Creativity and Books

Monday, January 11, 2016
Over the years I've blogged about books, but maybe not as much as I should have. I love to read. LOVE. There are shelves of books in my workroom, piles on my nightstand, always an audiobook downloaded onto my phone, and dozens on my Kindle. I work part-time at a library, for goodness sake (3+ years now!) - so it's probably about time I include more books in my blog. For me, creativity and books go hand-in-hand.

Books have always played an important part in my creative life: I taught myself to knit on 4-needles by studying a library book when I was a kid (wish I remembered the name of it!); and I learned basic computer programming from books back when I was in high school, which led to my college major and subsequent computer-related jobs. Recently I've read a few motivational art/craft books that I wanted to share.

Creativity and Books, 2015:


The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind by Cat Bennett. Don't be put off by the "drawing" in the title - it was motivational, and such an easy read, that I believe anyone can grow by jumping into the exercises she describes. Any type of creative work can benefit by looking at things with a different perspective, and being confident. This book was really clear, to the point, with short, easy-to-digest chapters; it was really encouraging, with practical how-to's. If you need a push, feel negative, or stuck - this is a good book to take a look at.

Art Saves: Stories, Inspiration and Prompts Sharing the Power of Art by Jenny Doh. When I first glanced at the book, I didn't find the projects inspiring. But then I started reading.... and changed my mind. I got so much out of what each artist had to say about their journey, what they learned, their advice, and how they found the courage to do what they loved. This book made me think and realize that the only restrictions that I have, are self-imposed ones. This book will reassure you that you're not alone in your ruts, or doubts, and can help you to focus on your goals.

55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Colorful Festive Ornaments, Tree Decorations, Centerpieces, Wreaths, Window Dressings by Arne Nerjordet. This book was like a cookbook that has more than just recipes - I always like the ones that have stories to go along with each dish - they draw you in and make you feel that it's much more than just an instruction manual. The descriptions and facts that accompanied the patterns were very interesting. There weren't just knitting patterns in here - but poems, holiday stories, and traditions. Creativity of all kinds and really charming. And a shout-out to Pam of gingerbreadsnowflakes.com for introducing me to this.

On my to-read list: Make It Mighty Ugly : exercises & advice for getting creative even when it ain't pretty by Kim Werker. Her blog is also really great.

(Book titles link to amazon.com affiliate links.)

create journal page for creativity and books
Journal page from notes & thoughts while reading Art Saves.

"We each have our own art journey and life journey. The important thing is to be ourselves and to be happy to be ourselves" - Cat Bennett.
Books + Creativity: Have any recommendations?

2 comments:

  1. I loved to read when I was much younger. I still read but with so many TV shows to watch, I often find myself staring at the screen. With craft or creative books, I tend to flip through, mostly looking at the photos. Recently I got started on a Alfred Hitchcock Tales of Horror. There are 58 short stories and I've read 3. Written in an old fashioned manner, some of the stories are quite lame by today's standards but still interesting to read.

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  2. I hear you Jane. I am constantly distracted, it's getting harder and harder to sit still, especially for non-fiction books. Most of my fiction "reads" over the past year have been via audio books, making it much easier to multi-task (washing dishes is so much better while listening to a book!). I used to love horror stories when I was younger, and only recently started reading them again. Your short stories sound like they'll be good, even fun, if not corny, being the old fashioned kind.

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