A Return to Books

Be all over the place.

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When I get a break in my schedule and have some time for me and my personal development, I always return to books. I am realizing this is part of my rhythm. Books are where I go to for input, ideas, next steps. They are my launching pad for personal growth.

Having finished my first two weeks of Summer art camp and having two weeks until my next begin, I found myself back at the library yesterday checking out some books I've been recommended and some I've come across on my own.

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This book I picked randomly off the 700 shelves and it is so fun and refreshing. This is how art should be presented - as approachable to anyone. It makes me want to offer a photo event from Wholeshot Coffee where we walk around that area and take photos. (Just need to wait for a little cooler weather.) I feel like this book was a reminder that I love art because it is play and pleasure.

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In the book See For Yourself I found out about this other book called Interaction of Color by Josef Albers. I am really enjoying it as well because as I've started painting with gouache this year, I am realizing how using color can feel so daunting. I love that the author talks about colour in an interesting way and calls it the most relative medium in art. I'm having a lot of ah-ha moments perusing this book and expanding my understanding of colour.

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We just finished reading Agatha Christie's Murder On the Orient Express in our Wholeshot Coffee Book Club, and decided to start The Stories We Tell for our August Book Club. But before I start reading that, I want to read a book just for me.

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These are three books recommended to me, and two of them (not the yoga book) are from the 700 shelves. I am going to start with Just Kids and am determined to have some time sitting pool side and reading before I go back to teaching art camp in July.

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In other book news, these are the books I used to plan my art lessons for the two art camps I taught in June. In the top photo, these three books were picked by the director of our preschool art camp. In the bottom two photos, these are the books I referenced for my Medieval theme. I used How to Be A Medieval Knight the most. I'm not sure I'll get around to making a blog post showing the projects we did, but they are on Instagram.

It's the first time I've fully started with books to plan out my art lessons (although I've wanted to try this for quite some time), and it was a very satisfying and rewarding way of going about it. I hope to get to the library this week for my next round of books for July's lessons.

 

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Finally, I want to share a quote I heard yesterday while listening to a podcast recommended by a friend. This was so impactful for me because I feel like it gives me permission to read and use books however I want to. (Whether on the 700 shelves or not...I always use books for art and creativity.)

Sometimes I will read a book all the way through while other times I'll grab just a chapter or sentence here or there. Imagine books as a tool and a pleasure not as a ball and chain. Who wants to me married to a particular book when you could be chasing a creative idea that a book has sparked?! It goes along with this liberating phrase that keeps coming back to me in my journal:

Just be all over the place.

Okay, here's the quote:

"I don't read anymore to complete books, I read to satisfy my genuine intellectual curiosity. And it can be anything; it could be nonsense, it could be history, it could be fiction, it could be science, it could be sci-fi. These days it's mostly sci-fi, philosophy, science because that's just what I'm interested in, but I will read for understanding. So, a really good book, I will flip through. I won't actually read it consecutive in order and I won't even necessarily finish it. I'm looking for ideas, things that I don't understand. And when I find something really interesting, I'll reflect on it. I'll research it. And then when I'm bored of it, I'll drop it or I'll flip to another book. Thanks to electronic books I've got 50, 70 books open at any time on my Kindle or iBooks, and I'm just bouncing around between them.

"It's also a little bit of a defense mechanism to how in modern society we get too much information too quickly, and so our attention spans are very low. So you get Twitter, you get Instagram, you get Facebook, you're just used to being bombarded with information. So you can take that...You can view that as a negative and be like,'I have no attention span,' or you could view that as a positive, 'I multitask really well and I can dig really fast.' I can -- if I find a thread that's interesting, I can follow through five social networks through the Web, through the libraries, through the books, and I can really get to the bottom of this thing very quickly. It's like the Library of Alexandria that I can research at my disposal. So I no longer track books read or even care about books read. It's about understanding concepts."

-Naval Ravikant

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