The Mindful Art Studio Book List 2021
Dear Wonderful, Creative You:
Every fall, I compile a list of books that have made an impact on me that year. I include a broad scope of topics because our art practice is made up of bits and pieces from every part of our lives. I think about books as an important ingredient in our creative soup. I hope you enjoy the list, that you add some of your own favorites in the comments. May these books spice up your creative soup in the months to come.
Art and Creativity
From the golden hour photos of the shoreline, to the up-close glimpses of her book making tools, Rachel Hazell will inspire you to make your own hand-made books. Her clear, easy-to-follow instructions make this guide a must-have for anyone interested in book making.
Last fall and winter I had such fun learning to make my own inks with materials I respectfully foraged in the woods. The images and words are lovingly tended, and if you respond to my teaching style and connection to nature, this guide will feel both familiar and exciting.
This is an older book, but one I’d wanted for ages. I asked for it last Christmas. I studied the gorgeous handmade books and art journals all last winter. I know you’ll draw a lot of inspiration from it.
I feel a real affinity with Helen’s work – both in process and content. It showcases her love of nature, layers, and expressive freedom. I’ve heard from several students already how much this book ignited their art journaling practice, and I can’t wait to check it out myself.
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Nature is clearly a huge part of my life and art practice. It’s a source of inspiration and grounding. Because so much of my art is based on patterns in nature, learning more about the organisms they come from deepens my connection to nature and the work.
If you want to challenge your conception about whether or not trees and fungi are intelligent life forms, this book’s for you. Even though I came to the book knowing something about fungal networks and tree communication, I was astounded at their ability to communicate, orchestrate, and care.
Pick up this book and take a fascinating trip into the small forests within the forest. You’ll be fascinated by the section on water bears.
Social Justice + Equity
My first career was as a human rights activist. Like a lot of folks, in the summer of 2020, I realized my own personal equity and justice work had fallen away a bit. I’m happy to share some resources I’m enjoying this year.
There are a few books in your life that will make a life-long impression, that will accompany you forever. Caste is one of those for me. It clicked into place so many things that hurt my heart and did not make sense to me about race in the US. I feel equipped to do better as a white person because of Caste.
This is a book I’m about to read, but that I have learned a good bit about by listening to interviews with the author, Alok Menon. Alok, despite all the bullying they face online and in person, continues to teach about gender with acute intelligence and unimaginable compassion, even for the people who harass and threaten them. Alok challenges me, educates me, and inspires me.
I hope this list brings you some wonderful inspiration. Happy reading ya’ll.