Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Among the books I recently ordered was this one Ian Jackman edited. The Artist's Mentor is interesting and thought provoking. Jackman admits at the beginning he is not a visual artist but a writer. However that is one reason I decided to purchase this book. I felt it was to my advantage to understand a non-visual artist's take on visual art.
The book is set up in two parts. The first part is more about defining art, making a living at art and working in the field. The second part is about creating art and what it means to be an artist. Most of the book looks at quotes from famous artists and puts them in relationship to the various topics covered and reminds us to consider them in context of time and place.
Do I like this book...well, it is not a book which you sit down to read cover to cover and it isn't one you go to for suggestions, but it is a book I find myself picking up to poke me along sometimes. One of the things which I found interesting was how so many artists used to have tremendous self-doubt. Oh, believe me, I have my moments, but many artists used to completely obsess about it. Most likely we have them to thank for clearing that up for us all as well as having the technology to connect with each other instantly. Then there is the part that gets me riled up when there are the quotes indicating only men can paint (then I keep remembering I am supposed to be taking these quotes in reference to time and place, but it still gets me going). I know I will pick this book up from time to time as a reference and it is small so I an carry it around, too. I usually need more pokes to get going when I am away from home.
Now, I do have lots of people I consider mentors (you are most likely one of them), but these are artists of the past. Those we have studied and read about over the years and that makes a difference. I think having this small book with these bits of information spread out in a quick to read, quick to find fashion is helpful on a daily basis. I also think this is probably a good book to give as a gift, if you have that need. :)
So sometimes when you are working in the middle of the night, the person you wish to talk to about something is on the other side of the world, you just don't want to talk or if you just need to add a bit to the cart for that free shipping...this book might be a nice one to have on your shelf. Now, if you don't often have these needs, by all means don't spend your money on this particular book.
Another book I am patiently waiting for is Creative Authenticity however it is on back order and I am now waiting another month for it. Oh well...I have plenty to read these days.
So do you find it helpful to talk about your art concerns with other people? Do you like to know what some of your favorite artists had to say on a particular subject of art? Who or what is your mentor? Do you know if you are a mentor for anyone? What are you reading?
I hope you are filled with inspiration and pleasure today.