On My Artist’s Way

I have been eager to participate in a Blogher Book Club campaign since I have known about them and been eligible.  It’s paid book club and a professional blog assignment, so exciting!

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.

Conclusion…  

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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For more on My Artist’s Way Toolkit visit Blogher‘s main hub for this campaign where you can hear what others thought about it.  I am very curious to see myself!

Best wishes to all my fellow artists!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Ann

I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.

10 comments

    • It was a big commitment! If I wasn’t so busy I would definitely keep it up for the full 12 weeks. I still might try.

  1. How interesting to get a behind-the-scenes peek into the professional side of blogging and a bit about that artistic tool. I’ve been blogging for years, but not at all professionally, and I’m sure I would have had the same assumptions going into this that you did. So don’t be too hard on yourself!! Your words are good and interesting! So is your art! :)

    • Thanks! I really appreciate the encouragement and try to share what I think others will be curious about.

  2. I’m so glad you got some exposure to The Artist’s Way through this Toolkit! I did the program years ago and so many of its lessons and exercises stayed with me for a long time. The morning pages (the writing) were so, so helpful to me in allowing me to get a whole lot of stuff off my chest the moment I woke up. Even now, on the rare occasion when I am out and about without a child in tow, I still soak it all up as if it is an artist’s date. It’s a really interesting process.

    I don’t know if you ever saw the post I did on my experience doing The Artist’s Way (I wrote the post before we “met”), but here’s the link if you want to check it out. http://bloggingcornerblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/doing-artists-way.html

    I love the posts you do using your graphic artist skills. They are what attracted me to your blog at first (but I stayed for your wit). I hope you are inspired to show us more and more (when you have the time)! xoxo
    Tiffanie recently posted..round up: easing into easyMy Profile

    • I am sure I will and thanks for telling me what you like about my blog! Thanks for adding your perspective on The Artist’s Way and your link. I think it will be very interesting for reading to hear about the analog version and me – looking forward to taking a peek!

  3. I own this book, and years ago I actually tried to follow the program. I never followed through all the way though. I really ought to give it a try again now that I am blogging, because I do want to improve my writing more. I used the book to get unstuck for my visual art, but I think the writing focus of the book might be beneficial to me where I am in life now.
    Krista recently posted..Buggle FoodMy Profile

    • It really seems like you can use it the way you want and benefit. It is time consuming follow along exactly!

  4. Ann,
    What a coincidence! I recently got the Artists’s way book and the rest of the set – the workbook and the DVD. But, I didn’t know about the online tool kit. Sounds interesting. I haven’t started the book yet but have read and heard so much about it. Am going to start reading the book soon…

    I hope the tool kit continues to unravel to you those aspects of your creative side that you had not known until now. It’s always good to get a nudge… :-)
    Rashmie @ Mommy Labs recently posted..Indoor Obstacle Course: Value of Big Body Play for KidsMy Profile

    • It has been a valuable experience and in an unexpected way. That is great you are going to try it too! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

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