises to be a little scary. You didn't think there was a monster under your bed...until you really looked, and found one. The author is up front about this, and says you are on the right track if you are feeling anxious when you start to look. Sprinkled throughout the book are recommendations for additional material, including links to projects and talks, as well as anecdotes and quotes from people Kim interviewed about their creative demons.
So you want to live a more passion-filled, purposeful and creative life...riiiight after you watch that Seinfeld re-run, organize your Tupperware drawer, talk to your cat Professor Snuggles, and water your cactus plant. Sound familiar? The anxiety over starting a creative project and making it perfect can be so overwhelming at times that we’d rather do almost anything else. Solution? Do it—and make it ugly. In fact, Make it Mighty Ugly says Kim Piper Werker, the author behind the motivating handbook for vanquishing creative demons.
Even if you’re living your passion at a full time job and looking for a guide to help you become a "creative person" this book is absolutely worth the buy. . .you don’t have to have been a girl scout with a sewing machine to be creative! And Make It Mighty Ugly teaches readers how to do just that. How to embrace your inner child who wasn’t afraid to make ugly things (and mistakes) and create.
The Mighty Ugly project is about making things that are ugly on purpose, "in a continuing effort to challenge our definitions, perceptions, and expectations of failure." Creator Kim Werker has a whole book coming out on the subject in 2014, if you’re moved to make some of your own (very liberating) failure-successes.
If you are creative, you need this book. If you want to be creative? You needed this yesterday. I seriously love it. I would read a page or two and then launch myself off my couch to Do Something Awesome.
Rachael Herron, Yarn-a-Go-Go
I haven’t read a book this helpful to artists and other creative types since reading a little book called The Artist’s Way. . .
Sew Country Chick
A great book for anyone who creates or wants to (from writers, crafters, painters, etc.), with a step-by-step approach using exercises that gently instruct readers to push their boundaries, identifying strengths and weaknesses and encouraging readers to get their hands dirty, working though creative blocks, procrastination, and finally sharing one's work.
. . .What we loved most about Mighty Ugly is that it retains its inspiration and effectiveness even as you return to it time and again. It's rare to find a self-help-for-creativity book that is so very accessible, with the perfect mix of humor and thoughtfulness. . .
At the root of so many human endeavors is creativity and this book is here as a guide through the messy, uncomfortable, untidy spectacular mess of it all.
A Happy Stitch
Kim does an amazing job of connecting with us as creative readers. I really believe that this book can be useful to more than just the creatives that it is geared towards. The exercises challenge you to dig deep and gather all of your demons and then tell them off.