- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Ilex Press; 01 edition (29 Jun. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781573980
- ISBN-13: 978-1781573983
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 21.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Stop Look Breathe Create Paperback – 29 Jun 2017
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Wendy Ann Greenhalgh has discovered a vast creative territory utilizing four simple but powerful steps: stop, look, breathe, and create. Her beautifully illustrated book shows us that our creativity is always available if we are willing to pause and allow our attention to rest on what we see around us every day, and that anyone can explore, through exercises in drawing, photography, and writing, the joy that comes from mindfully making art. This book will not teach you how to be creative but to easily discover how creative you already are. (John F Simon, Jr. Visual Artist and Author of "Drawing Your Own Path")
Arts educator and creative writing teacher Wendy Ann Greenhalgh combines mindfulness and creativity, welcoming readers to Stop Look Breate Create.See all Product description
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The book includes a useful introduction followed by 10 different projects containing exercises you can do that will stimulate creativity. Each of these projects offer you a way to explore the topic through a) drawing b) writing and c) photography. The projects / exercises are very do-able and aren’t daunting at all and they do inspire creative thinking and doing, so long as you're willing to actually do the exercises presented. Project topics include exploring colour, texture, pattern and light, e.g. finding a piece of tree bark and drawing it with your eyes closed and choosing a shape or pattern and then documenting them when you notice them in the world around you. A lot of the projects remind me of my art school days, exploring natural form and developing sketchbooks.
I’m not sure the book will appeal to everyone and do feel like it will connect more with those already creatively-minded or those wanting to become more artistic. I think it would appeal to artists from various disciplines as well as art & design students. It requires more reading, planning and thinking than something like “Wreck this Journal” and similar books which are perhaps a little more accessible and easier to get into. There's no space to draw/write directly into the book so I highly recommend getting a notebook or sketchbook along with some watercolours, pens, pencils (whatever medium you fancy) so you can start your creative journey.
But, if you are looking for a good, solid set of exercises that will help you create individual artworks and are prepared to try something a little bit different, then Stop Look Breathe Create has a lot to offer. I’d already played with many of the techniques described during various art and design courses I’ve attended over the years, and much of the mindfulness material is to do with observation and reflection, which strongly linked to certain aspects of my teacher training, so there was little new here for me, but it was interesting to see the various elements drawn together in support of each other.
However, if you’re looking for a quick fix and some easy to pick up projects when you have a few minutes spare, this book won’t provide that – it takes time to read, reflect and put into practice the techniques it talks about and requires a lot of work and a long-term commitment if you’re going to get the most out of it (even though that commitment can be as little as ten minutes or so a day).
So, if you fancy something different to get your creative juices flowing, be it through photography, sketching and painting, or writing (or a combination of any and all of the above), this book is worth a look. And it may just make you a much more confident and relaxed person as well!
The projects are very enticing too - I'm going to start noticing a patch of sky every day from now on :)
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