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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