As the owner of a book and art shop when I was contacted by Kate from Search Press with the opportunity of reviewing some new art & craft books I of course said yes. Here at Betty's Books and Devon Art Supplies we stock a large range of arts and crafts related titles. I would go so far as to say one of the largest selections available in the South West (for an indie store) so i'm always on the look out for interesting titles to add to the collection.
I was really excited to receive this particular book 'Draw yourself calm by Amy Maricle' because it encourages everyone to get creative, you don't need any prior experience. I often speak with people in store who want to try something creative but don't feel confident enough and worry that what they create won't be 'good enough'. This particular style of art is a great place to start. Though this book is called 'Draw yourself calm' it is not about drawing detailed pictures, it is instead encouraging you to take part in what the author calls 'Slow drawing' which I would say is like mark making, similar to doodling or Zen tangling in a way. Mark Making is one of the most basic forms of art, which we are encouraged to do from a very young age, as soon as our little hands can hold a pencil we begin the journey. Unfortunately a lot of us as we get older forget that mark making can be fun, and as this book points out, therapeutic, and so we don't do it enough. It is something that all ages can do and enjoy. I love that this book is encouraging us to get back into it in a new mindful way.
I had a go on some scrap paper whist on my work break, it is so true that this form of drawing is calming and relaxing. I used inspiration from two different patterns Exhale on page 58 & Wander on page 132
Another great thing about the activities included in this book is that they require a limited number of materials, so even those on a tight budget can have a go at them. If you have a pen and some scraps of paper you can give them a go. If you want to take your artwork up a notch then you could choose to invest in some of the recommended art materials detailed in the book.
The author, Amy Maricle, is a qualified art therapist who is keen to promote mindfulness throughout the book so it has some great information on how taking part in the activities will help you de-stress and keep calm. There is a combination of full step by step activities and some guided suggested patterns to have a go at. There are plenty of photos and example pieces to inspire you too. At the end of the book the author even gives you some tips and ideas on what you could do with your finished 'Slow Drawings' artwork which I think is fantastic.
If you are totally new to art but want to give it a go, especially drawing of any kind, then I would recommend this book as a great starting point. You can take the skills you learn from it and progress on to more detailed drawings from these great basic skills. If you are looking for a book that will reignite your creative spark then again I think this book would be good. It takes you right back to basics and gets you to open up your mind and be free with your mark making which essentially the start of all art.
Thank you to Kate Luxton of Search Press for sending me this copy of Draw Yourself Calm in exchange for an honest review.
I will be filming a You Tube review of this book next week and so will add a link here to it once it goes live.