13 January 2014

[art] New Books in the Studio

Just in, these little gems:

The one on the left, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, is actually one we've had for a while. It helped me when I kickstarted my notional graphic design career (which remained notional; perhaps I left some ingredients out, I don't know … I'm going over those issues now) and it's a book full of good, as anyone who has ever read it will tell you.

The one on the right is the new one. I'm just taking that one up now. Turning Pro is designed as, at least visually, not a sequel, but an extension to War, I can tell this by flipping through and reading passages here and there. This is a good thing. Because, for me, getting inspired is one thing. I muff it up magnificently betimes, but getting started isn't really the problem, keeping going is the problem. I lose focus very easily.

I could say more about that but I realized I just came up about as far as I've ever really explored that subject. I knew I've received great gifts, both real and talent-wise, my problem has always been I don't know how to use them and where to take them. Mayhap this is my next stop.

In the meantime, I'm glad that Pressfield is extending the train of thought. For those of us who can catch the ball and run with it, War is a great book and everything it's cracked up to be. For those, such as myself, who can catch the ball but are promptly bewildered by how to run with it and immediately get sidetracked by some bright, shiny thing (in that I behave much as my cats do) this book (noting Pressfield's previous style) may be just the thing. I'll be exploring this in posts to come.

Next one: Urban sketching seems to be evolving as a social activity and distinct thing-to-do. I've picked up and put down this volume many times in bookstores, but I've finally been able to bring it home:

The Art of Urban Sketching, by Gabriel Campanaro, documents the group phenomenon via sketches from several cities in which this easy-to-join club has 'chapters'. Sadly, despite the wonderful Portland skyline in the bottom of the book's cover, my artist-heavy hometown is not one of them. But the stuff that is in there is so wonderful, so expressive and passionate, that I can't help but drink as much of it in as I can.

Nobody ever draws Portland's Outer East, and 122nd Avenue. Maybe that's my place. In the meantime, I'll be consuming it most deliciously.

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