Trying something new here. I haven’t used the thread section in a while but as I’m starting my PhD soon, on the topic of illustration and creativity, broadly, I was wondering, what is a book that inspired you, made you think deeper, or taught you something about your creative practice ?
Whether it was a very pragmatic How To guide to how to be a creative, or a collection of poems that you felt expressed your experiences as an artist, anything goes. I’m excited to read your suggestions !
I'll start !
One book that really stayed with me was Creativity Class : Art School and Culture Work in Postsocialist China, by Lily Chumley.
It follows art students from prep schools to art schools and the different values associated with certain types of art, from realist portraits of working class figures to conceptual installations. It was impressive to see the differences of values associated with art in the Chinese context but also the similarities with my own experience in art school, as the author analyzes critics classes and the mechanisms behind them. A great look at our world from the exterior ! Highly recommend.
I just finished reading How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. Although not specifically about illustration, it brings up things that I've been thinking a lot about in terms of being an artist and sharing on social media.
She points out that space, time and context are collapsed on social feeds. I think artists are good at focusing on and diving deeper into things, but the design of the 'attention economy' often doesn't allow for that. Although I don't fully agree with her 'refusal' to participate, I think there can be a middle ground between completely abandoning online connection or going all in.
It was a good read, and she also talks about birds a lot!