My go to reading material is fiction. My mother would say "weird fiction," because I don't like ordinary romance or mysteries, but if you add a strange character or a strange setting, you might suck me in. I digress, though. The purpose of this post was to share some of the books and podcasts that have helped me with my artistic and/or personal growth.
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
This book probably comes as no surprise to any of you out there. There are classes and workshops and various other conceptual ways of putting the information in this book to practice in your life. My take-aways...don't judge yourself or your art too harshly, make time to play, channel anger into something positive, try to detach from the crazymakers in your life. I found the "morning pages" exercise to be extremely helpful in clearing my mind for my day. I should do it on a consistent basis. She writes the book speaking of a God or Creator. If this isn't something you believe in, you will probably find the book unreadable.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
This book talks about embracing the perfection in imperfection and mindfulness. It was one of those that I liked only "okay" when I read it, but then, a passage that she wrote about a friend doing multiple photographs and colorful drawings of a white metallic pot kept coming into my mind. Although the pot was nothing particularly special, it reflected the environment it was in. (She writes this in a much more lovely in lyrical way.) I finally figured out the name of the book and bought myself a copy.
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
This book came up in a bible study many years ago. I've lost touch with Sharla, but I will forever be in her debt for introducing me to Anne Lamott (in book form, not in person, sadly).
Bird by Bird was written for writers, but it also applies to anyone working creatively. I love so many things she says, and the way she says things, but she speaks to me as an artist when she talks a lot about putting down the truth without worrying about what others will think of it.
Imagine by Jonah Lehrer
I read this book back in 2012 before the scandal. Despite the facts, I found the book fascinating and entertaining. Perhaps some of the science is flawed and over-simplified, but my memory isn't very good and I don't recall any of those facts anyway. I loved the stories of how the Swiffer was designed and the way Pixar runs its creative meetings. In fact, just this week I heard about the book Creative Inc. by Ed Catmull. I sure hope it tells more of Pixar's stories!
Free by Chris Anderson
I got this book FREE (of course) on Audible. It could have used some significant editing in my opinion, but the parts that I found interesting are truly fascinating. Now, I just have to figure out how to apply it to my artwork. ;)
This podcast is a new one for me. I can't say that I agree with everything Aunia Kahn says about the business of art and although she says that the sources are in the show notes, it is sometimes hard to tell what is her opinion or the opinion of another. Every time I listen to a podcast, though, it makes me REALLY THINK about the subject that she is discussing, and that is a good thing. (If I could blog in my brain, there would have been several additional posts written while I am listening to Create & Inspire in my car.)
Accidental Creative with Todd Henry
Artists Helping Artists with Leslie Saeta
A friend I made last year turned me on to this podcast. Sometimes an artist is interviewed. Sometimes tips from listeners on a subject are shared. Different facets of running your "art business" are common topics. The format is a two person hosting situation and it is certainly more chatty and giggly than some podcasts. I find this makes it down-to earth and it only occasionally makes me wish for a more professional approach. My favorite shows have been 50 Favorite Art Products, the interview with Robert Gamblin (and I'm not an oil painter) and the Getting Ready for 2014. I think there is something everyone will like.