Review of My Artist’s Way Toolkit
This was the second one to come along of interest to me and I jumped at it. You must be fast ladies! These campaigns fill up quickly. I have a little confession… I am pretty new to blogging and writing and come from the visual arts world, so I am little naive to things most veterans probably know all about. I assumed The Artists Way was for visual artists. I had even been meaning to check out the book. My assumption was not correct but also not exactly incorrect.
What is it?
My Artist’s Way Toolkit is an online subscription service based on the very popular Julia Cameron book The Artist’s Way. And like the book, it is a self guided program with assigned activities called Artist’s Dates and written weekly exercises. It also requires daily stream of consciousness writing. The content comes in the form of daily quotes, creative affirmations, and creative soundbites (which are approximately 5 to 15 minute long audio clips) all aimed at taking you along a spiritual path and bringing out the artist within.
My experience using it…
While you can include imagery in your online Artist’s Way Toolkit journal, the primary vehicle for this artistic process is writing. I feel like my biggest take away has been a re-calibrating of my assumptions about The Artist’s Way! Another assumption was that it was for self improvement but upon reflection it seems more about getting unstuck. In fact at times I felt like it brought out issues that hadn’t been problems for me before! My assumption that it was for visual artists was not completely incorrect because the process can really be applied to your thinking about any number of creative pursuits. And it turned out to be good for me to work in words. As a blogger, writing is kind of important! I was hoping this program could inspire blog posts, maybe even big picture blog stuff and it definitely has. Last week I started a mini-course of my own, intended to help migrate my artistic style towards something looser, inspired by one of the creative exercises. Artist’s Dates proved to be exceptionally valuable activities for me. The assignment of going to a second hand store yielded a powerful (to me anyway) and descriptive list of words which I
may did turn into a blog post and another brought back vivid childhood memories and feelings.
Another aspect of this program that I wasn’t expecting was the spiritual one. I consider myself a believer and spiritual person but I must admit that often this content went over my cluttered mom head.
A few ways I think it could be better…
- It would be nice if the creative notes which are post-it note style notes, you can collect in your journal, were downloadable like the rest of your journal.
- I wish the creative soundbites were also available in written version for setting my own pace.
- It would be nice it the site didn’t log you out as often as it does so you could add to it throughout the day.
Overall I found Artist’s Way Toolkit to be very valuable to me in moving my big and little creative aspirations for Doodles and Jots (my main personal mode of self expression) forward. I would like to see my visuals and writing more as intertwined parts of my creative content and the Artist’s Way Toolkit, while not exactly what I expected or might have been looking for, worked to push me in that direction! I would definitely recommend it to other bloggers as well as other creative types. I hope my post has helped you get a better idea of what it is all about! Oh and thanks Blogher and Julia Cameron for this fun opportunity to check it out!
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Best wishes to all my fellow artists!
Disclosure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.