The Pulse Of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed by Seth Apter
The book says:
Listen Closely... can you hear it?
Can you hear the voices? Thoughts, insights, confessions from the creative community sharing ideas, trading secrets, venting frustrations; asking and answering questions such as, "What colour rarely shows up in your work?" or "How do you express vulnerability in your art?" Or "What is one current trend that you wish would go away?" As artists, we are curious by nature and there is a longing to see inside the hearts and minds of artistic souls of our own kind. That is the beat of our lives - the Pulse of Mixed Media!
In this book - a complex survey of artists around the globe - there is much for you to discover:
- Visual insights: Many questions are answered not only in words, but often through visual art, and include self-portraits from 31 spotlight artists such as Pam Carriker, Danny Gregory and Judy Wise.
- A diverse sampling of provocative questions: Over 100 artists share their thoughts on everything from colour, media and tools to emotions, secrets and self-revelations.
- Insightful statistics: Data from thousands of participants collected through polls on the authors blog reveal a remarkable analysis of the creative community at large.
I'll start off by saying that I'm aware of the authors blog but haven't visited it properly (yet!) it's more through word of mouth on other blogs that I know of it... and so don't know anything about the author. I do know of some of the artists featured within the book, either from seeing them showcased in other art/craft books or from already being a visitor to their own blogs/web pages. I must admit - the vast majority are new to me.
This is unlike any art or craft book I've read before. There is some really lovely art in this book - the various spotlight artists have created self portraits and there are some art pieces created in answer to some of the questions set... but the main focus of the book, for me at least, is on the text. The responses to those questions are very honest, unflinching, a real peek into each artists mind set, personality, dreams... The blurb is not wrong in saying that the questions are provocative - some answers made me smile in recognition of those same feelings within myself, some were so sad in what the artist was revealing. Some were funny, others wistful, nostalgic, positive, negative... some of the answers really rubbed me up the wrong way. What you have to remember is this is personal opinion and in some cases brutally honest. It's an interesting peek into the way artists think and feel. The way they feel towards art - both theirs and others. Even the way they feel about other artists... or people they feel shouldn't be calling themselves artists at all! (Ah - that age old argument!)
A really interesting book - one that I either found myself nodding along with or snorting in annoyance. I borrowed this copy and I wont be rushing out to buy my own, simply because it's not one I feel I would come back to again and again to read over and over... but I did really enjoy it. I'll be noting down the artists websites (from the handy directory in back) that I want to visit and explore further and then I'll be posting this copy home again - still mulling over some of the answers in the book. It'll certainly spark conversations between you and anyone else who has read it.
Seth Apter - blog
@alteredpage - on Twitter
North Light Books
Many thanks to Sam for the lend of the book and thank you for stopping by :)