Wow, I have been away from home for a week and now that I look at my blog here, I am realizing how long it has been since I have posted. I am on winter break from school right now and have been catching up on my reading more than actually making much finished work, for better or worse. In honor of this reading I am going to post a few more reviews.

Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art, by Jennifer New, is in a similar vein to the 1000 Journals Project, which I got at the same time. It takes a peek into the journals of 31 artists as diverse as Denyse Schmidt and Renato Umali. The term “journal” is used loosely and covers what I would describe as journals, sketchbooks, process books and finished work. The book is divided into sections for journals arranged around the themes of observation, reflection, exploration and creation. Each thematic section begins with a short statement about the theme itself – what it means and how it can vary. Within each section are the artists. Each artist is introduced with a descriptive statement of their work, samples of which are on the following pages. Drawing from Life is a great resource for discovering and appreciating other artists as well as an amazing visual feast.

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Another book I read recently is Craft, Inc., by Meg Mateo Ilasco. The tag-line on the cover is “Turn your creative hobby into a business” and this is exactly what Ilasco teaches you to do, step by step. In addition to giving advice on how to nurture your creative self while learning to be a business person, Craft, Inc. is peppered with interviews with owners of craft-based businesses. Each interview is varied and invaluable, addressing issues specific to the section where it is located, such as pricing your goods and creating a product identity (brand) that is recgnizable and accurate. While other books on the subject of craft based businesses could be potentially dry, dense and unaccessable, Craft, Inc. is just the opposite. Ilasco’s tone is friendly but firm and professional which is just what she urges the reader to be with their new craft business.

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Last among my current (art related) reading is the magazine Selvegde. Anyone interested or involved with textiles who is not familiar with this magazine needs to run to their local library or magazine seller to find it. The subscription is expensive (I share it with two other people) but I promise you, it is worth every penny. I list it with the books because it is essentially a serialized book in quality. This is a magazine I would never dream of cutting up to put in a sketchbook and which has a special place on my book shelf. Based out of the UK, Selvedge combines articles on textile history with others about up and coming artists or movements. Additionally, the photography and graphic design are stunning. Each issue has a theme (such as “costumes” or “islands”) which unites the articles, creating a sense of continuity and cohesion. While Selvegde does have a website, it is largely inaccessable without a subscription. The articles are mostly fairly short, but are packed with information and even the ads in the back are worth looking at. Highly, highly reccomended.

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