Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: The Artist Within - A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit

The book has an interesting twist. It is a life-balance-creativity-self-help manual couched within a breezy basic design manual. A rather unique concept. I think the purpose of the book is not to teach you to become a fine artist, but to help you add creativity to your every day life. Not a bad goal. In fact - it's a goal I heartily agree with.

After briefly explaining a design principle such as "contrast" she asks you to do a few right-brain exercises to exercise your creative muscle. The projects are wonderfully childlike and freeing. 

For instance: When talking about the design principle of Unity she says "In life, a lack of unity can distract us, make us feel like we are stretched too thin. If you feel this way, try finding the common thread in your life, what is vital. This will help you to refocus your energies and gain a greater unity of purpose."

The creative exercises that go along with the concept  include creating a torn paper family tree where you write  thoughts related to unity on any paper available to you, tear it up, and paste it into tree form. Another project might be to create a sculpture from the items in your junk drawer - symbolizing unifying the disparate elements of your past. Much more instruction is given for applying the principle of Unity to work or family life than how to create the art - but that's the point of the book.

I like the idea. Once I understood that the book was more about life coaching than fine art instruction I really enjoyed it and had fun thinking about different areas of my life that could use a creative boost. 

As a fun special just for you, my friends, 
I'm giving away this book 
to one lucky commenter on today or tomorrow's post. 

Answer me this.
How can you incorporate the principles of balance, contrast, repetition or unity into your daily life? How can you integrate the creativity that you apply to your art into the act of daily living?

I'll be interviewing Whitney tomorrow, talking a little more about her story. You can leave a comment on that post too and double your chances to win her book. Check back next Monday the 16th of May to see if you've won.