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Living Out Loud

I found a book I want to share.  A fun book.  An outrageous book.  It’s Keri Smith’s Living Out Loud: Activities to Fuel a Creative Life.  Don’t you just LOVE the title, by the way?  I do.

As the author states in her introduction (by the way, you can find her blog here), “my favorite books are those that make me burst with energy and inspire me to drop everything and get down onto the floor and fearlessly create for hours.  Living Out Loud is a “to do” book, not a “how to” book.  I hope it will encourage you to play, and to face the fears that hold you back.”

And I’m happy to say, personally, that people of all ages can do these activities!  They’re easy and inexpensive.  A lot of them are free.

[Are you looking for ideas for your classroom?]

I’ll give you an example, which I’m planning on “inflicting” (not really) on Liliana.  It’s called The Finder.

“Charles and Ray Eames praised the use of a finder in their teachings.  A finder is a small piece of cardboard (about three-by-four inches) with a one-inch-square hole cut out of the middle.  Viewing the world through this hole forces you to lose context and content, and to greatly shift your perception.  The finder allows you to focus on small sections and negative space.  It also singles out color and isolates pattern.

[Photo credit: from Living Out Loud by Keri Smith]

“Make a finder and place it on a stack of magazines.  Cut through as many layers as you can with an X-Acto knife.  Sort through the pieces, picking out the ones you like.  Look at the shapes you’ve created by accident.  Use the cut-out squares as reference for other projects or to create new ideas, concepts, and compositions.

“Take the finder with you on a walk.  Look at familiar places with a new eye.  In your sketchbook, sketch out what you see.  What do you notice that you didn’t see before?”

I love any idea that causes you to look at something differently.  What a deceptively simple concept.

It’s not the only one.  Smith’s book is chockfull of them–highlighted by her whimsical illustrations.  You won’t be sorry you checked this book out.

[Post image: Partial of Keri Smith’s Living Out Loud cover]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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