Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art” as Want to Read:
The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,791 ratings  ·  192 reviews
In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus, author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual pr ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by HarperOne
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,791 ratings  ·  192 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art
Bob Henry
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything by Erwin McManus, but I stumbled upon this book at Barnes and Noble on my day off. It wasn't the author or his church that drew me in, but simply the title of the book. "The Artisan Soul" is a terrific read. I found myself posting quotes on Facebook so much that people were either getting annoyed or wanting to read the book. Not too many books have spoken so profoundly to my soul and my passion to see EVERYONE use their artistic, God-given talent to craft a life that m ...more
Being an artist, I approached this book looking for answers, insight and hopefully some inspiration. I am not much for the inspirational, either in book form or lecture but this book really hit home. Working at art is very hard work, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I can spend a mere 4 hours in my studio or plein air painting (painting in the great outdoors) and feel absolutely bushed by the time I wrap it up. Art can be discouraging, at times exciting and sometimes, though not lately, ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up based on the good reviews, with the hope that it was exactly the book I was looking for. I wanted a book that discussed the human need to create, the importance of beauty, and the significance of being created by a creative God.

This book tried to be just that, but fell flat for me. While there were a few gems here and there, and a few good points made, mostly, this book felt like one long, run-on sentence.

Raphael tells us over and over again that our lives are our masterp
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Pastor McManus’ book on crafting oneself into art. To claim the reminder that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, for purposes of worshipping our Creator.

That we are given everything to suss out our God-given gifts, to use for others. Though I never considered myself an artisan per se, I loved this book and didn’t put it down until I finished it.

An awesome and unique ministry of Erwin’s: always inclusive... always, always encouraging us to be in sync with Him.
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a fantastic sign when non-fiction actually manages to inspire and motivate you so much, you want to get going right away and get sh*t done asap!
This was a beautiful example.
I am inspired.
I want to create.
I want to love.

I wish I were brave enough to furiously highlight my books, because this would have been a yellow neon signpost afterwards, and everyone loves yellow neon signs, right?
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book convicted & inspired me to develop & use the gifts God has given me. This is not to say that I think any of my gifts are great, but that I need to be a better steward of craft & whatever art is within me. McManus gives the old Picasso quote we've all read a million times, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up," then gives a biblical defense & analysis of this concept in 200 pages. If I really believe the quote -- which I do, in theory -- I w ...more
Maya Senen
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I agree with the main point: our lives our works of art. We are at once works of art and artists at work. However, much like Uprising, I would agree Erwin's talents are in his lectures/presentation much more than in his writing. He is a powerful speaker on these topics, but this book leaves much to be desired. I think if you are new to Mosaic, it's a lovely companion piece to his lectures. It is light, full of fallacy, though very well-intentioned. Nevertheless, while I find Erwin's ideas contri ...more
Joyce Chen
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you're a fan of MOSAIC you will enjoy this book. Erwin writes in a way that stirs you to explore your creative spirit whether you believe you are creative or not. He speaks in a way that makes sense to believers or non believers and I really enjoyed this read. ...more
Jessica Beckett
A couple of tweetable quotes but this is not a groundbreaking work. 20% humble brags. Not a lot of Scripture support. I almost gave it three stars because the cover is preetty.
Mary Kenyon
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another beautiful book about creativity and The Creator. How can we talk about one, without talking about the other? Many authors manage to do so, but this book is a work of art in itself. I just ordered another one of his books.
Yelda Basar Moers
This is the thing I find fascinating with books. There is a very subliminal and subconscious process that happens when a reader is introduced to a writer's words. It is like meeting someone for the first time. The content of this stranger's words could be perfect, everything they say could brilliant, but you just don't like the person. You don't like their vibe, energy, it's not that there is something wrong with them, or maybe there is, but you just don't connect with them. Or their voice rubs ...more
Tessa Hall
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Deserves more than 5 stars!
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it
"We are most human when love is our motive. It is the same with creativity. God created us through the universe's most creative and intimate act. We are the result of a creative act by a creative God."

pg 13 "We ming wonder if it even matters what we think of ourselves. Is it really that critical to embrace the artist within us? I would simply remind you of the insight from the scriptures: as a man thinks, so is he."

pg 36 "the way of the artisan is not an invitation to sit in the sun enjoying a
Pamy Lazatin
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Whether we realize it or not, everything we do is an expression of either how alive our souls are or how much we have allowed ourselves to be deadened over time.”

This book is a work of passionate art laid out on its pages. It calls back to humanity's roots in divine creativity. To anyone who has felt stagnant or remains searching for that 'unknown', this anchors us to the truth that we are all God's works of art, just as we are artists-at-work.

Also quite an experience listening to the audio bo
Marta Viktorija
It is sometimes hard to give stars to the books as I somehow find that many times the four-star-ones, the ones which ask for a little something more or a little something less actually make me linger in thoughts much longer and become dearer to me than the no doubt “everything is said just the way it should be and I have nothing more to add or retract” five-star-ones.
I’d say this is a quite sweet four-star-one for me, I think I’ll get back to it (a good sign) try to practice anything of what th
Caleb Barron
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The Artisan Soul” by Edward R. McManus is a deep dive at what happens when we see our existence as works of art divinely inspired by God and placed on Earth to create individual masterpieces, through our work, our art and our individual lives. This book was the jolt I needed to break away from the mundane and aggressively attack the hopes and dreams God has placed on my own life. As McManus says in the final pages of the book, “This life was never intended to just be endured or survived.”

Onisim Pînzariu
“created to create” - these 3 words show the essence of this book. And this book itself is a masterpiece, a work of art. It managed to show me, in a few words, not many of them, what it means to wake up your inner child and let your imagination be boundless. To create without fear and to live a life that is, at its core, a work of art, a masterpiece. And, most of all, all the things that I have to learn from the Master Artisan, Jesus of Nazareth.
Laura Victoria
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
I absolutely loved this book. Erwin McManus put to words a lot of what I’ve believed my entire life but could never really explain myself. I found myself highlighting a huge portion of the book. It helped remind me that I am creative and God has us on the earth not only to make a difference but create within us masterpieces of His love.
Caitlin Kramer
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book that challenges you to change how you look at the world and how you interact with it. Surprisingly deep and insightful. Despite the title, I'd consider it a great read for anyone. ...more
Aaron Manes
For anyone who leads creatives or wants to be inspired to be more creative, this is a great book. Read by the author in the audiobook, I loved how it conveyed his passion. There is a great section on the difference between an artist and a craftsperson.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Adam Johnson
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whereas a book like Called to Create (Raynor) talks about the essential quality of creativity in entrepreneurial contexts, McManus writes The Artisan Soul to talk about the creativity's essentialness in everyday living--a divine necessity for all. And it's an electric manifesto that can change your life. ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Karen Newhouse
This is the second time I've read this book. I eventually bought my own copy, as I said I would, and have marked it up for future reference. The link for my initial review is here:
Elizabeth Boyce
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cried after reading the entirety of this book because the revelation that McManus brings to just ... being alive ... is overwhelming and beautiful and inspiring.
Jodi Thomas
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book itself is a work of art! I love that the author demonstrates how our art and creativity is an opportunity to glorify the ultimate Creator. I listened to it, and plan to own so I can look & reflect on it again in the future. I can’t say I agree with everything the author believes, but I still think this book is valuable and there is something to take from it.
Blake Atwood
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
I've found Erwin McManus's books to always be inspiring in some way. In his newest, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art, he ruminates on the heart of creativity and reminded me that my words aren't in fact my greatest creative achievement—my life should be.

Great thoughts flow through the book, like "The most important works of art to which we will ever give ourselves are the lives we live." But, there are a few parts that sound like Deepak Chopra if taken out of context, lik
Dec 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a very frustrating book to get through. Overall, it lacks any remote structure to its content. Oftentimes I could not understand how one paragraph connected to the one before, or why it belonged to this chapter in particular. Often it felt rambling and almost stream of consciousness, which doesn't exactly work for non-fiction. Some good editing may have been needed. Or, the problem may lie in the fact that there didn't seem to be much substance to the book. For taking up nearly 200 page ...more
Minaa B.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a really good book but I couldn't get through the whole thing. It started to feel redundant. I am however, not a big fan of self-help books so I am used to not finishing books like this. I kind of treat these as go-to guides whenever I am need of some sort of enlightenment. It's rare for me to read these kinds of book from beginning to end. So i'm giving it 4 stars because overall it provides really good insight and offers valuable teachings that we can all apply to our lives. ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Inspirational but not explicitly practical. Lots of quotable quotes. A book for those who would like to change how they think about creativity and how it applies to daily life. McManus argues that to be human is to be creative and encourages his readers to fearlessly embrace their creative nature, however it manifests.
Connie Mae Inglis
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Highly recommended. Not just for artists but for anyone who has an interest in making the world a better place through their life, because that's what turning your life into a work of art is all about. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Own The Moment
  • Live Love Lead: Your Best Is Yet to Come!
  • Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk
  • Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small
  • The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective
  • Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
  • Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God
  • Life Is _____.: God's Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World
  • Fathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You
  • (Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things
  • Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God
  • Hope in the Dark: Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not
  • How's Your Soul?: Why Everything that Matters Starts with the Inside You
  • God Has a Name
  • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars
  • That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby
  • Swipe Right: The Life-and-Death Power of Sex and Romance
See similar books…
Erwin Raphael McManus is an iconoclast known as a cultural pioneer for his integration of creativity and spirituality. He is an artist, entrepreneur, and cultural thought leader who is also the founder of MOSAIC, a community of faith in Los Angeles California. Known for their innovation, creativity, and artistry, MOSAIC has been named one of the most influential and innovative churches in America. ...more

News & Interviews

  If you listen to NPR regularly, you’ve likely heard the voice of Shankar Vedantam, the longtime science correspondent and host of the radio...
12 likes · 2 comments
“To create is to reflect the image of God. To create is an act of worship.” 23 likes
“Love never comes without wounds; faith never comes without failure.” 23 likes
More quotes…