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You Are an Artist

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A few years ago curator Sarah Urist Green left her office in the basement of an art museum to travel and visit a diverse range of artists, asking them to share prompts that relate to their own ways of working. The result is You Are an Artist, a journey of creation through which you'll invent imaginary friends, sort books, declare a cause, construct a landscape, find your b A few years ago curator Sarah Urist Green left her office in the basement of an art museum to travel and visit a diverse range of artists, asking them to share prompts that relate to their own ways of working. The result is You Are an Artist, a journey of creation through which you'll invent imaginary friends, sort books, declare a cause, construct a landscape, find your band, and become someone else (or at least try). Your challenge is to filter these assignments through the lens of your own experience and make art that reflects the world as you see it. You don't have to know how to draw well, stretch a canvas, or mix a paint colour that perfectly matches that of a mountain stream. This book is for anyone who wants to make art, regardless of experience level. The only materials you'll need are what you already have on hand or can source for free. You Are an Artist brings together more than 50 assignments gathered from some of the most innovative creators working today, including Sonya Clark, Michelle Grabner, The Guerrilla Girls, Fritz Haeg, Pablo Helguera, Nina Katchadourian, Toyin Ojih Odutola, J. Morgan Puett, Dread Scott, Alec Soth, Gillian Wearing, and many others.


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A few years ago curator Sarah Urist Green left her office in the basement of an art museum to travel and visit a diverse range of artists, asking them to share prompts that relate to their own ways of working. The result is You Are an Artist, a journey of creation through which you'll invent imaginary friends, sort books, declare a cause, construct a landscape, find your b A few years ago curator Sarah Urist Green left her office in the basement of an art museum to travel and visit a diverse range of artists, asking them to share prompts that relate to their own ways of working. The result is You Are an Artist, a journey of creation through which you'll invent imaginary friends, sort books, declare a cause, construct a landscape, find your band, and become someone else (or at least try). Your challenge is to filter these assignments through the lens of your own experience and make art that reflects the world as you see it. You don't have to know how to draw well, stretch a canvas, or mix a paint colour that perfectly matches that of a mountain stream. This book is for anyone who wants to make art, regardless of experience level. The only materials you'll need are what you already have on hand or can source for free. You Are an Artist brings together more than 50 assignments gathered from some of the most innovative creators working today, including Sonya Clark, Michelle Grabner, The Guerrilla Girls, Fritz Haeg, Pablo Helguera, Nina Katchadourian, Toyin Ojih Odutola, J. Morgan Puett, Dread Scott, Alec Soth, Gillian Wearing, and many others.

30 review for You Are an Artist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I'm really excited to read this! I recently discovered The Art Assignment channel on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/theartas... ) and all of the videos have been very thought-provoking and well-crafted. Thinking about art and making art has become more important to me lately. I have expanded my 'art horizons' to include more than just reading and thinking about novels (I still love books though, I've just been looking for stories in other places too). Maybe this book will change the way I I'm really excited to read this! I recently discovered The Art Assignment channel on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/theartas... ) and all of the videos have been very thought-provoking and well-crafted. Thinking about art and making art has become more important to me lately. I have expanded my 'art horizons' to include more than just reading and thinking about novels (I still love books though, I've just been looking for stories in other places too). Maybe this book will change the way I look at the world and encourage me to pay attention to the beauty around me. I look forward to finding out.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    I listened to this as an audiobook, but it seems like it would have been better in print form. For example, getting verbal directions on how to make a rug isn’t as easy as seeing the directions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I really enjoyed reading about different artists and different types of art that I would definitely never have heard about. This is a very approachable book for non-artists (although, according to the title, those don't exist). I haven't done any of the prompts in the book yet, but there are several that I think I will be trying, and even though I haven't done them, there are several that have caused me to look at the world a different way.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    FTC disclosure: I would like to thank Penguin Press UK for providing me with an advance reader copy via access to the galley for free through the NetGalley program. This was such a fantastic book! I’d recommend it to anyone, any age. It would make a great gift. Especially during these times of staying at home, for homeschool parents, teachers, as well any individual experiencing creative blocks within any type of media, anyone looking to exercise their artistic mind and skills, really anyone who FTC disclosure: I would like to thank Penguin Press UK for providing me with an advance reader copy via access to the galley for free through the NetGalley program. This was such a fantastic book! I’d recommend it to anyone, any age. It would make a great gift. Especially during these times of staying at home, for homeschool parents, teachers, as well any individual experiencing creative blocks within any type of media, anyone looking to exercise their artistic mind and skills, really anyone who wants to tap into an expression of themselves through art, whether you're feeling super creative or going through a creative block, even a dry spell. As far as content was concerned, it was out of the box, almost quirky, sometimes the bizarre, the peculiar, the types of art and art exercises I wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to make or decorate my house with or be typically drawn to. With that said; however, the art exercises focused on the actual doing of challenges, rather than an in-depth review of art interpretation which I think was unique to the world of art books and one that I definitely could use more time learning to appreciate and enjoy. And I had a blast doing them! I found the projects in this book bringing out my imagination, much more hidden and less explored areas of my art perspective and a great creative outlet for my life in general. I should also mention, and it was a real plus to the projects contained in this book, that you wouldn't have to go out and buy tons of art supplies to complete the projects. You can pretty much use any items you'd typically find in any junk drawer in the kitchen. Paper, scissors, pen/pencil, and also easily use your phone for any of the photo activities. The activities brought out ideas, rich sentiment, variations of emotion, which would otherwise be unexpressed. Some of the more unconventional projects contained in this book, combined with the background of select artists, made each exercise thoroughly enjoyable, insightful, and stimulated my mind. I enjoyed the facts about each artist who was mentioned. Somewhat of an encyclopedia-type approach, such as demographical data, like when and where they were born, but it did not discuss their influences, accomplishments, or personal/artistic challenges in-depth. Which was fine. Perhaps we will see some of this in a subsequent book, which would be awesome, along with some of the psychology behind the routes toward finding self-creativity/reflection for those who may want to explore personal style and what types of media may express or suit an artist’s voice in the way they’d like to achieve. Or which ones would be the best exercises for certain people to do on more than one occasion and how to vary them to bring out even more of the elements behind the reasoning of including them in the book. I hope you get to check out this wonderfully fun book! You can see some of the exercises I did on my website and I will be adding more over time. Be sure to share which ones you did in the comments, I’d love to see your project creations!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Duckpondwithoutducks

    This art book includes 50+ accessible art assignments for the reader to complete. Along the way, the reader learns about various art concepts and about many contemporary artists. It also reinforces that art is not just drawings or paintings or sculptures by famous people in a museum, but art is in creation and performance by anyone. It has inspired me to want to do a bunch of these art assignments!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Ok, I borrowed this book from the library. Now I must go and buy myself a copy to treasure. You not only get wonderful prompts for creativity but also a good dose of art history. Assignments vary..... relate a musical score, picture time, create a nonsensical flyer..... wow. Jumpstart my creativity, why don’t you? Also... check out the you tube channel, The Art Assignment. Wonderful!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Allison Janicki

    I read this all the way through first—now I’m excited to go back through and do some projects.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rea Scott

    Thank you, Sarah, for making art and art making simultaneously infinite and attainable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    In You Are an Artist, over fifty artists from around the world share their creative techniques, and give you brilliantly imaginative exercises to inspire you to make your own art. I feel like, as I am currently in lockdown, this book is a perfect purchase for right now as it allows you to use what you have and create something new. I took some time to review this book as I wanted to use it for it’s purpose, and honestly this book and it’s different activities and ideas will keep you busy. I find In You Are an Artist, over fifty artists from around the world share their creative techniques, and give you brilliantly imaginative exercises to inspire you to make your own art. I feel like, as I am currently in lockdown, this book is a perfect purchase for right now as it allows you to use what you have and create something new. I took some time to review this book as I wanted to use it for it’s purpose, and honestly this book and it’s different activities and ideas will keep you busy. I find the range of easy to difficult they are really good, nothing is too complicated and can be done if you are in lockdown currently on your exercise time for example if it needs to be done outside. I am working on a rug right now based on one of the projects in this book and my sister who I did a lot of these ideas with has been enjoying the photography projects, especially ideas like ‘The Muster’ that appear in the book. This book has filled my time and kept my mind busy from the world outside and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs right now a little creativity in their lives as this book is packed with new ideas that can be adapted for any age really in my opinion as this book is written in really eloquent way and helps you understand new artistic ideas. (I received an ARC from Netgalley for honest review).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    A combination (recent) art history and art course. Each chapter features one current artist, briefly discussing their art, how its created, and the thought process behind it, before challenging the reader to create something from a similar thought process. The artists are varied, and so are the products. If you did every challenge in this book, you'd have an eclectic mix of drawn, painted, sculpted, constructed, photographed, and filmed work. The instructions are both clear and filled with encou A combination (recent) art history and art course. Each chapter features one current artist, briefly discussing their art, how its created, and the thought process behind it, before challenging the reader to create something from a similar thought process. The artists are varied, and so are the products. If you did every challenge in this book, you'd have an eclectic mix of drawn, painted, sculpted, constructed, photographed, and filmed work. The instructions are both clear and filled with encouragements to go off the rails in creative ways. I can see this working really well for anybody interested in expanding their creativity. Even if you don't do every challenge in this book, or even physically create anything at all, you'll still have spent time seriously considering your own creative potential, and that's always worthwhile.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Neelam Babul

    An enlightening book that contains over fifty (50) accessible art assignments for the reader to complete. The reader also learns about various art concepts and features many contemporary artists who have a unique way of creating art and carrying out creative projects. It also reinforces that art is not just drawings or paintings by well known and influential artists or those pieces hung in a museum. It reaffirms and highlights the fact that art is in creation and performance by anyone. This book An enlightening book that contains over fifty (50) accessible art assignments for the reader to complete. The reader also learns about various art concepts and features many contemporary artists who have a unique way of creating art and carrying out creative projects. It also reinforces that art is not just drawings or paintings by well known and influential artists or those pieces hung in a museum. It reaffirms and highlights the fact that art is in creation and performance by anyone. This book has inspired me to want to do a bunch of these art assignments and I have a list of ones I want to start working on immediately.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I sometimes have trouble being conceptual with art and I’m an Art Teacher. This book has many art prompts that can be done by any one of any age with few materials and they really make the reader think conceptually in a way that is connected to them personally. I may use a few of these prompts for digital learning if corona continues into the fall and I’ve thought of many in person one class activities I could do with students that would be engaging. I know this book is not intended for art teac I sometimes have trouble being conceptual with art and I’m an Art Teacher. This book has many art prompts that can be done by any one of any age with few materials and they really make the reader think conceptually in a way that is connected to them personally. I may use a few of these prompts for digital learning if corona continues into the fall and I’ve thought of many in person one class activities I could do with students that would be engaging. I know this book is not intended for art teachers but I think these ideas are new exciting and interesting and that’s what I’m trying to create-an art class that is all of those things!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    A wonderful and particularly appropriate book to be released right now! The book is written by by Sarah Urist Green, a curator and host of the PBS Digital show, The Art Assignment. It is a fantastic expansion to The Art Assignment universe. Anyone with a creative bone in their body or who are just a lover of creativity, art, and creative thinking will absolutely enjoy this book. Yep, I highly recommend a bit on this one. And, if you haven't seen the program yet, I highly recommend that you seek A wonderful and particularly appropriate book to be released right now! The book is written by by Sarah Urist Green, a curator and host of the PBS Digital show, The Art Assignment. It is a fantastic expansion to The Art Assignment universe. Anyone with a creative bone in their body or who are just a lover of creativity, art, and creative thinking will absolutely enjoy this book. Yep, I highly recommend a bit on this one. And, if you haven't seen the program yet, I highly recommend that you seek it out on YouTube and get your binge on! Everett

  14. 4 out of 5

    Henry Haggard

    This is the *perfect* quarantine book, and I mean that figuratively too. If you're ever stuck somewhere (creatively, or just in general) I recommend this book highly. I went into it thinking it would just be about painting and drawing, but boy was I wrong! I did one of the prompts when I was on a hike! And besides, I'm tired of art books being about dudes who died a hundred years ago. *And* it's nice to see a change in format. This is a book about me, the reader, as you could probably tell from This is the *perfect* quarantine book, and I mean that figuratively too. If you're ever stuck somewhere (creatively, or just in general) I recommend this book highly. I went into it thinking it would just be about painting and drawing, but boy was I wrong! I did one of the prompts when I was on a hike! And besides, I'm tired of art books being about dudes who died a hundred years ago. *And* it's nice to see a change in format. This is a book about me, the reader, as you could probably tell from the title, so it is written in a way that keeps you Doing, and not just Viewing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Thank you NetGalley and publishers of a preview of this book. It was really interesting reading about art history and impact on women artists. I am slightly curious to read more. I did appreciate examples of art images that went along with the story being told.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    A very nice art history and project book. The pictures that accompany the text is well done. I would recommend this book to my Advanced Art students in High School to get them to think boarder about their art.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Helen Leighton-Rose

    Fabulous book with numerous exercises to dip into, follow the book, or pick a random page. Many artists from around the world have contributed ideas to trigger art explorations using simple tools that can be undertaken indoors and out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wolfe

    Really wonderful! I got it as an ebook from the library during quarantine but I want to buy a copy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Unique concept for a book. As one to whom art seems a foreign language at times, the stories and projects were very approachable and attainable.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Godsway A

    I hope

  21. 4 out of 5

    Roxana Probably

    I really enjoyed the book. The assignments gave me a better sense of what art can be, and as cheesy as it sounds, it can be inspirational for a day to day life.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sena Arlandson

    I loved this book. It really made me look at art differently and consider what makes someone an “artist”. I loved the audiobook too, it is narrated by Sarah which I appreciated.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Koda

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vassiki Chauhan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abby

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Peters

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dalart

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