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Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,048 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Bestselling author, artist, and illustrator Lisa Congdon brings her expertise to this guide to the process of artistic self-discovery.

Find Your Artistic Voice helps artists and creatives identify and nurture their own visual identity.

This one-of-a-kind book
helps artists navigate the influence of creators they admire, while simultaneously appreciating the value of their pe
Paperback, 132 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,048 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book just didn't delve very deep, in my opinion. It sort of seemed like the equivalent of reading some motivational quotes that, while true, make you just go "okay... and..." and then not apply anything to your work. I did like that she made a distinction between "style" and "voice" in the beginning of the book. It's a good distinction to make, but she didn't carry it very far. The whole book to me feels like the same "How do I find my style!" dilemma but rephrased as "How do I find my voic ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Pretty good book about developing one's own signature style/voice. Lots of interviews with people from a variety of creative/artistic fields. ...more
Nathan Albright
Jan 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: challenge-2020
This book characterizes much of what is disastrously wrong with literature about creativity.  The author considers herself an expert as someone who had once desired to be accepted so much that she even went to mass despite not being a Catholic at a Catholic university and then fails to recognize that her strident leftist viewpoint and the not particularly diverse collection of voices that she collects here similarly demonstrate a desire to fit it and a distinct lack of both self-awareness and au ...more
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I make art for my own personal pleasure and have no interest in becoming a professional artist so I was concerned this book would be a how-to on finding a voice that sells. But it wasn’t at all. Very thoughtful and thought provoking for someone like me.
Chris LaTray
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Listened to this not as someone who does visual art, but as a writer. It was like getting a pep talk from a trusted friend, something we all occasionally need. I appreciate that it’s short, and I’d recommend it for someone who needs a quick boost. I listened to the audio version, and it made for a few days of inspirational commutes.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
(3.5) I love the cover of this book so much, and while there was plenty of interesting info (especially in the interviews included within), I was expecting more illustrations from Congdon too. The text of the book was faint and tiny and slightly hard to see, so I think that was a poor design choice, but otherwise, it's a lovely book. ...more
Cátia Vieira
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon has personal reflections about art and creation, beautiful illustrations and interviews with established artists and illustrators. In this book, you’ll be able to find encouraging advice and, above all, the answer to the question “How do I develop my own style/artistic voice?”

This isn’t the first time I read a book about creation. It’s always nice to get encouragement and know that every artist struggles but I haven’t learnt a lot from Lisa Congdon’s book
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so great. I feel like I learned more in this book than in art school. A great read for anyone wanting to explore their creativity whether they are brand new to art or a long time artist.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just what I was hoping for

I’ve read a lot of books on art process but none that spoke directly to where I was on my creative journey. I recommend to all creatives.
Jelena In-Wonderland
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this! The concept of the book in the form of interviews with eclectic artists offered distinctive perspectives on motivation, showing up, persistence, boredom and life experience. I felt this was a brief insight into the idea of what it means to give physical form to your voice which Lisa conveyed beautifully.
Kate Kosek
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Saw this on the 'new' shelf in the library and thought I would give it a try since I like Lisa Congdon's art (which is a point she makes later in the book - to support fellow artists by going to their shows, taking their classes, reading their books, etc.).

Didn't really provide me with any new information, but I think it would be helpful, if not inspiring, to artists just starting out. I liked the interviews; they exposed me to new artists and books I need to look at.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first read Art Inc and was super excited to learn if this book coming out. I definitely was not disappointed. The interviews were engaging, the book itself was well written with great ideas, and the art throughout tied it altogether. Highly recommend!
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creative-living
Challenges: Fall into Reading 2020 (Card 2) - Non-fiction. Defined a bit more clearly what 'voice' is for a creative which is elusive at best, but you know it when you see it, hear it or read it. That one should really look at what one values, to be self reflexive, to practice art everyday and not worry about finding one's voice or it will be stymied. Express your truth, your experiences, your heritage, and all other facets of your life taken into account and translated into various elements of ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book for creatives!

This was a great book because of the approachable language and ideas surrounding creativity. The text invited creatives to pivot and examine the world around them looking for renewed inspiration or to discover inspiration all together. The interviews were helpful in examining creative and developing creative habits. Congdon’s artwork is beautiful on the page and enhances the ideas shared with the reader. Read this book!
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely read by the absolute inspiration that is Lisa Congdon. Taking the same format as her book art:Inc she shows us how artists feel about finding their own voices and the explorations that lead them to where they are. She shows us that being an artist or creative means constant learning, development and cultivation of interests and experiences. It's been a beautifully positive read during this current down time I'm having whilst currently unable to concentrate on much more than news ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great perspective. Gave me lots to think about and try out.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books resonated with me A LOT as an illustrator. I would recommend this to fellow illustrators who are struggling about finding purpose, style, voice in their works.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I like Lisa Congdon a lot but I feel like this didn't need to be a book, it could be a short essay called "Make a lot of work and your voice will come out of that." I think your "voice" is just this thing that happens, and to have an entire book devoted to "finding it" was a little misleading. As a few others have mentioned, the layout wasn't the best either, small type and huge margins. I didn't get a lot out of the interviews either, it all just felt like the same stuff I read all the time, fr ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I feel bad giving this such a negative review. I love Lisa Congdon's art and her IG where she often muses with exceptional grace and empathy about the creative process. But nothing about this book worked for me. I found the glaring typos super distracting. The portraits of each artist were visually unpleasant, coming off as poorly done rather than purposely unsophisticated. Also the guest artists' meandering observations about creative voice were paired with their resumes, rather than examples o ...more
Nancy Lewis
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
More for people who are already artists and need to create a unique marketable style or "voice", instead of people like me who are looking for their inner artist in the first place. Probably an actual artist would give this more stars. ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Encouraging Read!

Lisa shares lots of encouragement and strategies for improving your artistic abilities. She shares great ideas for every artist to consider.
Rachel Watkins
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sunny X
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm hovering between 4 or 5 stars for this one because I can't really fault this book and it contains a wealth of advice, however it didn't blow me away. That said, that might have something to do with the fact that I've been making art for ages and have read/heard tons of advice before, so most (but not all) of the advice-type-content here was stuff I was already familiar with. Nonetheless, it's written in a really encouraging way so I still enjoyed reading it as a bit of a pick-me-up (and I pa ...more
Kevin Gentilcore
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
During my current self-attributed "artistic existential breakdown" I've discovered a whole slew of creative voices that I normally wouldn't have been interested in before but am now finding massively inspiring. Lisa Congdon was one I found going down this rabbit hole. I started by listening to her on podcasts and getting recommendations for videos of her on YouTube and what I find most inspiring about her is that she came to art later in her life. She didn't even take a class until she was in he ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
This book's design is such a pleasure! gorgeous, whimsical, charming illustrations in a variety of styles. Variety is offered as well in interviews with successful professional artists, regarding different aspects of working in the visual arts. (I found some of them more persuasive than others, but appreciated the fact that different voices are included.) It's a winning presentation of basic professional/creative advice.

Based on the title, I assumed that it would directly speak to "creative mag
Andrea D. McCarthage
Sep 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
This would - maybe - make a good gift for an aspiring artist, someone just starting out, or someone creative who isn't sure of where to take that creativity. For someone who's been drawing or painting (or what have you) for some time, it's nothing but reassuring mantras and advice you've already encountered hundreds of times. It's a compact coffee-table style book; something to peruse when you're waiting for your host to finish their phone call. One or two of the interviews were interesting, but ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book slowly and I can't say enough good things about it.

Finding Your Artistic Voice is full of practical tips for artists and inspiration to keep creating and keep working. I love the illustrations within it, if you're reading a digital copy make sure you look through it in color. It's a gorgeous book. Congdon interviews fellow artists, which adds a great discussion type quality. It gives readers different perspectives and different artists who use a variety of mediums to create art
Beverly K.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't buy many books this past year. Instead, I committed to read the ones I already own. But one fall day, as I was walking to meet a long-time friend for coffee, I walked past the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and saw this book in the window. I walked in and promptly bought it, without even cracking the cover.

I'm so glad I did. Even though I'm not a visual artist, I love the idea of finding my voice as I transition from corporate writing to pitching my own articles, including some first-p
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Lisa Congdon so couldn't wait to read this book, and overall I think it was well put together and definitely worth a look. I didn't feel it included any kind of revelations though.

There were some good tips included, and I particularly loved reading the interviews to get other people's stories and tips. They were probably the best bits. It was aimed at beginners and I felt like I'd heard a lot of it before, probably from being a fan of her work and the interviewees work for some time. I wo
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Fine artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful abstract paintings, intricate line drawings, pattern design & hand lettering. She works for clients around the world including the MoMA, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, Simon & Schuster, and Cloud9 Fabrics, among many others. She exhibits her work around the country, including in sh ...more

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