Art & Soul, Reloaded – Pam Grout

Art & Soul, Reloaded – Pam GroutA Year-Long Apprenticeship for Summoning the Muses and Reclaiming Your Bold, Audacious, Creative Side

 Synopsis: It’s time to declare the beat of your own drum. With her trademark humour, enthusiasm and no-nonsense guidance, Pam Grout, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of E-Squared, invites you on a year long ‘apprenticeship’ to recognize and unleash your innate creativity. Making art does not necessarily mean painting a gallery-worthy still life or belting out a Grammy-winning song. It simply means finding a way to give your inner muse a voice in this world. Sure, there’s drawing, dancing, singing and writing, but there’s also art to be made from creating your own pair of angel wings, inventing a new toy or curating your own at-home film festival. Each week, Grout inspires you to take on a creative project, offers an inspirational message and suggests three zany activities to awaken your infinite creativity. You don’t need to know anything! You just have to begin!

Why I like it.

This book is full of projects and ideas, each of the 52 chapters features a creative project, an inspirational message and three zany activities. Each week also includes a brief anecdote about a well-known artist who has made it. “You are in Good Company” What this book does is encourage people to open up their creativity by being encouraging, “Buy a cheap notebook and jot down three ideas every day. They can be about anything… The practice is simply a workout for your imagination”  If this approach prompts even one great idea, it’s a very worthwhile investment!

Continue Reading

Too Fast to Think – How to Reclaim Your Creativity in a Hyper-connected Work Culture – Chris Lewis

Too Fast to Think - How to Reclaim Your Creativity in a Hyper-connected Work Culture - Chris LewisSynopsis: Our lives are getting faster and faster. We are engulfed in constant distraction from email, social media and our ‘always on’ work culture. We are too busy, too overloaded with information and too focused on analytical left-brain thinking processes to be creative.

Too Fast to Think exposes how our current work practices, media culture and education systems are detrimental to innovation. The speed and noise of modern life is undermining the clarity and quiet that is essential to power individual thought. Our best ideas are often generated when we are free to think diffusely, in an uninterrupted environment, which is why moments of inspiration so often occur in places completely separate to our offices.

To reclaim creativity, Too Fast to Think teaches you how to retrain your brain into allowing creative ideas to emerge, before they are shut down by interruption, distraction or the self-doubt of your over-rational brain. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to maximize their creative potential, as well as that of their team.

 Why I like it

It is very easy to over complicate discussions about creativity, but this is a very practical and inspiring approach to our everyday lives and shows how easy it is to be ‘always on’.

To reclaim creativity, Too Fast to Think teaches you how to retrain your brain into allowing creative ideas to emerge, before they are shut down by interruption, distraction or the self-doubt of your over-rational brain.

Supported by cutting-edge research from the University of the Arts London and insightful interviews with business leaders, academics, artists, politicians and psychologists, Chris Lewis takes a holistic approach to explain the 8 crucial traits that are inherently linked to creation and innovation.

Too Fast to Think is a brilliant way to start 2018 by engaging with your own creativity, and those of your family and work colleagues.

Buy Too Fast to Think: How to Reclaim Your Creativity in a Hyper-connected Work Culture from

Continue Reading

Read This if You Want to Be Great at Drawing – Selwyn Leamy

Read This if You Want to Be Great at Drawing - Selwyn LeamySynopsis:

This book demystifies the art and practice of drawing. Through fifty drawings by great masters past and present, the techniques and ideas behind their master sketches will put you on the path to making your own great drawings. The entries also feature exercises with step-by-step instructions as well as simple diagrams providing further visual explanation to the jargon-free discussion. For aspiring artists of all ages and abilities, Read This if You Want to Be Great at Drawing will motivate and strengthen your drawing talent.

Selwyn Leamy is an artist who lives and works in London. He has experience in teaching a broad range of ages and, as a co-founder of the creative travel company Frui, has taught drawing and painting in various beautiful locations around the world. He has exhibited his landscape paintings extensively in the UK and also in Italy.

Why I like it

There is plenty of inspiration in this book from some of the greatest artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Vincent Van Gogh and many more. It also addresses the challenge of  What to Draw, coupled with some brilliant down to earth advice about the huge scope and range that drawing can offer from simple doodling to understanding tone, perspective and so much more. If you have ever wanted to start drawing this is a perfect place to start!

Continue Reading

Be Great Be Grateful – A Gratitude Journal by Patternity

Be Great - Be Greatful - My Creative NotebookSynopsis:

What are you grateful for? An original, design-led gratitude journal with unique creative exercises, playful prompts and uplifting quotes, developed and designed by the pioneering creative organisation PATTERNITY.

Featuring gratitude logs, creative exercises, playful prompts, uplifting quotes and free -flow pages, this simple, three-stage programme will inspire, empower, and improve your happiness and well being. Developed and designed by leading creative organisation PATTERNITY using their unique insight and research. Complete with a stylish flexi-cover case and beautiful paper for writing.

Gratitude is powerful. It makes us feel happier, healthier and more hopeful.

Since launching in 2009 PATTERNITY have received international recognition for their research-based approach to pattern design and experience. In their first journal they encourage the reader to develop more positive and empowering patterns of behaviour. Improve your happiness and well being with their innovative and original three-stage programme, featuring gratitude logs, imaginative exercises, thought- provoking prompts, inspiring quotes and free-flow pages. PATTERNITY have collaborated with a range of partners across the globe in a range of fields from science to spirituality, wellbeing and creativity to explore the visual – and non-visual – patterns that shape personal experience and culture at large.

Why I liked it

I love the positive nature of this journal; PATTERNITY believe that patterns can be an empowering and inspiring lens with which to help people design more positive and purposeful lives. I love the categories for reflection and the quality of the pages in the journal which encourages the user to write on them. The images throughout are stunning and thought provoking. The language used is beautiful and uplifting, “From dappled bananas and turquoise stripy shutters to a cosmic constellation of bubbles that emerged in your glass overnight, inspirational everyday encounters really are everywhere. We just need to open our eyes to see them.” They also encourage the users of the journal to share their own moments with PATTERNITY through social media. An absolutely gorgeous and inspiring journal!

Continue Reading