Creating Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker
Published by Interweave/F+W
I’m reviewing two books today by the same author/artist, Pam Carriker. Both books are full of can-do optimism, a very personal and lively voice, handy tips, and mainly achievable projects. These books are best for those new to mixed-media and/or art journaling, for those with experience who are experiencing a lull in their creativity, or for those seeking new techniques to add to their skill set.
Let’s start with the newer book (shown above), Creating Art at the Speed of Life. What a great way to start a book : You first create a journal in which work through the seven chapters with lessons about color, texture, shape, perspective, form, line, and shading. In 30 days, you will learn not only some art basics, but have a handbook of various techniques you have tried. Each lesson is well-organized with an objective, a short description, a supply list, and step-by step directions.
Kudos to Pam also for including a self-critique sheet for you to copy and include with each lesson in the book. She even critiques a few of her own pages to show you how self-critiques work as a key to making better art. Pam has also created a Facebook page on which readers/artists can post their work from the book to receive feedback or ask questions about techniques. How generous!
Although the book uses some specific art materials, there is an EXCELLENT Glossary in the back of the book that offers substitutes for many of the basic supplies.
I hope readers skip over the included clip art. Better to use Pam’s techniques of using your own photos OR even do a less-than-perfect self-portrait/drawing. We have all seen plenty of generic looking women in art journals – best to go for something unique even if it is less than perfect, no?
Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker
Pam’s first book, Art at the Speed of Life, was published in 2010 and is different enough from the sequel to be included in the library of mixed-media artists who are just exploring mixed-media or are contemplating making art as a more serious endeavor. It’s all about finding the money, time, space, and motivation to be a practicing artist. Instead of the the 30-day art journal developed above, this book invites you to create a seven-day journal with specific techniques.
The rest of the book is as though nineteen other successful mixed-media artists and Pam sat down around a big round table and shared with you some of the realities of making art/living as an artist. Each of the essays is lavishly illustrated with artwork and many of the artists share a special project. It’s a book that takes some time to digest and that makes it perfect for those seeking “motivation +inspiration for making mixed-media art every day.”