After I bought this book at the bookstore, I read the reviews for it on Amazon. I have to say, the people who are giving this book low marks have seriAfter I bought this book at the bookstore, I read the reviews for it on Amazon. I have to say, the people who are giving this book low marks have seriously missed the point. Which is unfortunate, really, because they're missing out on a lot.
This book differs from a lot of how-to art books in that it doesn't "teach" you to draw. Instead, it coaches you on getting out of your own way, dialing down the inner critic, and pumping up the personal expression with a few drawing prompts at the end of each chapter. Only a few because they don't want to bog you down in a lot of emotionally intense stuff. For example, at the end of the first chapter, you're charged with drawing the human figure. For non-drawers like me, that's a pretty tall order. I can tell you right now, any human figure I draw will be more sticklike than anything from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. But perfection or imitation isn't the point of the exercise. Practice (and process) is the point.
Basically, the only way to get good at drawing is to just do it. A lot. But before you can "just do it" you have to give yourself the mental and emotional room to experiment, mess up, and learn without judgement.
This book outlines a great approach to thinking about business, whether it's one you're already running or just thinking about. Notice I said "thinkinThis book outlines a great approach to thinking about business, whether it's one you're already running or just thinking about. Notice I said "thinking about business." This book isn't about the mechanics of starting or running a business. So, no checklists, no discussions of branding or legal issues, and no marketing tips. This book is far more esoteric than that, which is helpful if you've lost your way in your business or you just know you want to strike out on your own but you're not sure what's at your core, creatively. Although the book is aimed at "creatives" (right-brainers, essentially), analytical types like myself will find the journaling prompts very helpful as thinking exercises. I'd probably go as far as to say "meditative" given the level of introspection that's required to answer each prompt.
I've read through it once and found it delightful. I'm going to read through it again later, and do all the exercises, to give things some time to percolate....more
I don't think I've ever read a book, let alone a craft book, that took the titular term "personal imagery" to such a narcissistic extreme.
I'm sure theI don't think I've ever read a book, let alone a craft book, that took the titular term "personal imagery" to such a narcissistic extreme.
I'm sure the author has her fans. Indeed, the 5-star reviews of her book on Amazon far outnumber the combined middling and negative reviews. But those 5-star reviews are from the author's own choir who clearly have no problem with compulsive self-advertisement and forced sharing in the name of "art." Obviously I do have a problem with all that because I submitted a 1-star Amazon review.
I don't know, perhaps I'm expecting too much, but I think you can convey the "personal imagery" notion without including a photo of your bare ass (p.30). I also think you, as the author, can get the "personal imagery" point across without filling every page with your own photographic intimacies. Like, your perpetually pregnant belly or the closeups of your "eat shit and die" angel face, your fabulous princely husband or even your darling firstborn son. Yeah, I get it: you're happy and fulfilled. Thanks for beating me over the head with your good fortunes for 130 pages. Now, let me get on with the business of creating my own personal imagery to document my own horrendous pregnancy and nagging obesity, my failed marriage, and my constant intense struggles as a single parent. How about I beat you over the head with my personal imagery for a while, eh?
Evidently I have issues. As I said in my Amazon review, "reading this book was akin to meeting a stranger for the first time, shaking hands, and having them say 'Smell my finger.'" Talk about creepy. With this book the author has effectively crossed the threshold, broken the "4th wall" and has done so without my permission as a reader. Not only is that extremely rude, it borders on violation. Buying and reading her book doesn't give the author license to smear her personal details all over me in the guise of "projects." I mean, I'm reading her book, not doing her. (Not that I would, anyway...)
All that said, the book does have some value to me. I mean, by examining the author's psychologically questionable artwork, I know a little bit better what my own personal preferences are and perhaps where to begin in developing my own style. Hurray for small miracles....more