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How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum
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How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  7,887 ratings  ·  251 reviews
From the author of Wreck This Journal, an interactive guide for exploring and documenting the art and science of everyday life.

Artists and scientists analyze the world around them in surprisingly similar ways, by observing, collecting, documenting, analyzing, and comparing. In this captivating guided journal, readers are encouraged to explore their world as both artists an
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Penguin Books
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Virginie *No more time to write reviews for the moment :( *
"Always be looking.
Everything is interesting.
Notice the stories going on around you."

Unique book, I might try some of the experimentations!
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, misc
Ever since I was little I always loved those books that you could write in; the ones that have some story, or quotes, or something inspirational, but also an interactive component.

When I got this book, I wasn't completely sure what to expect; all I knew was I loved the title, the idea, and the glimpses of pages I caught. Now that I've read through it, I absolutely love it. It blends together the ideas of science and art and inspires you to not do anything outrageous, but instead be an explorer
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I just loved this book. So inspirational and lovely and a wonderful gift for anyone searching for themselves, or in need of fresh eyes and how to get there.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intellectually stimulating.
Both creative and challenging.
It’s all about how it works for you and this was just right for me and my son.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I think Keri Smith is set out to make everyone a hoarder. Nah, I kid, I kid. Granted, this book involves A LOT of collecting of items but what it's mostly about is being more a part of the world. I've been realizing this a lot lately, looking at things that I wouldn't normally look at, looking at things, sounds, smells, experiences in ways I wouldn't normally look at them. It's about being more present and aware.

If I can recommend this book to anyone it would be to fellow aspiring writers. To b
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book. Oh, boy. This book. I could go on for days. How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith is about seeing the world; it is about listening and observing and collecting and searching for the stories of all the small/lost/broken/misplaced/misunderstood pieces of the world. It can be read on many different levels- cute activity book versus intense philisophical experience- all of which are delightful. The layout of each page, and the text, and the EVERYTHING-

Everyone should read this
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Hm. About 1/3 through. I can see the value for people who have been in the habit of choosing other priorities & distractions. But I've always been observant/ aware/ mindful/ present/ curious. For me, the challenge is to appreciate and 'use' all that I've noticed and thought about. Well, and if I'm really lucky, Smith will help me not get disturbed by oblivious ppl who litter, waste, interrupt, etc.
ok done
For the right Explorer, this could be wonderful. The front end is preloaded with
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
I have been reading this book, "How to Be an Explorer of the World: PORTABLE LIFE MUSEUM" by Keri Smith the last couple of weeks. This is a wonderful book for people of all ages who are curious about everything in this world. I have been naturally curious all my life; especially being a Gemini, I'll read about everything and try something at least once.
In this colorful, fun, and engaging book, the author encourages and teaches us how to look at the world with new eyes and to be more conscious
Patrick Sherriff
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
I found this in a second hand bookshop in Japan today and bought it on a whim. It's a fun, easy-to-read guidebook to creative thinking (took me less than two leisurely hours in a coffee shop to get through) that's perfect for the wannabe artist who needs somewhere to begin. That somewhere is here, beginning with thinking about your immediate vicinity and categorising everything great and small (but mostly small) around you. Good stuff, and pre-dates Austin Cleon's similar (but for my money, bett ...more
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
"Often we forget about the physicality of observing, literally changing our viewpoint or perspective."

"We have become glued to our computer and television screens that we forget to explore the natural world, the original instructor on how to be curious about detail." (Jennifer New)

This book opens its readers to a whole new world stripped of its familiarity. From accidental art to things we've never seen before, from what we choose to keep and what we throw away, it makes us explore the world lik
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, craft
This is one of those books that is great for creative people or people who want to develop creative habits/perspectives. It is a collection of exercises gathered mostly from external (well-cited) sources that will give you a method of moving through your life like an explorer. By following all the exercises in here, you could create a portable museum of your life, certainly, and there is advice on how to even have showings or exhibitions of your museum. I can see this ultimately being more usefu ...more
David Schaafsma
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, picturebooks, nature
A kind of quirky and philosophical book for kids and parents about seeing the world differently, with several "explorations" to keep people busy for a summer, and more. Has places in the book for research notes, data collection, setting up a place for a museum (or way to demonstrate your findings). It's not about the usual kinds of collections, such as bugs or leaves, but collecting objects on the way to school, or a sound map, or faces you see in common every day objects. Of course, it's kinda ...more
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An art teacher friend loaned this to me--I need to get my own copy! This "activity" book is about observing, documenting, collecting... noticing and being amazed at the little things... how to look at the banal around you and see it as if you were a tourist, new to your own world (in a fun, adventurous way). This book is fascinating as an adult, and would also be interesting to do with wee people.
Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book that urges you to open your eyes and see and take note of your environment. With lots of suggestions on how to train your eyes, by collecting and charting colors, accidental art, etc. I'll definitely give some of them a try.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it liked it
A few friends were given this journal of sorts in a Foundations Art program at Alfred University. I decided to pick it up to see what might be inside.

I feel this text is for the stunted artist, perhaps one that needs faith in self to become an artist or the wayward youth unfocused. Perhaps it is right to give this text to those beginning their academic adventure into the art world, but I feel that having made the great leap to decide on going to college for art, the text may seem trivial, mundan
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
The whimsical, playful tone of this book is deceiving. At first reading, it seems frivolous and desultory. However, if you actually take time to do the exercises it contains, you'll be exposed to manifold delights. Smith's approach to art education is not only fun and accessible to all ages and abilities, but as a bonus it's strength lies in what might be called its "hidden curriculum": developing mindfulness through observation, building methodological thinking and fomenting a sense of wonder f ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
5 stars for Keri Smith's, "How to be an Explorer of the World," because the title stays true to its content. Appropriate for all ages, Smith suggests a variety of activities and observations one can perform to awaken their senses and imagination. If you're looking to find (more) curiosity and creativity within yourself, I wouldn't pass this up as it will surely lead you there. All of the suggestions in this book, although eccentric at times, are possible regardless of your budget or location.
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this is a very frustrating book to find at the library.

this is a "do, and see, and discover, and explore, and create, and put it all in one book" book. a "rip it apart, and put it all back to-gether in different pieces" book.

a "buy me, now! and discover" book.

with the quote "how to be an artist" on the back cover, you would think the book is aimed at.....artists. it is, but i see prompts for writing, and chances for collecting, as well.

if you want to open up yourself to many different mediums,
Reading Fool
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2017
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

A precursor to This Is Not a Book, this is a journal of sorts, you fill in the pages as the activity or question prompts you. This book would appeal to young people and would be a good alternative to the smartphone as something to do when you're not engaged in conversation with others. The back cover reads: "At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting." Amen
Jennifer Jones McIntyre
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Picking this up today and starting it - - I could have sworn I had read it before - - maybe - - it is the basis for a class on Big Picture Scrapbooking "Everyday Adventures" with Tami Morrison that starts on April 15th. . .join us!!

Read thru the book last night - which has given me some ideas for the BPS class. . . with this book - Tami will definitely make this FUN!
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this fun book. Often we overlook the details and don't know how to catalog our lives. Blogs are great at being effient and scrapbooking is more a capial industry than it is a creative outlet. This small book is amazingly wonderful in suggesting ways to see and document the world around you. It has changed the way I see my everyday evnironment and new ones too. Not to mention the ideas are fun and creative.
Cynthia Agnieszka
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! I like how this book incorporates science and research principles to discovery while keeping an open mind to everything around you. "science" is really not lofty and only for those wearing white lab coats, through this book I realized that everyone is a scientist in using one's own senses to see and observe. If only we could all share what we find!
Dec 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Absolutely adore this book.... words + images + experiments + ideas + collections + noticing + pure genius. If you follow the ideas and explorations in this book, you will indeed start to notice all of the marvelousness in the world and the muse will be your companion.
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
a great book with little exercises to look closer at everything around you in everyday life. this is fun and not just for artist or art teachers! it opens your eyes (and ears) and makes you think about the world around you. I actually started to look at things differently.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Although I like Keri Smith, this book left me underwhelmed. A lot of repetition and not very inspiring. If you are a mindful person, none of this will be new to you. This is definitely a book that you borrow from the library, not purchase.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been trying to find the perfect balance between art and science in my personal projects and this book will be my guide in that endeavor! Just what I needed to start looking at the world in a whole new way.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't think Kari Smith ever uses the word "mindfulness," but she manages to turn it into a game. When it was serious and important, I couldn't do it, but I've been being mindful all day, and although I've done nothing but play with my son and tidy up a bit, it's been the best day ever.
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crafts
No thanks. Though perfect for that artistic 16 year old who "nobody gets"
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, to-buy
I really love this book! It is filled with exploration tasks that spark creativity, but the ultimate message of the book is to take pause from all of life's busyness, and notice what is around you!
Jomanah AlOumi
Feb 12, 2013 marked it as to-read
Won't complete it nor fill it until I travel somewhere or go on a trip, I feel the need to take this book with me somewhere far!
Too wonderdul and I really, really love it.
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DUDES! 1 23 Jun 02, 2012 04:50AM  

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Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She has several bestselling books, including Wreck This Journal, This is Not a Book, How To Be An Explorer of the World, Mess, Finish this Book, and The Wander Society all published by Penguin Books. Read more at her website http://WWW.KERISMITH.COM

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85 likes · 74 comments
“How To Be An Explorer Of The World
1. Always Be LOOKING (notice the ground beneath your feet.)
2. Consider Everything Alive & Animate
3. EVERYTHING Is Interesting. Look Closer.
4. Alter Your Course Often.
5. Observe For Long Durations (and short ones).
6. Notice The Stories Going On Around You.
8. DOCUMENT Your Findings (field notes) In A VAriety Of Ways.
9. Incorporate Indeterminacy.
10. Observe Movement.
11. Create a Personal DIALOGUE With Your Environment. Talk to it.
12. Trace Things Back to Their ORIGINS.
13. Use ALL of the Senses In Your Investigations.”
“Creativity arises from our ability to see things from many different angles.” 39 likes
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