December reading

By Tiia van Lokven|December 30, 2016Books|0 comments

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I’ve been on a bit of a reading spree this month. I’ve enjoyed these books quite a bit, so I thought, hey, why wouldn’t I make a post on my blog?

I do read quite a bit, but mostly on my e-reader, and that wouldn’t make such a great picture at all. There is something special about getting to hold a book in your hands, sliding it into the bookshelf or plopping it down on your coffee table where it simply invites a discussion. Not so much with e-books!

George B. Bridgman – Constructive Anatomy

Anatomy is not a fun subject (for me), and so I’ve only been gently prodding at this book (alongside the fact I was too sick to concentrate for even 15 minutes for the better part of the past 7 days).  But it’s an important one, so I’m making an effort to cross the bridge (hah, do you see what I did there) half way, and to really get a grasp of this ‘human body’ thing.

This book is not huge. It’s actually quite unassuming, but once opened you’ll find quite a few sketches as well as brief descriptions of bones and muscles and how it all functions together.

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This book doesn’t make me want to run away screaming for mommy, like a lot of other anatomy content does. 170 pages is very doable, as tightly packed as it is. I’m going to try and tackle this book one subject/chapter at a time and doing some paintovers of figure drawing pictures, drawing where the muscles would be going, and sloooooowly getting the hang of this.

Austin Kleon – Steal Like an Artist

The title of this book sounds SO hacky. It’s like he’s encouraging us to be even worse than art thieves on the internet tend to be and make some kind of a show out of it. The word “steal” has such a negative connotation I’m pretty sure the title of this book was the topic of discussion MANY TIMES as Austin Kleon was writing it. Holy crap.

But this is not what this book is about – in a sense.

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You know how we’re inspired by everything around us, and no idea is truly unique? Yeah, that is the gist of it, but there is so much more in here. “Stealing” is being put in perspective in such a way that people like me (who would hate to think that I ever copied anything off anyone) will do a massive facepalm and ask themselves what the hell they’re doing.

This is a great mood-lifter book. Much recommended.

David Bayles & Ted Orland – Art & Fear

Out of all the books in this pile, this one is the most profound. So many deep thoughts and observations. Pity the book’s age shows – I didn’t really get most of the references they used, and the language is just too ornery for me to enjoy. The first half of the book I simply devoured, the second half… well, I didn’t exactly finish. Maybe this book is one of the ones that requires a few read-throughs to become easier to understand? Not sure.

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That quote makes me think of Pocahontas.

I still need to give this book another go, preferably with a notebook next to me so I can sort out these profound thoughts for myself. If I were the book-defiling type, I might even go to town with a highlighter to try and pluck out the most relevant things for myself, but I’m not.

Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic

This book, out of all these books on this pile, resonated with me the most. Simply but wittily written, this book zips between motherly advice and pseudoscience of the highest order. However, after picking it up, I simply couldn’t put it down until I was finished with it. It’s simply delightful. Right up my alley.

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I related so much to the things she wrote in this book, and was simultaneously humbled at the pure energy and perseverance of this lady (she needs to teach me how to deal with rejection, since she is a grandmaster at this…).

She is someone I need to try and strive to imitate in my artistic endeavors. More happy and relaxed, less martyrdom, negativity and general angst (trust me, I have plenty of that stuff going on when trying to create stuff!). After looking at some of my favourite artists on YouTube, it struck me… I like watching the positive ones a lot better, too. They just inspire me to create.

On the other hand, I follow a few great artists on Twitter who seem to only complain every time they post something, and that only brings me down. Which is a pity, because I like their art, but maybe I am better off admiring their stuff from afar and cutting all that drama out of the equation.


And so, the year is slowly drawing to a close. I’m not going to make another year-end-list because time simply doesn’t allow for it, but I am considering on making a “to do this year” list in January. That could be nice.

There is still so much to do for me this upcoming year. I will officially enter the hell that is finding a games industry internship, while struggling with “am I an artist or am I more of a producer” type questions… and draw. Keep on drawing. Enjoy my creativity, no matter what will happen.

Hope you, my dear reader, have had a great year – and that the new year will bring more good things your way. If you’re applying to IGAD, I’ll be crossing my fingers for you. 🙂

See you next year!

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