Story, First..

 TAW-MP-coverThe Artist’s Way by #JuliaCameron

Story, First..

Books, leading to books is a calling.

A few years ago, when I picked up ‘Who will cry when you die’ written by Robin Sharma, little was I cognizant that it was my calling for a transition. Though it took a few years to realize it, the rusted levers were set in motion by the latent forces of nature, then.

Robin Sharma suggested two books to readers; Walden by Henry Thoreau and The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron.

Unaware of the instant shift in FOC, that evening, I went to the book store and picked up both – it was not an easy decision because The Artists’ Way was a costly ledger – the trade off between entertainment, pleasure, and fun vs. addressing & rediscovering essential deeper self.

I took that chance then….

….and realized a few years later that NATURE could never go wrong. It craves for alignment, always.

I left Walden after fifty pages; my cerebral taste buds were not so accustomed to the compound and dense creation of art. So, I began reading The Artists’ Way which is much easier to eyes and brain. (Confession – I have not yet finished Walden, but plan to do it soon).

Reading through it, this is what I have come to learn about Creativity & how ignorant we are about it.

Let me ask you a questions.

As a parent, would you ever insult your own kid?

I know your answer, it is a big NO!! Isn’t it?
What if I say, You DO, we all DO it consciously or unconsciously.

Don’t believe?

Here is something for us to assimilate.

– We want to be a Singer, but we compare our voice with a celebrity’s voice, the moment we open our mouth.

– We want to be a writer, but we expect to match up to Stephen King or Lee Child, right from the time we write our first page.

….and so on and so forth…

Is this not an insult to our creative child?

Why we forget that time defines the evolution of an artistic flair. Why are we so unfair to us, not ready to give time and chance to the creative child to metamorphose into an adult.

Why do we deny the basics – pampering, grooming, nurturing and hand-holding, every creative child inside us deserves so badly.

Above all, many of us do not even realize that we have a creative child breathing inside us.

Book Review

A book that can be classified primarily as self-help by many but is more like common sense. It is designed to help readers reject the evils of self-doubt and seek for creative indulgence not as a profession or professional but as a form of therapy.

At the core of the book is a custom called “morning pages,” based on the belief that free-form writing, each morning, will unclog one’s mental and emotional channels of all the waste that gets in the way of being happy.

The other essential ritual involves taking oneself on an “artist’s date” each week – planning an outing to a museum or some other site of thought, free from the weight of responsibility or work.

Ending Remarks

Some day I will write a book on this master art, but today, I have to end my review here with two life changing lines by the Author and then my own comprehension of what this book has taught me over the years, and when I re-read earlier this year.

‘Practice Mystery, not Mastery’
‘Artistic people must learn how to emotionally guard themselves against the tides of negativity -both external and internal.’

Creativity is beyond the realms of semantics, a divine blessing guided by higher planes. Unfortunately, our limited intellect barely qualifies to decipher even a spec of it, unless, either it’s HIS will or our aspirations guided by the subconscious.

 

By Maniissh Aroraa

Has a dream spoken to you?

FArTHER by Grahame Baker-Smith is a story of a surreal dream of flying illustrated through surreal visuals. The story of a father, his son, and a dream to fly. The father is possessed with an unrelenting desire to fly which he never achieves. When the father goes off to war and doesn’t return………………..

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“ I will always remember the day he left- Khaki against the Scarlet Poppies”. But the dream of flying passes on to his son.

A lot is left unsaid in the text and communicated purely through visuals. The words are beautifully woven into the pictures using different fonts and text sizes. The pictures themselves are intricate and detailed images put together in a unique way using photographs and illustration which in themselves tell a story. The images compel you to make up a little more of the story in your head.

A multi-layered, magical Picture book that soars high and draws you into a world of impossible dreams is a must have for all those who dare to dream impossible.

 

Gopa
Artist mentor

 

This Truck has got to be Special

Author: Anjum Rana
Illustration Design: Sameer Kulavoor
Truck Art: Hakeem Nawaz, Amer Khan
Publisher: Tara Books

This Truck has got to be Special says Truck artist Zarrar to China's Gul, a truck driver from Pakistan. Gul- who drives along the mountain roads of the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush- has finally bought his own vehicle and wants it painted beautifully.

As Zarrar gets to work, Gul waits in the yard, thinking about his many journeys, the splendour of the hills and the intricacies of Truck Art- until everything is at last ready and it's time to be off, on the road again!

A richly imagined collaboration between a Pakistani writer, Pakistani Truck artists and an Indian Illustrator, this book celebrates the energy and joy of Pakistani Truck Art, as well as the artists whose skill and labour breathe life into it. All along, the bold graphic vigour of Truck Art tells its own story.

India has its history of Truck Art with the most eye catching slogans painted at the back of the truck. Can we share what we remember?

She says “I am going to be an Artist”

“Through Georgia’s Eyes” written by “Rachel Rodriguez” and illustrated by “Julie Paschkis”, has successfully conveyed the contemplative beauty at the heart of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and life. The prose is simple and reflective, mimicking the rhythms of the natural world: “A canyon calls her. From the bottom at dusk she sees a long line of cows above, black lace against a dusky sky.” The illustrations, cut-paper collages, mimic the vibrant intensity of O’Keeffe’s works with the simplicity and wonder of a child.

This picture book biography describes some of the influences on painter Georgia O’Keeffe, touching briefly on her formative years and her family’s wishes that she become a teacher. Despite those wishes and the trends of those times which dictated roles for women, Georgia followed, and perused  her dream to paint, which led her to New York City and the wide spaces of New Mexico.

Both the text and the extraordinary cut-paper collage illustrations help readers understand the personality, determination, and brilliance of this vibrant woman with exceptional talent.

 

 

By

Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor

“Those Shoes” do you want them or need them?

The book “Those Shoes” spectacularly portrays the modern day pressure of the need to fit in, on a child and then shows how he finds his way and goes beyond to a place of kindness and generosity toward another.

“Those Shoes” written by “ Maribeth Bolelts” and illustrated by “Noah Z. Jones” is about a boy who wants the latest trend of shoes but his grandmother cannot afford the retail price. They find a pair in a thrift store that’s a size too small, yet the boy buys them anyways and never wears them from the pain.

Read this book to find out what he does in the end that makes him happy about not having “Those Shoes” any longer.

Noah Z. Jones’s illustrations, created with watercolor, pencil and ink and put together digitally, perfectly depict how quickly a fad can flood the halls of a school, and how desperately children want to be able to have what others take for granted.

This picture book provides fodder for initiating conversations about fitting in, trends, and the difference in needs and wants.

 

Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor

Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail

History might not be the most favorite subject of children, but they all love stories. And in fact, history is nothing but stories.

But it is all about how a story is told. History becomes interesting when we add a bit of our own imagination and experiences to it, otherwise, it will all be about dates and nothing more. It’s the times spent between two dates that tell us the story about people and their lives.

“Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail” written by “Laurence Anholt” is a historical fiction book that offers a glimpse into the life of the famous artist” Pablo Picasso” and a little girl who became one of his models. The story is told from the perspective of the child.

Sylvette first met Pablo Picasso in 1954, when she was a girl in the southern French town of Vallauris. At that time, she was the shyest and dreamiest girl among her friends When Picasso set up his studio in a nearby house, he spotted young Sylvette and was taken immediately by her classical profile and her lovely ponytail. When at last he convinced her to pose for what became the first of more than 40 works of art, the two gradually became good friends.

Picasso’s portraits of Sylvette later became famous around the world.

Author and illustrator Laurence Anholt captures the spirit of this warm-hearted story in words and pictures. In the process, he also introduces several of Picasso’s most famous paintings. Young readers are sure to be intrigued by how Picasso transformed Sylvette’s image into a variety of fantastic and whimsical forms.

Are you a book worm?

The bookworm is a story of a silent little boy, Sesha , who reads all the time and has a little brown book, which no one has seen.

No one had ever seen how Sesha looks, and none had ever heard him speak……. Until one fateful day, when he spoke, things changed for him, as none of the kids could see past, what met their eyes. It took some time for everyone to discover Sesha’s brown book and the magic he could create.

Learn a little more about this wonderful kid and his brown book, in this emphatic story written by Lavanya R. N. and plunge into the world of Sesha through the collages and watercolors by Shilo Shiv Suleman. Shilo’s illustrations add to the magic of the book.

 

Be careful what you wish for….

What would life be without friends and friendship?

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni is a story about Alexander who is a mouse full of adventure. He isn’t like your ordinary mouse. He is a mouse that wants love and affection. He becomes a resident in a young girls house and befriends another mouse named Willy. Willy isn’t just any ordinary mouse; he is a wind-up mouse. Throughout the story, Willy and Alexander talk to each other and tell each other the amazing stories about their days. While Willy and Alexander become friends, Alexander wants to become a wind-up mouse like Willy. Alexander finds out about the Magic Lizard who can change animals into another animal.

What do you think Alexander will wish for?

Will he change, or embrace himself?

Find out in this wonderfully illustrated book, filled with compassion and friendship. Alexander helps teach life lessons that may not always be clear. He shows that having a big heart is all that matters.

 

Say Cheese :):):):):):):)

There are many things that are contagious, and we are always told to be careful.

But there some contagious things that are good too!

Wondering what could that be?

What about a smile 🙂

Is it not one of the best things in the world?

It makes you look good and feel good too 🙂

This is what happens when you read “Niloufer’s Smile” written by” Akhram Ghasempor” and Illustrated by “ Naseem Azadi”.

Where Niloufar is in search of something…her SMILE!

She is worried because she looks incomplete without her smile. Nothing in the world feels right without it.

She looks under the bed, in the corners; in her drawing book… she can’t seem to remember where she left it.

Read this book to find out where Niloufer finds her smile, and in the process she would find your’s too if you have lost it somewhere.

Beautiful and heart warming crayon illustrations will surely strike a cord or too in your heart.

 

For the love of Drawing

The boy who drew cats is a story of Akiro, a young Japanese boy, who drew only cats… Cats, cats and more cats! No matter what he was asked to do, all he did was draw cats everywhere. All he wanted was to draw a “Perfect Cat”.

And this artistic tendency led to an adventure, an adventure that would change his life. Based on a legend about a fifteenth-century Japanese artist, an unusual rags-to-riches tale about a bright and obedient child, obsessed with drawing cats. Whose master (a priest) commands him to seek his place in the world as an artist; the boy wanders to an empty temple where he quickly again begins new cat paintings……… what happens next is unfathomable…… Do you think he made his “Perfect cat”?

Find out by going on an inspiring journey to Japan in this folktale retold by Anushka Ravishankar with breath taking illustrations in the Japanese style by Christine Kastl in water colours and ink.