Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book review - Art at the speed of life

I keep a booksy blog where I post which books I've read. I mostly do this for myself and it doesn't have much traffic on it, which is okay by me. It's not like this blog where I am looking for interaction and feedback.
But I thought it might be nice if I posted the book reviews I do on artsy books over here as well from now on. So here's one that I just posted:

Title: Art at the speed of life: motivation + inspiration for making mixed-media art every day
Author: Pam Carriker
Info: 144 p. - 2010
Finished: 18 April 2011
Acquired through: birthday gift
Rating: 7/10

This book was on the top of my artsy books wishlist since before it was even published, so when a dear friend gave it to me for my birthday I couldn't believe my luck! It's quite possible though that because of all the anticipation my expectations were too high. In any case the book only partially delivered what I expected.

First of all let me say this is by no means a bad book and I wouldn't advice against getting it, but when it comes to tips for incorporating art into your everyday life I think it just scratches the surface. In fact the book scratches way too many surfaces. There is a little something about just about everything a beginning mixed media artist might want to know, but it never goes beyond the little somethings. Most sections are so short that just when you get started to get interested in the subject it already moves on to the next thing.

I feel the book is written the way Carriker works at her art: many things going on at the same time, jumping back and forth, and never really focusing on one thing long enough for it to stick. This may be a wonderful book for people with short attention spans! ;-)

All that being said, there's good stuff too! The book offers many pages written by all sorts of mixed media artists and there are some very nice techniques and ideas shown. There's lots of eye candy too. I think this would be a wonderful book for someone who is new to mixed media or art making in general as it does give an introduction to many aspects of making art.

However if you want more in depth information on the subject of living an artful life and how to incorporate art into your busy schedule, I highly recommend reading Ricë Freeman Zachery's books "Living the creative life" and "Creative time and space".


  1. I totally agree with your review! I too had this book on my wish list for a long time before it was published, and felt that it really skimmed the surface on a lot of topics. I decided that it was one of the possible drawbacks of a book with so many contributors. I got Traci Bunkers' art journal book at the same time, and liked how she could go really in depth with her techniques being the single author of her book.

  2. Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment!! You have a wonderful blog and I loved reading your story about the mail you received.

  3. Thanks for posting the review Caatje. I'm a big reader (I think I keep amazon in business ...) so it's really useful to read someone else's opinion.


  4. I to read and have the book. I agree with you, Both Janet and I made a project from this book, I have not finished mine yet, but Janet did hers. You are so right she just skimmed the surface, she leaves you wanting more. I also got Traci's 2 books and I found that I liked both of them much better.

  5. Thanks for the review. I have this book on my wishlist, but sounds like I might be better off with Traci Bunker's book. Just came to your blog via Andria and LOVE your work.


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