My curiosity was piqued by a new book from Philippa Stanton called “Conscious Creativity – The Workbook”. After looking at the preview on Amazon (links at end) I bought it and waited impatiently for it to arrive. Which, today, it did!
This is a compact book of 16 cm wide and 21 cm tall (6 1/4″ x 8 1/4″). It is illustrated throughout with vibrant images and has that “pick it up and browse” feel to it.
The first thing that jumps out is that it has a separate fly cover jacket, despite being a low priced paperback. The reason becomes clear when you remove the jacket. Inside is a “Random Page Finder” to cut out and make. The actual cover of the book has the same image as the jacket, but there is no text. There is a project in the book that uses the cover…
The picture below shows the “Random Page Finder”, ready to cut out and make, and the “bare” version of the front cover.
There are 7 chapters, each of which looks at a different aspect of exploring the world around us, experimenting and creating.
It is a workbook and designed for you to draw, paint, glue and do other things to the actual book. It has a nice quality, sturdy white paper which should help it survive this. When you later find out what some of the projects are, well, this becomes very important.
This is a rather unusual book! Each page encourages you to do some, often rather peculiar, things. The suggestions can often be interpreted in a few ways and there is endless scope for adding personal creative touches, variations and additions.
The text describes different ways you can explore your world. The bright images that accompany it are to inspire and excite you. Even if you never actually do any of the things the workbook prompts you to do, this book still can offer some interesting ideas and inspiration to an artist or journaler.
Many of the suggested activities are very unconventional. They are designed to get you out of your comfort zone. I guess I was very settled in my own comfort zone as I could feel my eyebrows going up and up as I initially read the book, hehe.
Here are a few examples:
- Write a note reflecting on your day on one page in the book. Then rip out the page and put it in the pocket of an outfit in a shop, for a stranger to find
- Cut out a page with templates of pyramids on. Fold and glue the pyramids then draw them. There are guidelines on what to look for when drawing
- Rip out part of one page and set fire to it (!) over a bin, watching and smelling it as it burns
- Add blobs of paint and ink in a circle on a page, then pop an ice cube in the middle and watch what happens as it melts
- Soaking a page in perfume
- Cut slots in a page and weave paper strips in and out
Not all the projects are as dramatic as these. Such as ones to collect pictures of different colours, or creating an abstract collage about your day.
At first I was rather taken aback by some of the ideas but as I read on I became rather excited at the thought of doing these things. Here is a book that is actively encouraging you to break the rules, to “colour outside the lines”, to explore and let yourself get excited by things.
I am now very keen to get started. I have earmarked a few pages that particularly interest me and will be doing those in the next day or so.
I really think that this book will help me see the world in a different way, explore new things, places and activities and give me lots of inspiration and ideas for future projects.
I will, hopefully, do a YouTube video about it when I get a few pages done.
This book, in my opinion, is ideal for a wide range of people. New artists and crafters will not be intimidated by any requirements to already have particular skills – anyone can do this stuff. More experienced artists and crafters will hopefully find themselves relaxing and breaking down some of the artistic boundaries and preconceptions they may have built up over the years.
You can pick a page and have a play whenever you like (hence the Random Page Finder on the cover!) or work steadily through it, whichever you prefer. There are no rules, no hurry, no preconceptions and no need to spend out on buying equipment etc. You can use what you already have and just have FUN!
An exciting, fun, unusual book that is just asking for me to turn it into a chaotic, dramatic, happy mess!
I notice that there is a book by Phillipa with the same title, but not a workbook this time. It looks like it is more about the ideas, techiniques and concepts used in the Workbook. I have added this to my “books I would like to buy” list!
Links to Conscious Creativity the Workbook on Amazon
Here are links to the book on Amazon.com (top) and Amazon.co.uk. If you buy from these links, I may receive a small commission from the shop for sending custom their way. This is at no cost to yourself. Thank you. I have also added links to the Phillipa’s other Conscious Creativity book .
The FIRST book shown in each section is the book reviewed in this blog post!