Book Review—Creative Block

Book: Creative Block
Author: Danielle Krysa

For fellow AU students seeking a book oozing with creative inspiration and artistic motivation, look no further than Danielle Krysa’s Creative Block (2014).  This gem of a book overflows with solid advice from fifty different artists worldwide who work in a variety of diverse mediums.  Each artist outlines a creative task to potentially boost (and unblock) your creative process.  They also provide tips for coping with everything from jealousy toward other artists to struggles over a difficult piece of work.  The author, who also began blogging as “The Jealous Curator” in February of 2009, has felt the sting of the green monster during her own artistic endeavours, so she can relate to the challenges of artistic invention.

The writer’s introduction encourages you to reconnect with the joy of creating that you may have lost to adulthood.  With personal insights into her own history and process, Danielle brings the intimacy and compassion conveyed in her words to the sensitive artist in everyone.  The beauty of how this book is structured means you can begin anywhere; it all depends on the medium and project you choose.  Interview questions generally adhere to the same format for each interviewee.  Interviews are organized in no apparent order, but an index will easily guide you in locating the artist, a key word, or a subject.  The advice and suggestions coming from the artists themselves are designed to help you ‘think outside the box’.

Not just another pretty coffee table book, Creative Block caters to bibliophiles who want to do something more than just reading.  Should you feel intimidated as a novice artist, rest assured the artists interviewed range from established to emerging, professionally trained to self-taught.  Projects range from simple home crafts to travelling on a treasure hunt.  In addition, many of the artists interviewed are also curators, entrepreneurs, teachers, and writers.  There are artists creating bizarre works of art out of material I never would have imagined possible.  So now you have no excuses.

Creative Block is an enjoyable read, brimming with infinite possibilities and innovative activities.  The material inside provides a life-line leading out of self-flagellation and the misery of being uninspired, thus revealing new ways of perceiving the world.  Moreover, it gives delicious insights into what and how successful artists produce and encourages you to dive into doing something rather than nothing.  Having read the entire volume and tested assorted projects, I whole-heartedly recommend this book.  Discover new ideas and projects, often using what’s right in front of you, and become unstuck.

Students may also check out Ms.  Krysa’s web site to discover her other books, or to uncover further artistic incentives at http://www.thejealouscurator.com/blog/ .

Krysa, Danielle.  Creative Unblock, 2014.  Chronicle Books, San Francisco.  288 pages.
ISBN 978-1-4521-1888-8
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