10 Arting Books to read/have a look at over Christmas to get arting in 2018

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Arting Manifesto, photograph, 2017

Christmas as you would probably agree is one of the best times for reading. So before it finishes, why not check out these books, even if you may not have got them (there is Amazon, oh no, I did not say that! or the local library). So which books should you read/have a look at to get arting (more serously or with more fun) in the new year?

Here are my top ten

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I know, I know… if you are really feeling stuck and combating those inner demons and blocks this will help.
  2. How to Become an Artist by Michael Atavar if you are already taking it “seriously” and need a bit of pep talk.
  3. Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp if you need to rock your creative habits, obviously
  4. LifeLines by Dion McInnis if you need some more interesting ways to dig biographical inspiration.
  5. Foundations of Art and Design by Adrian Piper to revisit the basics of visual language, even if you are only looking at the illustrations and consider the headings of each chapter.
  6. Make Mess by Keri Smith to get a bit more playful and irreverent, any of her books, really.
  7. Women, Art and Society by Whitney Chadwick to appreciate, even if  not that perfect, gender relations in the field.
  8. The Tate Guide to Modern Art Terms by Simon Wilson and Jessica Lack to get your head around some of the art books, magazines and art gallery labels. Or approach it dada style – pick a random term and create around that.
  9. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, check it out really really, if you have not already.
  10. 100 Artists’ Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists as selected by Alex Danchev to get inspired (or steal like an artist) to pen your own one.

These are my top ten for artists at any stage, shape or form, plus of course…read anything AND everything BY your favourite artists. No harm in that. Not necessarily ON them, but BY them, says I as an also trained art historian.

What would you add up to the list? To help your arting itch? Let me know

And if you want to take it more seriously (arting itch) with a bit of fun (a lot actually), why not join me on the #becometheartistyouare course in February or take the self-study option anytime? Let’s get arting in 2018!

Irena Ellis is an artist/educator living in London, running her own Arting online and offline workshops and art practice aimed at photography, painting and butterflies.

 

 

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Merry and Happy

Wishing you a merry festive season and a happy new year. May all our creative seeds sprout and grow!

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If you want to get an arting start in the new year, why not join me on the Arting webinar on 28th December at 6 pm GMT. Just let me know on irena.ellis.arting@gmail.com that you want to join.

#becometheartistyouare (1)

I shall be teaching overcoming arting fear and inhibitions and finding inspiration within and outside. A kind of arting kickstarter. Hop on! Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

Becometheartistyouare Day 4

Today’s prompt has taken me to the garden. From noticing the lost shiny objects, my eyes wondered through the thicket of foliage to unforeseen openings and new shoots and leaves. The tools are there – boots and a spade (reminding me to call a spade a spade)…and it is called “challenge”. Nothing in the way of new shoots and leaves growth.

Becometheartistyouare: Day 2

Inspiration from within…this is the piece I created with Day 2 prompt. By drawing a line and drawing inspiration from it.

The outcome is a neverending mobius strip in a starry background…which turns out to be made of paper too. At the same time they are black and white and waiting on colours to be brought in, thinking about it.

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Looking at it I get a sense of completion, yet journey ahead of me. And a child-like urge to colour in the stars in the background. Perhaps I should do it. What do you think? 🙂 The more I look at it, the more a right way it seems. Will keep you updated.

 

33 Days to #becometheartistyouare

In May I am running this unique mixture of visual art training and art therapy self-experiential challenge: #becometheartistyouare.

For a month, in twenty-minutes a day (minimum) you will unblock, find, explore and develop your own arting inspirations and learn more about your world, yourself and the things in between in the process.

#becometheartistyouare challenge prompts and pieces

This is how (a curtain pulled, syllabus revealed).

All you need is yourself, your phone camera, a pencil and a sketchbook. That will do to start with.

Week One is all about getting rid our our arting fears and finding and developing our own ways of seeing

Day 0 — Looking at where we are

Day 1 — Making a baad drawing

Day 2 — Drawing a Line

Day 3 — Looking and Seeing

Day 4 — Seeing some more

Day 5 — Write up your Seeing manifesto

Day 6 — Show and Tell

Day 7 — Arting Reflection

Week 2 is all about learning from your favourite artist’s work, which speaks to you the most currently. You learn authentically from them and about yourself.

Day 8 — Inspired By: Your choice

Day 9 — Inspired By: How was it made?

Day 10 — Inspired By: What does it mean?

Day 11 — Inspired By: What did they mean?

Day 12 — Inspired By: What does it mean to me?

Day 13 — Inspired By: Show and Tell — My Inspired Answer

Day 14 — Arting Reflection

Week 3 and Week 4 are devoted to developing the material you have created using elements and guiding principles of art and design…and looking at what it all means for yourself too.

Day 15 — Nothing/ness

Day 16 — Point and Line

Day 17 — Shape

Day 18 — Texture

Day 19 — Space

Day 20 — Time and/in Motion

Day 21 — Value

Day 22 — Color

Day 23 — Unity/Harmony

Day 24 — Balance

Day 25 — Scale/Proportion

Day 26 — Contrast/Emphasis

Day 27 — Rhythm

Week 5 is about preparing to Show and Tell, to share authentically what you have created. And…deciding how to move on.

Day 28 — Looking at it all and seeing what it means

Day 29 — Choices, Choices

Day 30 — Preparing to show/share

Day 31 — Show and Tell: #becometheartistyouare

Day 32 — Celebrate and Reflect

Day 33 — Where next?

Daily I am sending out the arting prompt direct to your inbox. When you put in the arting work, and follow/spend time on these arting prompts daily, you are guaranteed to get your arting juices back, develop a creating habit/discipline and take your arting to the next level. As well as discover things about yourself you did not know or did not acknowledge fully. You #becometheartistyouare. More of herself.

There is a friendly and safe community in place to share your ahas, questions and observations. Ready to join us? Go here.

I look forward to arting the May away with you!

Let me know if you are in!

How to Creativity (Day 18): Go somewhere new

…somewhere you have never been…even if it is just that street round the corner you have never ventured into…or the aisle in the supermarket you never entered.

Go…have a look around. And see what you discover.

Alternatively…take your camera and try to see your usual route to work as if you had never been on it before. Put your newbie/beginner glasses on. See what happens. Tell us/share your results.

 

P.S. May is the #becometheartistyouare challenge month. In twenty minutes a day of arting…you develop your creativity and learn s…loads (excuse my French) about yourself, the world around you and the stuff in between. That is what good art does, and that is what we shall be doing…arting. Are you in yet?

Hopelessly creative…

…was the brand tagline I came up with on my instagram feed. When I was trying to fit in my painting, my jewellery and my teaching into one basket (Easter eggs pun intended).

So, mi dears…in case you don’t know…I am hopelessly creative.

See here:

I have been working on my  #seemetoseeyourself portrait project since last year. Started off as a connecting lifeline to the world – talking and painting friends over skype, this evolved into its own life upon finding out that I somehow (don’t ask me how) manage to capture how people feel and are on the inside at the time we speak/I paint them. Also it turned out that these portrait sessions were rather therapeutic, even without speaking, because the act of being seen, being witnessed is a powerful one, even over skype.

The #silverlining jewellery collection came about as an answer to my childhood memories and a spring cleaning discovery of a jar filled with these 70s and 80s vintage plastic beads. The result is simple, playful…yet somehow profound I find. :-). Pun intended again.

And as you may know, I have been writing a book, and most recently turned it into a 30-day challenge e-course #becometheartistyouare. You can join us for a rollercoaster of exploration, discovery and authentic art making. All you need is twenty minutes a day, a sketchbook, pencil, phone camera and yourself. No prior arting experience required. Promised.

Art as therapy. Art as an answer. If in doubt, throw art at it. Has been my motto ever since…well, way back ten years minimum. Before that I was hopelessly stuck. Fearing I was not talented enough…and not entitled to create at all. It hurt. It itched. It burst.

Bit like a butterfly out of a cocoon.

And the butterfly is fluttering its wings…and spreading the message and if you feel inspired by any of it…join me on the challenge, or get yourself a portrait session or a fun ring or a set.

All on post-Easter offer. Rather generous one. Get in touch if interested.

Everyday Courages…five years on. Are you joining me?

Five years ago, I created a photographic series Everyday Courages as part of a digital photography class by Dion McInnis. The class and my resulting work proved to be more about life than photography…if that makes sense.

For a week I just walked around and looked and saw…what I was seeing.

 

These were the resulting images.

Everyday courages…

to get up,

to get lost,

to get out again,

to get hurt,

to hang loose,

to grow,

to smile,

to create

and to touch.

Now looking back at them, I feel like revisiting these Everyday Courages and finding out if/how they have changed for me since 2011.

So I am going to look around and see again, at what I see…with this particular focus in mind.

And…if you feel like…you could join me…this time round.

I feel like collecting our Everyday Courages, get inspired by them and encouraged.

If this speaks to you…would you send me your images with a title in the format “Courage to…”?

I am not quite sure where this will go…but I have a feeling, in my couer/heart, the heart of the word encourage, that I should explore this with others.

If you have any questions, ideas or answers…pop them in here. I am looking forward to them.

Love,

Irena