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A White Belt in Art Paperback – November 7, 2017
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John Vorhaus first came to my attention because of his gift of words, now with his book A WHITE BELT IN ART he takes us into his personal journey of creating, hitting that proverbial brick wall and then discovering a new outlet for his creativity. That is really the fun of this book, seeing someone who you respect discover another aspect of their "voice" and sharing that with the rest of us.
In the book he addresses the fear and apprehension that all Creatives contend with and also the thought that in some ways the "second act" of his creativity might be as enjoyable as the first! The big takeaway for me in this book is that no matter how good you think you are (or aren't), the important thing is to not allow that to stop you from doing what you love. Again, I think that creating is just in us. What a shame it would be not to do something just because we don't know how it will be perceived. As John says, the important thing is that you're happy. And if you are happy and others just happen to find some happiness in it too, then there is no way you can ever lose.
As a creative myself, I was particularly moved by this nugget in the book:
"If your goal is to feel real good about your art, then it helps to know what makes you feel good. Experiment, sure. Explore, sure. Try anything, sure; grant yourself that freedom. But don’t neglect your nature. The work that will satisfy you most is the work that most harmonizes with your true self."
Such great advice for anyone pursuing satisfying work in ANY type of field! He is honest about not creating art that unsettles him or doesn't bring him some measure of joy, and while it's not a how-to book, he does offer myriad ways to think about yourself as an artist and how to pursue it with a perspective you may not have thought of.
So if you're considering dabbling in art, or any new pursuit that requires reflection, intention, or just plain motivation—or even if you're contemplating making a shift in your life—I think you'll find the morsels of wisdom in this book invitingly relevant. And if you love imaginative tongue-in-cheek humor and interesting perspectives, his inventive artwork sprinkled throughout will be a treat!