Today, I am starting the month-long Cornerstone Content Blogging Challenge by talking about a few of the books that have inspired me to stretch as both a writer and as a visual artist. These books offer information that helps me build my skills, as well as encouragement to step out of my comfort zone. When I am willing to take risks, I have more opportunity to grow as an artist. All three books have one thing in common: they are more focused on the journey of creativity, as opposed to being results oriented. And being focused on the art journey is a way to invite more people to join in, especially people who believe that they can’t draw or write or that they lack imagination. If you free yourself of worry of what your story or your picture will look like, you can focus entirely on the process of creating art and you can do so joyfully.
Here are some of the books that have provided inspiration for me:
Writing Down the Bones. Natalie Goldberg is a real inspiration. She is everything that I want to be: a writer and a visual artist. She’s written a whole bunch of book about writing, about painting, and about exploring your creativity. She says that writing is a creative act, that the goal is to shed the rules, not add new ones.
One suggestion is, when writing a first draft of anything, write continuously. Don’t cross out words or edit in any way. In fact, turn off the internal critic and the editor side of your brain. If you’ve turned off that little voice in your head that tells you that you can’t write, you can feel free to create without fear.
The Zen of Seeing. Frederick Franck (1909-2006) expressed his creativity through drawing, painting, and writing. The Zen of Seeing is handwritten because the author considered the book to be a love letter to people who long to create art, and personal letters should be handwritten. Drawing is all about seeing.
Frederick Franck encouraged everyone to draw, including people who do not believe that they are capable of drawing. He said, “Art is neither a profession nor a hobby. Art is a Way of Being.” What could be more inspiring than that?
Doodles Unleashed. Traci Bautista’s book is full of color and fun.
We all doodle and this author has taken doodling to a new level. She helps us doodlers explore the world of mixed media and not to limit ourselves to traditional art materials or tools, such as paints and paintbrushes and canvases. She suggest tools that we would have never imagined using, such as correction fluid, typography, collage pauge, tissue paper, and so much more. Traci Bautista inspires me to be more creative and to truly love and relish bright colors, shapes, and texture.