Cover Image: Think Like an Artist, Don't Act Like One

Think Like an Artist, Don't Act Like One

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I don't particularly enjoy books with "Think like an artist" in the title because they just don't work. I'm sorry to say this was proven right in this book. It lacks the substance I wanted to read. The title sets your expectations and then the book lets you down.
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This book was very interesting. Not only is it important to see art from so many different times and eras, but this book shows us what we can learn from them. I liked that the pictures were all included, and that it included historical facts as well as what we can take from each art piece, from paintings to photos and sculptures.
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What is "art"? What does it take to be an "artist"? Those are the two questions that this book is attempting to answer by taking the reader on a journey across time. Art pieces are discussed with historical facts and introspection in an effort to get in touch with the reader's inner artist. I enjoyed the novelty of it, I mean it's a different kind of vibe; artistic without being pompous and/or pretentious. Plus you get the bonus of being able to reflect on your self, making you wiser and able to channel your wisdom through another medium. I highly recommend this to beginners in art, especially, those like me who are way too intimidated to start, as well as, those people seeking new perspectives.
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To be honest, I could not really understand what the author was trying to accomplish with this book. By the title and description, I assumed it was going to be a collection of tales from art history that would be used to relate to and inform current artists. However, most of the 75 “life lessons” were just descriptive accounts of occurrences in art history. Pretty vague descriptions at that. The author does not explain why these specific tales are important, nor how they can be translated into life lessons for other artists.

This could be a good book for fairly new artists to check out as a very light introduction to notable artists and their practices but I don’t feel like it lived up to its title or description.
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I received an electronic copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is kind of like a crash course in art history, with a little bit of "food for thought" thrown in.

I don't quite understand the title, although the titles of each section (each work of art) is also titled  as a sort of play on words, so...  yeah.
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Unfortunately, I have to be honest and admit that I did not enjoy this book, even though the title intrigued me.  At the beginning the author writes, "In this book we take a stroll through the history of art in search of lessons for our everyday home and working lives".  While the book does present a nice progression of artwork throughout history, I fail to understand the "lessons" the author is attempting to convey - some are a bit of a stretch and others just fell short altogether.  I majored in art history and did not find this particular 'spin' on the subject enjoyable at all.  "Think Like an Artist, Don't Act Like One" would not be a book that I would recommend.
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Very interesting read!

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this book in exchange for my review.
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I am interested in the art. So, I chose this book. I could see 75 arts and read these history of these arts. One of the 75 arts is a Japanese art, "under the wave off Kanagawa". I've seen this work many times, but I learned a new perspective. I can now enjoy it in different way. This book gives many people a new fascination of arts and a new perspective. It is interesting.
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I am not sure whether I understood the the book Think Like An Artist Don’t Act Like One by Koos De Wilt correctly. The title seems to suggest aspiring artists not to consider their art merely as a set of skills or their profession, instead to inculcate an artistic mindset and lifestyle so that everything one does has an aesthetic or an artistic element in it. I was sure that this is what the book is about and that it would be full of motivating, inspiring and stimulating passages that would keep the creative fire aflame within me. This is important because in arts, like in any creative pursuit including science, it is very common to succumb to monotony and lose interest or initial vigour. Thus, any words of encouragement and inspiration are always helpful. I wonder how far would creative people go when left only to their own inner fire, without any encouragement from outside.

Leafing through the book, I found it contrary to my pre-conceived notion about its format. Actually, the book is composed of images of 75 artworks accompanied by brief descriptions or comments. Never mind, still good. The writer must have selected these artworks and written down commentaries on them, highlighting their salient features, points to be noted and so on, in order to encourage aspiring artists to follow their example or to educate general public what does art actually mean, how to look at a piece of art and to appreciate the various efforts and thoughts that go into creating a masterpiece. But when I went from one artwork to another, reading one commentary after other, I sensed no pattern in them which left me more and more confused. The order of presenting the artworks or the artists is random, without any chronological order, or according to any classification or categorization. Even after finishing the book, I could not form a firm understanding about what the writer wanted to convey through this book.

The book description tells us that the book explores "lessons for our everyday home and working lives…art addresses questions we all face in life…about success and failure, about love and loss, about friendship and hard work". Thus, one can learn curiosity from Leonardo da Vinci, honesty from Rembrandt and appreciating the everyday from Vermeer. In few pieces, such analysis is put forward explicitly, whereas in others there is nothing more than an accompanying note which is neither a description, nor an analysis nor a lesson.

All passages are short and easy to read. Some of them are illuminating and inspiring in nature. For example the note 'Beware of the Blind Spot' describing the painting ‘The Ambassadors’ by Holbein, 'It’s All About You' describing the painting ‘Las Meninas’ by Velazquez and 'Quiet Please' describing ‘The Lacemaker’ by Vermeer. But still, in the end, if someone asks the conclusion or the summary of the book, you will have to struggle to give a satisfying answer.

The book cover is very ordinary to say the least, and certainly does not look like the cover of a book on art. Considering all aspects, this book may find a place on the shelf of a public library but not in a personal collection.
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Unfortunately I felt this was a random collection of empty platitudes; I couldn’t  distinguish any ‘lessons’ or insight in the brief snippets of text. I’m not sure what audience this would suit best: it’s too simplistic for most adult readers seeking insightful art commentary, and too vague to serve as an art introduction for students/younger readers. Apologies but thank you for the review copy.
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For my full review, please go to Cloud Lake Literary at:
https://www.cloudlakeliterary.ca/blogposts/book-review-think-like-an-artist-dont-act-like-one-by-koos-de-wilt

Thank you to Net Galley for the complimentary copy of this book.
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I don't know much of anything to do with art, but this could make a good coffee table book for anyone interested in art history.
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Do you recalling so many moment when u saw some art pieces in museum and you thinking hard,  " What make this thing become a masterartpieces? " 
Some of them even make you questioning your sense of arts.  Although I am working in handicraft business, trust me I still feel that way.  

Actually this book deliver a small portion  what the tittle offering.  In here we will get 75 art pieces from different era then author present the corner value and interpretating the meaning with expectation we can take a lesson from it.  It is not what I was expected from this book but I appreciate author effort to make me learn something. 

Thanks Netgalley to providing me with this book.
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The title seemed very promising, since I have a special interest in art and artists in general. I liked the artworks that were presented here, but at the same time it felt like it's all the same art, all over again. This is my own personal issue, being so used to the topic, I suppose. 

Otherwise I think it's a nice way to discover these artists and to bring something from art in your own life. It's a short read and I didn't find it at all difficult, but also it wasn't challenging or deep in any way. Honestly, I'm tempted to call it superficial because other than going through art history in a few rows I didn't find much value... 

Anyway, I'm still glad that art is a topic of interest both for authors and readers alike.
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With the title I really expected steps which can be applied in the daily life of an artist, but that’s not the case. It has pictures of famous paintings or sculptures and some kind of insight or observation of the same. Some made sense to me and some didn’t. Except a handful I didn’t understand how to apply the rest in daily life. Not my cup of tea unfortunately, Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.
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Thankyou to NetGalley for the arc. The title of this book is extremely misleading, this book doesn’t really teach you anything about being an artist. Instead it’s a book of art through history, a small amount of art, with some information about the art, artist and at times a life lesson. I did enjoy reading this as I am an artist myself and I found some fab new artists to look up but this book just wasn’t what I, or it seems anyone else, expected. The artists featured were mostly white, it was mostly really famous art and there wasn’t a huge diversity in medium either. Overall I wouldn’t recommend.
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The book is coffee table publication that takes a novel approach by presenting art in an 'Instagram' style along with a concise paragraph describing the artist or artifact - through the author's experience. 

Pros
An interesting visual account with some interesting information by an art historian.

Cons
The vast majority of artworks are selected from the Western European canon and information on non-Western art is generally written in the Western gaze. No artworks from the Middle East e.g Persian paintings, ceramics, contemporary artists - however a token Westen painting featuring Osama Bin-Laden.
alas only two female artists?
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A brief, coffee-style-book that whizzes through art history. It's main focus is on Western art but it does include a few examples of non-Western art. I enjoyed reading the brief paragraphs, which ignore technique and focus on what the writer thinks the artist is trying to communicated. I liked the fact there was a lot of guessing and open-ended conclusions. I think the idea of it offering lessons is overstated and I don't think the title works for this book as it seems to make the case for acting like an artist (they clearly have insight worth considering) rather than not. 

It's an easy read, with pretty pictures, and is perfect to dip into again and again.
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Just as i started reading i could see that the tittle had nothing to do with what we are given by the book. We are not  given ´lessons´ but facts and the author´s interpretation about various pieces of art. It´s a good theorical short coffee table book, but if you´re looking for lessons or help on what it takes to think like an artist, i don´t think you´ll find the answers here. Personally, i think the tittle should be changed.
Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review a digital ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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More of a coffee table book with short sharp information than a how-to guide.  Not quite as expected.
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