Customer Review

190 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in the making - and deservedly so., 6 May 2007
This review is from: The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist You Truly Are (Paperback)
What makes this book so extraordinary? It addresses the three greatest obstacles facing any aspiring artist: 1) "I can't draw/paint/sculpt etc.", 2) "What do I draw/paint/sculpt?" and 3) "Why do I want/need to draw/paint/sculpt?". This book tackles all these issues with great intelligence and simplicity. (In fact, by answering 1 and 2, you'll find 3 takes care of itself).

As a beginner I always felt that artists were born, not made. That you were either born creative and artistically gifted, or not. The author quickly proves this is not the case and - incredibly - gets you to prove it to yourself through a series of simple exercises from the very beginning.

I admire the fact that here is an author that has not lost sight of the true value of art - to express deep emotion and meaning - in short, the artist's "truth". It's not a "how-to" book (although there is a chapter that will improve anyone's drawing ability within minutes) but a guide to helping the "ordinary" man/woman in the street express themselves authentically, individually, artistically and to begin making sense of their own world and their own lives. That's an amazing achievement.

The result for me is that I now draw constantly - rarely does an hour pass without me sketching something. I cook more adventurous meals; I'm learning about graphic design; I write stories and articles; I listen to more diverse music (and find myself liking stuff I never thought I would); I've turned my hand at typography, photography - even new languages. In short, I've awoken to the world I live in and have connected to a more authentic me. Life has become far more rewarding and interesting.

One word of advice however. The book does not hold concrete answers. The author correctly states that he cannot take the path for you but he can guide you along the way. But, therein lies the true value of the endeavour - and the fun: to uncover something about yourself (that maybe you never knew) and to express it sincerely. And you know what? It's hugely rewarding and really not very difficult.

Whilst the book uses "drawing" for its examples, it is certainly applicable to any artistic endeavour.

Being creative needn't mean taking the cliche dark path of the tortured artist. Indeed, this book shows it's in the reach of all of us, immediately, and far from bringing torment and anxiety, it's a well of joy and satisfaction.

Anyone who is genuine about wanting to be more creative needs to read this.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jul 2011 15:20:59 BDT
Jock Bell says:
These "friend of the author" comments are valueless and becoming quite tiresome.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2011 15:41:15 BDT
Steampunk says:
@ 'Prospective Buyer'
Please point out the bit of this review that states it was written by a friend of the author? I've read the review several times, and can't find it.

Or do you perhaps have other knowledge that the reviewer is a friend of the author? If so, you should really share it - otherwise your comment looks like the sort of stupid and baseless remark sometimes made by people just because they didn't agree with the review.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 11:29:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Feb 2012 11:30:42 GMT
jakeone says:
@Prospective Buyer

Read my other reviews on Amazon if you doubt my objectivity. If someone is passionate and enthusiastic about something they "must" be a friend of the author!? Must be difficult to live with such a cynical world view.
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