Topics: literature

Create Now! [review]

If you find yourself experiencing creative block, Create Now! A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity, may be the jolt you need to get back into the flow.

Create-Now-Marlo-Johnson

Meant as a resource you can keep going back to, Marlo Johnson’s handbook guides readers through the stages of setting an intention, creating, sharing work and receiving payment. It does this by asking multiple choice questions that help uncover why one may be procrastinating or building other barriers. If you’re wondering how much of a time investment this book is, the answer is not much. I read the entire thing on my 45 minute commute.

What I like about this guide is that it’s forgiving and not more of the tired work harder bullshit advice. It acknowledges that you need to take care of physical, mental and emotional needs to create to your potential and doesn’t make you feel bad for being the imperfect humans we all are. It doesn’t kick you down for having negative emotions or doubting your skills and wants to help you move past that.

The other thing that lends this guide some credibility is it’s coming directly from a creative coach with the experience and empathy for the challenges people face in creating. I’ll be testing out the process on a project that I’ve been longing to get started with. If you’d like to take plunge with me, here’s where you can find the book.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chronicle BooksIndiebound

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Art Before Breakfast [review]

I just finished up Art Before Breakfast from Danny Gregory. It’s real talk about making time to be creative, no matter how busy you think you are and why it can make a huge difference in your life. The book is focused on building a drawing ritual, sharing strategies on how to get started and what to draw, from your breakfast, to airport travelers and parts of your own body.

art-before-breakfast

Aside from an idea bank that’s sure to hold something you’ll actually try, I enjoyed the sections on art with a capital A versus art with a lowercase a (hint: little a will set you free) and firing your inner critic (because who doesn’t need those reminders from time to time). But I suppose the most important thing is this book actually inspired me to draw.

That’s a big deal because I have always shied away from it. My skills are severely lacking, but after one mediocre session, I came away feeling alive. I’ve made it a point to keep going (just 10 minutes a day) and remind myself that when you suck at something, the learning curve is pretty exciting because you get better really quickly without pouring every ounce of energy into what you’re doing. Although it took a while for this book to win me over and break out the sketchbook, I can recommend this for anyone needing a little nudge, or as a thoughtful gift. The lessons within can be applied to much more than drawing and they should be, whether you want to improve your writing, instrumental prowess or design skills.

The 99U Quarterly

Print magazines are hot. Either that or I’ve just been obsessed with them lately. We’ve given shout outs to Stack Magazines and Offscreen before, but another intriguing one is the 99U Quarterly. I can’t attest to the quality yet, but it promises practical advice on executing ideas, profiles on interesting creatives and the latest research on getting shit done. Sounds like something I’d be into. First issue ships in March.

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