Below are some books I’m currently reading that are “feeding” many of my upcoming art projects. That’s art exhibits, illustration projects and yes even my sketchbook work for The Sketchbook Project I blogged about last post. Even though it may seem that I produce a random variety of things – there’s a uniformity to my randomness and it begins with what I read. I see all of the things I make as telling a visual/tactile story about being human, enjoying life and living well. And to help me develop my visual story I read…
In case you can’t see all the titles in the picture they are:
“Wonderland; How play made the world” by Steven Johnson
“Books for Living” by Will Schwalbe
“The Creative Spark; How imagination made humans exceptional” by Agustin Fuentes
“The Foundations of Mindfulness” by Eric Harrison
“Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel
All of these books relate to themes I’ve been working with artistically for some time now:
How being willing to try new foods, to eat diverse foods, has helped us develop biologically as physical human beings. And how it helps us still.
Playing music, playing games, “playing” with our food – each kind of play in it’s own way has helped humans as a species develop and maintain physical and mental structures as individuals – and also social structures as communities. This is still true today. When we do not take time to play we hurt ourselves and each other.
Reading books (and writing them) has helped us – as a species – to pass on information so that each generation doesn’t have to completely reinvent the world from scratch. This ability to collect information, and learn from it, informs our abilities to play – to playfully combine/recombine things – helping us to develop and maintain our mental skills.
Which leads me to mindfulness. Mindfulness for me is the human ability to pay attention, to focus attention and also to have a state of open/non-judgmental acceptance – curiosity even. This is essential to developing, having and keeping our human ability to imagine and be creative. Mindfulness is part of being able to play and learn…and being able to play and learn is a way of being mindful. And for me, keeping a sketchbook, making art, is at it’s heart an exercise in playful mindfulness – but more about that in another post.
The novel by Esquivel is included in my current reading list because woman does not live by non-fiction alone.
Now please pass the popcorn. Thank you.