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Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in art and life Paperback – March 5, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468077333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468077339
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,986,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Allison did a superb job of pouring her heart and soul onto the page and creating an inspiring volume that bridges sculpture to other creative arts and life in general." - Story Circle Book Reviews

"Allison is an engaging and passionate writer whose words pull you into and through the story." -

"Allison pulls off a titillating combination of Eat, Pray, Love meets Art & Fear. We easily follow the evolution of her life and art, as she moves harmoniously between heartfelt emotion and mental clarity. The conscious parallels between the relationships in art and life she brings into view in Shaping Destiny click with my own truth that art reflects life and vice versa. Kudos to Allison for originality and brilliance." - Nancy Reyner, best selling author of Acrylic Revolution

From the Author

Writing Shaping Destiny was a cathartic experience for me. It took over ten years to complete. During countless revisions as I pared the book to its current size, I reexamined my life in detail. What I learned was that my life is my greatest work of art and that the creative process is about understanding who I am.

It is my sincere hope that Shaping Destiny will help readers on their own journeys to self-actualization. I didn't mince words when I described my experiences so that readers will be able to compare their lives to mine and possibly share similar discoveries.

Each of us is taught who we are supposed to be. It is our responsibility to determine who we actually are and create the life we want to live. Being passionate about something, and committing to that passion -- whether it is for art or literature, gardening or running -- is what helps us along that path.

If you would like to join me as I continue to investigate and explore the things that inspire me, please visit my book blog at

More About the Author

Destiny Allison writes books that stay with you long after you've finished reading them. If you're looking for a good romance, a fast who done it, or a fun, sci-fi adventure,you might consider looking elsewhere. While Destiny loves to read them, she doesn't write them. Instead, she pulls the best elements from each, adds fresh ideas, raw emotions, and powerful imagery to create characters and stories you won't forget.

Allison is an award winning sculptor, businesswoman, and author. Last year, she published Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in art and life. The non-fiction work is a memoir. In it, Allison reveals the truth that life is art. Shaping Destiny was recently awarded 1st place in non-fiction/memoir in the 2013 Global Book Contest.

Pipe Dreams is her fiction debut. Stay tuned for the October release of BITTERROOT, the exciting sequel to Pipe Dreams.

More info at:
facebook: shapingdestiny
twitter: @sfsculptor

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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The one thing I wish I could have from this more!
I highly recommend reading this book, it's like taking a high potency vitamin for your soul!
Destiny Allison's compelling book is at its core the story of a woman finding her voice.
Christine Wagner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ted Orland on March 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Destiny Allison has written a wonderful (!) book about the interaction of life and art, and the lessons to be gained from both. While many books talk about how and why art gets made, precious few draw the line between life and art with such unflinching autobiographical honesty.
"Shaping Destiny" is not a book about freeing your inner child or talking to the angels sitting on your shoulder; it's about the gritty day-to-day struggle to carve out a life in the arts in the face of -- well, of everything the world drops into your lap uninvited. In drawing larger truths from the particulars of her own life, investing those truths into her art, and then relating that voyage of discovery to the rest of us with clarity and authenticity, Destiny Allison shares common ground with writers like Anne Lamott and Annie Dillard. This is no small accomplishment!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Nelson on March 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had the opportunity to read this book before it was edited, and thankfully not much has been changed. To say I was riveted right from the beginning would be accurate, as I read this account of Destiny Allison's honest and earnest pursuit of self-realization through her art. At a very young age, with the responsibility of three young children to raise, she felt a growing resolve to be an artist. She discovered a fine courage within herself to do what it took to create that life through facing her fears, painful decisions, hardships, and even some cultural backlash for honoring her own needs within the context of being a mother. "Shaping Destiny" is a particular artist's story, yet its layout as a path to self-transformation is universal.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Theoden Humphrey VINE VOICE on August 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Here's the problem with this book: it's only half of the story. And it isn't the good half.

Destiny Allison is an artist, a sculptor; unusually, she is apparently a successful one (I do not speak from my own knowledge there, as I am not in the art world), and even more unusually, she is essentially self-taught. That's an interesting story: how does one become a sculptor? What path does one follow, where gain experience and how gain knowledge of the techniques and basic concepts, if one does not study in a standard academic setting, or even take on some kind of apprenticeship?

Unfortunately, this book doesn't tell that story. Oh, it shows plenty about the turmoil of becoming an artist, the self-doubt and the constant questioning of motive and ability and intention and goal and worth, but it doesn't give a whole lot of How. Which is interesting, since one of the actual insights in this book that struck me was when Allison said that her life had been a struggle dealing with the question of Why she lived the way she did, when it should have focused on How she lived, and let the why sort itself out. I wish she had done the same with her autobiography.

Here's another interesting story: how one comes from a childhood dominated by a father figure who may be an alcoholic, may be a failed artist, may be a real-world philosopher, may be abusive, may be an adulterer, and who may have died horribly, in a way that couldn't help but traumatize a young and devoted daughter, and then from that childhood, a woman becomes a young wife and mother, and then from there, from a life almost entirely externally defined, one becomes an individual, and what's more -- an artist. A creative. That's an interesting story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
When I first bought his book I expected a simple mix of a life of an artist. It only took a page to find myself immersed in a raw journey quite aside from the journey of a sculptor; rather a beautifully written and profoundly expressed reflection of my own life's questions seen through the eyes of someone I have never met. What Destiny writes about is life, raw, unadulterated, brutally honest, haunting, and yet somehow poetic in the complex meanderings that brought out, for her, her true self, her passions, her career, a deep understanding of life and death and, perhaps more importantly, of motherhood. It is only after she has run full circle through her past, her pains, the loss of her father and grappling with an understanding of her own self-worth, that she ends in a place of optimistic peace, still taking on challenges, but without the tempest that had preceded it. At the end, it has become a dance.

I had to read this straight through. I could not put it down. What Destiny sees and feels in her art, I see and feel in music, words; what I observe when I hide in a corner and watch the world without the world seeing me. I was fixed to her brutal honesty, the raw pain conveyed without the cliched obscenities or graphic violence we expect of writers. Her words flowed smoothly, thoughts to actions to feelings to emotion, all the while tying the lessons to the threads of her art, her growth as an artist, told in tandem, each leading to the next lesson until she has fully emerged.

Life is pain with love sprinkled throughout. Or life is love with pain sprinkled throughout. There is a lot of sprinkling of both, along with hope and understanding. I highly recommend this book and look forward to her next one. And here I thought she was a sculptor!
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