Monday, June 25, 2007


I bought myself a present the other day -- Keri Smith's latest book Wreck This Journal. If you're not familiar with Keri's work, I highly recommend her blog, The Wish Jar Journal (and in particular her list of How to be Miserable as an Artist). Keri makes her living as an illustrator but has put out two books now that are all about getting other people to get their art on. Wreck this Journal is the new one.

The whole idea behind Wreck is that everyone has art inside them but it gets all tangled up in our idea of what art is "supposed" to look like. Forget art, this book dares, just create. The pages are mostly blank and filled with ideas on how to wreck the journal. Don't be afraid to hurt the book she warns. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, you can't make a mistake. Simply create.

The pages suggest things like "cover this page in circles", "save your fruit stickers", "drip your coffee" and even "tie a string to the journal and drag it through the mud". Make a mark, any mark, she entreats and you just might find the beginning of a piece of art.

It may sound like no end of silliness, and I assure you that it is. But take a look at the gallery of what people have been doing over at Flickr and tell me that's not art. It's incredible stuff. Before I got the book, I tried a couple of ideas and got these unexpected little art-lings:
This came from the suggestion "cut the page into little strips and roll them into balls". Such a simple beginning, and a simple result, but an interesting one. Keri makes the bold assumption that art is fundamentally simple and essentially accessible to all and I love that.

A couple of days ago I told a co-worker we were planning a brainstorming session and that everyone was invited. "Even the uncreative ones?" she asked. And it took me aback a little. I don't think there's such a thing as an uncreative person. It's not logical. God is incredibly creative and we're made in His image.

Creativity isn't necessarily the creation of art; creativity is simply looking at one thing and imaging another way it could be. Creativity takes many forms, some of which are easier to recognize than others, but they are all creative.

There is art and beauty inside each of us. Sometimes we just need a little help getting it out.

We all need a little pixie dust before we can fly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


that makes me feel so incredibly inspired.