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Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in art and life Paperback – March 5, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"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." - craftgossip.com
"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 shapingdestinythebook.com.
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Top customer reviews
Each chapter of the book begins with a brief, almost academic analysis of sculptural principles -- Allison is a sculptor as well as a novelist -- usually acting as a metaphor for the content that follows. It is an especially effective way of representing her progress, and it has the added purpose of teaching the reader about sculpture and the creative process in general. We learn about shapes and planes and how they project meaning, but we also see in vivid scenes how art and life are interrelated. All art is about emotion. The effective artist knows how to translate her emotions using the tangible elements of her medium, which, in this book, are the clay, wax, plaster, and the molten metal of sculpture. Allison also shows us how the effective artist has to dismantle her own work sometimes, when it is not telling the story she intends.
I'm not a habitual reader of memoirs because they so often seem either like pity parties or almost unbelievable horror stories, but this book reads as real-life experience without hyperbole or a tone of false suffering.
My only minor complaint is that I can't see the sculptures that Allison describes. I'm sure that ebook-quality images wouldn't do them justice, though, so I understand why Shaping Destiny isn't illustrated.
Destiny Allison mixed the art and becoming a woman perfectly. She showed us how passion drives us, how woman are who they want to be and really drove home what shapes our lives. Men, don't think you can't read this novel and learn a thing of two. The life lessons can still be understood and the story is phenomenal! The most impressive part about this novel is how she manages to teach and entertain in a way that isn't Chicken Soup for the Soul-ish, very obvious *life lessons* that make you feel like a bad person. The one thing I wish I could have from this book...is more! I hope that Destiny Allison continues writing and producing literary gems like this one. I am your new and loyal fan!!
-- HilyBee from Novel d'Tales
It is far more recently that we have come to practice art as a means of internal expression and discovery. This is where Destiny joins the conversation. In Shaping Destiny: A Quest for Meaning in Art and Life, Destiny Allison writes about art from the inside out. She relates with riveting details the reasons she sought out and began to engage in creative activities. It was a way to resolve contradictions and questions she had about herself. It was about how she loved and was loved, how she cared for and was compelled to care for her husband and her children. It was about her role in the world and how she saw herself and what she was missing about her self.
A powerful aspect of the book is Ms. Allison's huge, and sometimes even ugly, questions about the things that go on between men and women. Here we are solidly in the contemporary view that artistic expression is more a conversation we have with other human beings about who we all are and how to shape that, than about shaping the world we are born into. That is for her the intensely personal nature of her art. Through the art we create, we share ourselves.
I loved the contrast of the intellectual "Lesson" that preceded each chapter before Destiny's raw emotional voice was given full rein. This is a deep book, but there were enough revelations pertaining to family background and her tragically different parents to keep the book immensely readable. I cannot imagine a single creative person who would not enjoy (and benefit from) this book.