Cover Image: Unleashing the Artist Within

Unleashing the Artist Within

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Member Reviews

This was a book that on one side I enjoyed it but on the other it was lacking a lot of things that I wished it had.  This felt like only the positive side of unleashing the artist and it gave no lists for further reading.
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Being creative can make you feel stuck and anxious. We procrastinate or never feel good enough with what we produce. We want to produce more, but how are we supposed to find the time?

These examples are to give you an idea of what kind of topics you'll find in the book and how to tackle them.
The author clearly has thought and worked through those issues and she helps people to be a better artist.
There is a lot of information and I was going back and forth to find the problem I was working on.
I'd recommend this as an artist self-help book when you feel stuck or if you'd like to develop better habits in your art career.
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Writing about creativity can be tricky, it seems to me, since it can be so squishy and different for every person. The author does a good job and providing thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, and readers are likely to find several helpful approaches. If not, this is probably not the right book and/or the reader is not willing to take the appropriate action to move forward. 

As side note, Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic deals with the creatively very differently, but effectively, and may be a good read along side this one. 

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
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This is a good support book for all artists.  It can be dipped into by theme, based on the type of challenge the artist is struggling with.  The words of advice, support and encouragement will help guide the artist forward.  It is an uplifting book and just reading it will give you a break from the block.  While it is classified as a follow on book from the author's previous title, it very much stands on its own.  The author is an expert in the field with years of experience both writing and teaching.  It is highly recommended to all artists.
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Unleashing the Artist Within is a fact and practice based examination of the anxiety which can be associated with the creative process and the 'block' which all artists fear (and all, or nearly all, experience). Due out 12th Feb 2020 from Dover on their Ixia Press imprint, it's 224 pages and will be available in paperback format.

The author, Dr. Maisel, is a psychotherapist and creative coach and has written extensively on creative process and related subjects. This book follows on previous work but I read it as a standalone and found it clear, well written, and layman accessible. He writes persuasively and comprehensively about the challenges inherent in the creative process: getting through the 'grind' of daily expression, healing trauma, getting through unproductive periods (and ameliorating them where possible), finishing projects, performance anxiety and more.

The chapters are each arranged around a central theme: the realities of process, recovering from dashed hopes, creating and relating, creating and protecting the creative space, meeting the marketplace, reducing internal drama, and several other subjects. There isn't a specific progression or narrative. Each of the chapters does a pretty good job of defining the inherent problems as they relate to the creative process and providing some tools and coping mechanisms for mastering (and troubleshooting) them. I found some ideas to try out myself to get me beyond my own procrastination in my writing and creative life.

The down sides for me were that there was a lot of what felt like diffuse cheerleading and positive thinking (a little on the 'woo woo' side of the philosophical divide). I also felt the lack of a cross referenced index or bibliography/links list for further reading. This isn't a 'one size fits everyone' book, but there are a surprising number of good and practical takeaways here for creative artists.

Four stars, with the bonus that it costs a fraction of a face-to-face workshop or course.
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