One of the components of my active art practice is reading. I have been a voracious reader from grade school. Many of the books I read now are about ideas to grow my practice. I find when I read for fun or art I am more creative. My mind chills out for the read and all sorts of ideas flow. This sparks my imagination and creativity.
Alway curious about the what if’s that come up around working on my art, I constantly study and peruse new ideas. If any of you work with the Adobe Products like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro etc—you know they continually update their software. As this goes on it’s good to find out what is new in case you can benefit from one of the changes or you can’t figure out the changes that happened to one of the tools. One part of my practice is to explore digital imaging in all sorts or forms. Below are four of the publications I get monthly for two reasons – one eye candy- (the artists are amazing and I love to look at the pictures) and two there are wonderful how to’s as artists share their process. For one hour a day I work my way toward learning whatever draws me in. Sometimes it is just for fun of trying something not thought of before.
It’s like this—if you do an art related activity for one hour a day—at the end of a month you will have over 30 hours of playing with or practicing something that will add to your art practice. This means that when I invest time in learning more about say one of my digital programs—the hour a day can take me to a higher level of understanding. And this always sparks my curiosity and creativity.
Below are a few of my keeper books on my shelf.
Writing Down the Bones- Natalie Goldberg
This book is an old stand by. No matter how many times I read it there seems to be something I am hearing for the first time. Natalie brings everything into her writing practice and has been at it a long time. She has many books on the writing process and shares her experiences over the years. She is a talented writer and teacher.
Accidental Genius: Using Writing To Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content
I first listened to this book on Audible riding my bike or rollerblading. He has some amazing ideas on writing to get our of your way and get your ideas down on paper. I find myself pulling this off the shelf from time to time to get myself going when I have proposals or other writing to do for a deadline. It has also helped me create a writing practice.
The Creative Habit- Learn it and use it for Life
I have always admired Ms. Tharp for her success and what she has produced with her art. It’s interesting to me to read how a successful artist mapped her career and shares her experiences. She is one of the prolific leaders in dance with her choreography and has created a triumphant portfolio over the years. Her research for all her projects starts with an idea and then a box. As she puts her project together her ideas can grow into several boxes. For any artist this is an interesting read.