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Cultivating Your Creative Life: Exercises, Activities, and Inspiration for Finding Balance, Beauty, and Success as an Artist Paperback – July 1, 2012


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Cultivating Your Creative Life: Exercises, Activities, and Inspiration for Finding Balance, Beauty, and Success as an Artist + Brave Intuitive Painting-Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold!: Techniques for Uncovering Your Own Unique Painting Style + Daring Adventures in Paint: Find Your Flow, Trust Your Path, and Discover Your Authentic Voice-Techniques for Painting, Sketching, and Mixed Media
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books; Csm edition (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592537863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592537860
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alena Hennessy is an artist who has long been fascinated with nature and the outdoors. After art school, Alena did an independent study in Florence, Italy, where she began to get down to what she loved in art and in life: simplicity, stillness and a sense of little things relating to one another, all peaceful and quiet. Since that time, Alena focuses on what she loves best, making art and thoughtfully designed products available to people everywhere, everyday. She has created custom art and designs for Target, Urban Outfitters, ABC Studios, Galison/Mudpuppy, Papyrus, Monique Lllulier, Lark & Loon, and the City of Chapel Hill, among others.

Alena's work has been published in Dwell, Readymade, Redbook, Natural Health, The Washington Post, ME Home Companion, Victoria and numerous design blogs. Her paintings and wares can be found in numerous boutiques and galleries across the States and abroad. She has exhibited her paintings in such places as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Berkeley, Raleigh, Asheville, ChapelHill, Atlanta and Rochester, NH. Alena is a practitioner in plant spirit medicine, yoga and energy healing. She teaches workshops in museums and artcenters on the creative process, yoga, movement and manifestation. She currently resides in Asheville, NC. Visit her online at http://www.alenahennessy.com.


More About the Author

It started long ago, this fascination that Alena had for all the little things that she could find outside. She and her childhood friends would romp around from sunrise to sunset, creating little worlds of creatures and plant life that would come to life through their illustrations and paintings. Today Alena does what she loves best, living life as a working artist, author, and teacher. She is deeply inspired to teach others the creative process and to find their own unique voice though art making. Alena is also a Reiki Master and certified Flower Essence practitioner, who also has a passion for holistic healing in its many forms.

Alena Hennessy has designed and created custom art for numerous business entities. Some current and past clients include: ABC Studios, Target, Urban Outfitters, Galison/Mudpuppy Stationary, Project Iris, Papyrus, Monique Lllulier, Lark & Loon, the City of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Her prints and gift-wares can be found through out the US and abroad. She has exhibited her paintings in galleries in major cities though out the United States and has received press from several publications including Dwell, Soul/Body Connection, The Washington Post, ReadyMade, Redbook, ME Home Companion,Victoria, and Natural Health magazine.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to anyone who seeks creativity or inspiration.
Sam Jones
I picked up this book and it was as much a work of art as it is a lesson in loving yourself, trusting your creative soul and allowing the artist within to emerge.
TerraSavvy
The quotes and photographs inspire~they are mixed throughout this gem, along with Alena's own beautiful works of art.
snowdesigns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Teri Simonds on June 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Cultivating Your Creative Life" is a must-have for anyone who wants to dive deep to find their creative self. Lushly illustrated and sensitively written, this book steps the reader through finding and releasing thoughts and habits that stifle creativity, finding inspiration from nature, the necessity of self-care (herbal lore, flower essences, and yoga and breathing exercises), and what needs to be done to manifest creativity. Each chapter has exercises for the reader to do, from journaling to intuitive drawing to creating flower essences. For those who are professional artists (or for those who aspire to be professional artists), each chapter closes with a "Tip of the Trade."

I have not done any "art" since I was in elementary school and have always been intimidated by color and art supplies. However, Alena and her book have inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and play with india inks, gel pens, acrylics, and colored pencils. This act of creating has changed the way I look at the world and it has changed my perception of myself.

It is truly a gift of the soul.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mindy L. Lacefield on June 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cultivating your Creative Life is one of my favorite art books ever! Not only is it visually stunning but she encourages you to find that something inside of you that is aching to get out. I truly believe that art is an outward expression of the soul. The book is chock-full of ideas and prompts to take you further in your artistic journey. She invites you to slow down a bit.... to coax your inspirations and let them evolve. By doing so, the true, higher self can work its magic.
And I ADORE the project ideas....so unique and full of life!

Do your creative self a favor and read this book. I know I will continue to pick this book up over and over again to become inspired and remember to Balance.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By One Reviewer on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "Cultivating Your Creative Life," the author takes a new age approach in decluttering, de-stressing and exploring your inner self, workspace and environment. I was hoping for more practical creative techniques and hands-on art-related excercises. After having reviewed the "Look Inside the Book" feature, I was drawn to the author's art and style. I found Alena Hennessy's artwork to be quite lovely and enjoyable to rest my eyes on, she definitely has a distinct voice in her art that is pleasant and interesting to me.

However, I was a bit sad to find less actual art techniques and found several pages where space is taken up to journal and draw within boxes. Since the table of contents did list such things such as "Herbal Lore" and "Breathing Deep"--that should have clued me in to the fact that this was more geared toward self-reflection and balancing oneself as a person/artist than actual physical (step by step) techniques/exercises in various art mediums. Because I already have several books in my library that expound on herbal medicine as well has spiritual (Christian) wellness, much of this wasn't very useful to me personally, but, in all fairness, not the author's fault, therefore does not factor in to my rating.

The only reason why I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5, is because of the amount/frequency of space taken up on pages with lines for journaling and boxes for sketching/drawing. She has a friendly writing style, and I would have liked to read more of her words rather than have that potential space given over to lines and boxes. I am, however, quite happy to have discovered this talented artist, and will be looking for other (more technique-related) books by her as well as more examples of her creative art.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JR on June 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is fun. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then Alena succeeds in creating a literary composition that speaks volumes - But Alena not only graces her book with original artwork but leads the reader on a fun journey of creative wisdom and activities to help us open and seek balance in our fast-paced lives. Inspirational stories and new perspectives allow one to RELAX and get in touch with a youthful openness again. Upliftedness. Cultivating Your Creative Life would be great for adults and teachers/counselors looking to tap into or help facilitate other adults or even young-adults in their creative and growing processes. Overwhelmingly awesome book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By snowdesigns on June 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Everything about Cultivating Your Creative Life invites you in: it's size, imagery and words. I have it on my bedside table~and it's the perfect book to pick up when you're needing a little bit of reflection or that little nudge to create. The quotes and photographs inspire~they are mixed throughout this gem, along with Alena's own beautiful works of art. Each page seems to have been carefully crafted, and every couple of pages, there is space for you to carefully or unabashedly put your pen to paper~to literally become a part of the process/of the book itself. Cultivating Your Creative Life achieves what most books are trying to do, to interact with the reader, and does so in such a thoughtful, authentic way. Alena Hennessy seems to have poured herself and her wisdom onto these pages and thus, inspires us to do the same in our lives. Here's to simplicity, honesty, and growing back to the point where we remember, that inside each of us, lives an artist.
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