I read Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon

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Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic by Lisa Congdon is a book I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and it came to me at the perfect time as I started reading it the day after I set out on a journey to find my voice.

What to expect in the book

In the book Congdon includes interviews from prolific artists as well as her own input on the topic of how an artist should go about the elements of an artistic voice, advice for artists on how to find their voice, and loads of encouragement. Congdon also illustrated the whole book herself, and seeing her bright and colourful spot illustrations interspersed throughout the writing was a true delight for this Lisa Congdon fan.

Did I love it?

YES! This is a book I will revisit often, especially whenever I find myself stuck or questioning my work. It’s an easy quick read, and I’ve also highlighted the heck out of my ebook so I can quickly reference things that stood out to me whenever I want to quickly scan through.

My favourite takeaway

This book is packed with advice that can be practically applied. I think my favourite interview was with Martha Rich, another artist I’ve been a fan of for a while. She has found a way to make her weirdness successful, and one thing I’ve been jealous of is when an artist can successfully incorporate weirdness into their work.

My favourite part of the conversation with Martha was when she talked about how she’s managed to not pigeonhole herself into only doing one form of art. This has been a fear of mine for a while. I’m constantly flipping between fine artist and illustrator. Both are categories of art that I LOVE and I’ve felt that it was like trying to choose my favourite puppy when trying to decide which one I would pursue.

“It keeps me from being bored […] and it makes it so I’ve always got some sort of interesting new thing to do.”

Another thing that really struck me was when Rich spoke of using personal challenges as a way to continually grow her artistic voice. I have been artistic my whole life, but it was about 3 years ago that I started down this path of serious artistic pursuits and it all started with a 30-day art challenge!

“I give myself challenges, and that stuff is what changes you. If you’re always just relying on what you already know, that’s when you get stale.”

I’ve been feeling like week-old bread lately which is why I’m on this journey to find my voice in the first place! So after reading Rich’s interview I decided to take on a huge personal challenge to get myself over the fear I have of drawing on subject in particular: people. I’ll go into more detail about that challenge in a post later this week so stay tuned for that!

I chose Lisa Congdon as the subject of my first drawing of a person for my challenge. I have to work on capturing likeness when drawing portraits, but at least it does look like a human person!

I chose Lisa Congdon as the subject of my first drawing of a person for my challenge. I have to work on capturing likeness when drawing portraits, but at least it does look like a human person!

I rated this book five stars on Goodreads due to it’s re-readability, how much it inspired me, and how well executed the vision was.