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Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes [Paperback]

Keri Smith
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Nov 2010

In Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes, Keri Smith, creator of Wreck This Journal, asks readers to explore what it feels like to throw themselves off balance - on purpose.

Your whole life you've been taught to avoid making a mess: try to keep everything under control, colour inside the lines, make it perfect, and at all costs, avoid contact with things that stain.

Keri Smith's Mess asks you to do the opposite of what you have been taught. Think of it as your own personal rumpus room. A place to lest loose, to trash, to spew, to do the things you are not allowed to do in the real world.

Smith dares readers to drop some kind of coloured liquid (ink, tea, coffee) onto a page from a good height (at least five feet); draw in the dark (or with eyes closed); creatively misspell words; paint a picture in a water-based medium (pen, marker, watercolour, etc) and leave it out during a rain or snowstorm; and bury this book, then dig it up.

Bestselling author Keri Smith is a freelance illustrator by trade, and has illustrated for the Washington Post, The New York Times, Ford Motor Company, People, The Body Shop and Hallmark. She is the author of Wreck This Journal, How to be an Explorer of the World and Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes. She lives in Canada.

Frequently Bought Together

Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes + This Is Not A Book + The Pocket Scavenger
Price For All Three: 18.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 Nov 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846144477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846144479
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She is the author of several bestselling books about creativity including How to be an Explorer of the World -the Portable Life/Art Museum,( 2008 Perigee), Wreck this Journal (2007 Perigee). Her newest book, This is Not a Book will be released fall 2009 by Penguin Books. She is the author of the popular weblog the Wish Jar which attracts over 10,000 readers daily, and writes on occasion for a variety of magazines (including How Magazine). Keri spends her days playing with her husband and son, and divides her time between upstate New York, and the countryside of Canada.

As a free lance illustrator she has worked for a wide variety of clientsworldwide. Most recently Random House, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Ford Motor Co., the Boston Globe, Galison/Mudpuppy Press, and Hallmark. In the last few years she has given lectures and workshops on the topic of "living creatively" for the How Design Conference, the OntarioGraphic Artist's Assocation, UC Davis, and schools across North America.She has been featured in How, Step by Step, Print, Bust, Wired and many more.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun & Mildly Educational 17 Feb 2014
By dmcnabb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book along with Wreck this Journal on recommendation of my psychology student friend who suggested it for me as I do suffer with minor obsessive compulsive disorder in the sense that I need things to be organized and perfect.
This book is very similar to Wreck this Journal, as a matter of fact some of the pages are identical, the front of the book is more about general destruction, while the latter parts of the book are more about exploration of textures, materials, different paints, colours, techniques and also tells the user to reference people, places, things etc. There is a lot of general doodling, but usually with some sort of instruction - ie photo of landscape with instructions to draw a storm of some description. I am not looking forward to burying it for 3 days! I must say! I will probably do that when I am done with it.
I love that this book is a bit more educational to artistic techniques, people etc. The beginning of the book speaks about an interview with a Dutch Sailor summing up the work of Bas Jan Ader referencing a piece called "Broken Fall" which shows a man bouncing up and down swinging on a branch over a creek. The sailor references that "moment of transcendence when you leave everything behind and leap into the unknown". I feel this book encapsulates that statement very well. There is a lot of experimentation and tasks that do not have a particularly obvious outcome, and while not dangerous, the book challenges your views on what art or perfection is. I have done a few pages and in describing them verbally it sounds like I am destroying a perfectly good book, but actually when I look at pages there are little bits and pieces on some pages I love, some I hate.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius 11 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fun and genius book. I bought for my daughter for Christmas and she had kicked it, thrown it up trees, splodged it and buried it, among many other things. She has so enjoyed it. Highly recommend.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Misbehaviour! 2 Jan 2011
Ok i have only just started filling this book, the first page is scary as it takes a little while to get used to being allowed to create mess! On the second page i poured coffee on the book from a height which was surprisingly fun, once you get relax and get creative this becomes a good outlet for stress and just to feel a bit silly, i do feel like i am doing something naughty and silly when making so much mess, but its definitely a good thing! Good for anyone who likes breaking the rules! Only minor flaw is that i would prefer bigger pages for making mess as the book is quite small! But there are a lot of pages and so many different ways of making mess so its not too bad!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just utterly fun! 28 Mar 2012
By Kera
I bought this from being in a creative slump and needed something to do. After looking at all of them I got this one and so far done two of the pages! It is very good for boredom when I'm home alone without the kids, or even getting them in on the action with sticky fingers.

One is cover the page in glue and the other dropping any coloured liquid from a rather fun height. Best do some outside though as it can get VERY messy. There are a lot of other activities to do as well.

I have already recommended it to my friends for when they're in a creative slump (and quite a few are!) And they've said they'll look into it. I want the other three now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Busy daughter 27 Feb 2014
By Minnie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My daughter loves this book. Has kept her entertained during flights on holiday. Fun. Pleased I bought it for her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars <3 13 Feb 2014
By julie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just completely fabulous I have issues making things that ihave purchased look like a mess but this book has pushed me into parts of my mind hat I didn't think that I would be able to access and go over!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really good book. Hours of entertainment with my little one.
Felt ripped off with p+p from 'world of books' as charged twice for 2 books I bought at same time which arrived in same packet and e-mail communication not satisfactory at all but cant fault the book itself :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book 9 Nov 2012
By Tracy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book, my daughter loved it. Lots of wacky ideas and fun things to do.Good ideas for teenager pressies. Other books in series are good too
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 days ago by Beverley Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars Organised mess.
This book is genuinely a space to step out of your comfort zone. I always get told off making spills and messes, but now I can cause chaos, in an organised way. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ewelina
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Bought for grand daughter she is well pleased,i think they were a good read but i never got to read them myself
Published 9 months ago by joan eaton
5.0 out of 5 stars fun
This is an excellent book for anybody who likes to 'learn from their mistakes' or just enjoy making a mess! Read more
Published 9 months ago by N
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun
I bought this book with a couple of other Keri Smith books, and I found them really entertaining. This one was a lot of fun as you got to make mess with lots of different mediums... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, fun to do on a rainy day
Would recommend to anyone of any age, especially those who love by strict rules of keeping things tidy and in order. Very very fun!
Published 14 months ago by Callie
5.0 out of 5 stars good book!
my child, 12 yo, asked me to buy this book. she got the information about the book from her school which distributing catalogue for every child in her class. Read more
Published 15 months ago by HERIWINAL CHAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Original gift
Bought as a gift for my daughter who is having hours of fun with it ,a great idea which sparks the readers imagination
Published 15 months ago by Mr W Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Bought this book as a present for a friend, so don't really know what to say. She hasn't complained so it is probably fine!
Published 19 months ago by Jannyann
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