“Make Your Art No Matter What” by Beth Pickens BOOK REVIEW

Make Your Art

Publication Date: 06 April 2021

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 9781452182957

Genre: Nonfiction, Art

Strong Point: The whole vibe of the book is very positive and informal, which I enjoyed.

Weak Point: Any!

Books on Tour Rating: Books on Tour LogoBooks on Tour Logo(4/5)

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.08/5)

Read book blurb here


“MAKE YOUR ART NO MATTER WHAT: MOVING BEYOND CREATIVE HURDLES”

For some years, I have been trying to “re-learn” to draw and be more creative. I was told as a child that I better don’t pursue my “artistic skills” as I did not have any, so I stopped drawing until recently, when my husband bought an iPad Pro and I started drawing with the App Procreate.

I’ve had my ups and downs but I am really happy with how much I have learnt in these couple of years.

However, there are sometimes when I feel quite frustrated and think that what I draw is just crap.

So the title of this book really caught my attention at the NetGalley website and I decided to give it a try.

THE STORY

Beth Pickens is a therapist whose patients are artists (musicians, painters, actors, etc.). So she knows what she is talking about.

She has divided the book into several sections, each one dealing with a different problem that repeatedly appears in her sessions with her patients. 

For example, in one chapter she talks about “Time” and how artists deal with it; in another one, she talks about “Grief” and how this affects the artistic work; and in another one, she discusses the topic of “Isolation” and what it means for artists and their work. 

The rest of the chapters deal with Work, Asking, Money, Fear, Other People, Education (very interesting!), Thinking+Feeling, Marketing and Death+God.

Then, after explaining each “problem” or topic and what it means in the artistic world, Beth tries to give the reader different exercises and ways to help the reader to cope with the issue in a positive way, which could lead in time to the solution of the problem, or at least it would lessen it.

In addition, at the end of the book, she includes a “Further Reading” with tons of extra books in case you want to continue exploring the topics she has discussed. 

For me, the chapter that resonated the most was the one dealing with what makes someone an artist. In my head, I don’t feel an artist at all, but Beth has made me change this way of thinking, for which I am grateful. 

STYLE OF THE BOOK

The style and the whole feeling of the book is one of positivity, energy and good vibes. The way Beth writes is quite informal, as it were really a friend who is talking to you.

This definitely helped me being engaged with her message, specially in some of the chapters where what she was saying was quite deep and challenging for me.

If she had written the book in a more academic style, I think it wouldn’t have worked.

In addition to this, the layout of the book (structure, colour palette, etc.) is aesthetically very pleasing and it has enhanced my reading experience. 

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “MAKE YOUR ART NO MATTER WHAT”

I think, although this book is targeted for artists, almost everyone could extract some helpful advice out of it. It is well-written and quite easy to read.

However, if you are an artist (meaning you like to do some creative work, it doesn’t have to mean that this is your job or you gain money with it) then I’d like to specially recommend this book to you. It could help you with some problems that can appear throughout your creative life. You don’t lose anything and you have a lot to gain!


Thanks to the publisher, Chronicle Books, the author Beth Pickens and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of “Make your Art No Matter What” for review purposes.

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