Sunday, January 13, 2008

Book Review

I was recently browsing the craft section of Borders when I came across this wonderful book "Living the Creative Life, Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists" by Rice Freeman-Zachery.

This is a book that can be enjoyed by artists and non-artists alike.  The author focuses on 15 contemporary artists who work in paint, mixed-media, quilting, clay, beads, journaling, or collage.  She interviews each of them, asking questions about where their inspiration comes from, their definition of creativity, how they use a sketchbook, what their work process is, how they organize their work space, collaboration and sharing their work with the public.  Each chapter is a different topic giving us each artist's viewpoint on the subject.

Included in each chapter are little sidebars that are titled "try this".  They include tips, suggestions, and activities to try and get creativity flowing.  For example in the second chapter "The Creative Childhood {It's Never Too Late}" the author suggests making a list of things that were fascinating to the reader as a child and then circling the ones that "cause a little shiver of interest".  These are topics one might explore in their adult art.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is the artwork.  The artists that Freeman-Zachery chose for her book are very talented.  Many of them are mixed-media artists.  As someone who is exploring this art form myself I find the work very inspiring.  I love the quilts by Bean Gilsdorf from Portland and the puppets of Scott Radke from Cleveland.

This is a beautiful full color paperback book.  Most of the pages are designed to look like collages.  It is filled with art, wisdom, and inspiration fro artists and art appreciators of every kind.  

( has a "Search Inside" feature for this book so you can see more of what it looks like)


Nancy Ewart said...

I am always dubious about these types of books as the advice is often simplistic and patronizing but this looks very interesting. So many books - so little time.

Pamela Heyda said...

Thanks for the comment. I think what is really nice about this book is that the author includes many artists all sharing their experience. With all those voices there is less of a "how-to" feel. Still, if you are a practicing artist you probably don't need this advice but sometimes it can help you get motivated.