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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

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,758 ratings  ·  158 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 Perigee Books
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Wreck This Journal by Keri SmithThis Is Not a Book by Keri SmithListography Journal by Lisa NolaMess by Keri SmithHow to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith
Journals That Spark Extreme Creativity
5th out of 72 books — 136 voters
On Writing by Stephen KingBird by Bird by Anne LamottThe Artist's Way by Julia CameronWriting Down the Bones by Natalie GoldbergThe Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
Best Books on Creative Life
31st out of 240 books — 327 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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.
Found this book while wondering around Barnes & Noble this afternoon. It was a very quick read, obviously, as I was able to finish it while sitting there. It was fresh, fun, quirky, and had great ideas on how to explore the world around us. It listed a number of fun "experiments" and activities to engage with the world, and to inspire your creative juices. I rather liked the approach of looking at an artist as a COLLECTOR. This really resonated with me. I collect. Images. Thoughts. Words. Sa ...more
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
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
Nov 30, 2010 jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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.
David Schaafsma
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
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
Feb 26, 2013 Via rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Claudia Larissa
"All books continue in the beyond" -Italo Calvino

Las ilustraciones, fotografías, el diseño y la tipografía son tan hermosas que quisiera comérmelas.
Keri Smith siempre diciéndonos que olvidemos los estereotipos, que dejemos volar nuestra imaginación, que seamos un desastre y seamos creativos sin que nadie nos detenga.
Cada misión es creativa, cada detalle del libro y las frases de otros artistas son tan dulces.
Cada que veo la portada y las fotos de este libro me dan ganas de salir a algún lado por
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.
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,
Indah Threez Lestari
738 - 2014

How To Be a Hoarder: been there, done that. Haha.

Sebagai tukang koleksi, bukan cuma buku, uang kuno dan perangko saja yang kukumpulkan. Barang-barang yang kelihatannya menarik, termasuk batu nemu di jalan yang warnanya menarik juga dikumpulkan.

Barang bekas yang menarik? Hah, banyak jenisnya. Aku pernah mengumpulkan kaleng bekas minuman dari merek-merek yang berbeda, bahkan yang tak kuminum karena mengandung alkohol, meskipun setelah menumpuk tinggi bak instalasi jadi-jadian akhirnya d
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.
Jennifer McIntyre
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!
Cynthia Agnieszka
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!
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.
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.
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.
Eliza Snow
When reading this I found that a lot of the explorations I have already been doing throughout my life while growing up at home and at times when I am in a new environment (someone's house, a new city, new building, etc.) I love exploring and letting my imagination go. There are new ideas I found that I am excited to try either by myself or when I'm working with children (an art or science lesson). I have decided to put together a binder just for observations, documentations, collections, and oth ...more
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
Jun 14, 2014 Jomanah Aloumi 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.
I had to read this for work... I agree with a previous review that the author definitely has a desire to turn us all into hoarders!!! In personal terms: not something I related to or could relate to at all. In terms of teaching: right up my alley. Kids LOVE to collect things, even the craziest things you and I would consider trash. So, what better way to reach them than take that innate curiosity and turn it into something educational.

While I liked some of the prompts for the classroom, I don't
No thanks. Though perfect for that artistic 16 year old who "nobody gets"
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
ALiStAiR (Prostitute of Feelings)
We shall not cease from exploration.And at the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started.And know the place for the first time.
-T.S. Eliot

This book only looks like a book to the untrained eye.It's really a portable life museum.A place to display your unique vision of the world.
Concenstrating on the power of observing, things that might be ordinary,if seen with an explorer's eye, oridinary can be extraordinary.
But the methods of observing is more than s
This book is a must-read for fans of Keri Smith's freespirited style, as well as for anyone needing a nudge to approach life in a more fun and creative way.

The premise is that "artists and scientists analyze the world around them in surpisingly similar ways" - an interesting observation!

The book is broken down into 59 individual "field studies" - activities that invite the reader to observe the world in fresh and offbeat ways. Readers are encouraged to start with whichever one makes them feel "
Few mind games to look up at the world.

“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 Pers
Meg Adams
I love Keri Smith! All of her books create new adventures, new starting points, and make me more observant of my surroundings. I recommend it if you are in a funk in your creative life, need some new inspiration for a project, or love books that are interesting and push you to think differently and look at things differently. A feel-good, easy, coffee table read!
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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 Pocket Scavenger all published by Perigee Books. Read more at her website http://WWW.KERISMITH.COM
More about Keri Smith...
Wreck This Journal Living Out Loud: Activities to Fuel a Creative Life This Is Not a Book Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes Finish This Book

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“Creativity arises from our ability to see things from many different angles.” 33 likes
“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.”
More quotes…