Tuesday, August 04, 2015

'Think Like an Artist … and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life' by Will Gompertz

4 August 2015

I've also been reading 'Think Like an Artist … and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life' – a slim volume by the BBC's Arts Editor, Will Gompertz. The book suggests that 'We Are All Artists', in that being an artist means using and combining a handful of practices and processes which we are all capable of.  Gompertz illustrates each of these traits (curiosity, scepticism, bravery etc) using specific examples, mostly taken from the visual arts world. (The book contains pull-out colour reproductions of the paintings that are discussed.) A short conclusion then suggests that our modern, increasingly digital, world needs more creative people, all our working lives would benefit from a more creative approach and our education system should be more creative (teaching us how to think, not what to think). I found myself agreeing with much of his thesis, though I would have liked more of this final section looking at the implications for society. Many of the examples he uses to demonstrate the various traits of an artist, while fascinating and revealing, felt a little too anecdotal – might it not be possible to prove the reverse by choosing other examples? Nevertheless, my main reaction to reading the book was an overwhelming desire to try some of the techniques and do something creative – so that feels like a success to me.



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