The premise behind this is that you can make your art attractive and irresistible to viewers. The words “spiritual” and “empower” appear in the cover blurb.
It’s fair to assume, therefore, that this is a journey through the mind as much as a lesson in practical art. Get in touch with your inner self, discover your creative spirit and then channel it into projects that express what we might refer to as your inner soul. Yes, it’s very New Age and, honestly, something I struggle with. The opening section, for example, is mostly words and, if this fails to connect, you’d probably give up. That’s fair enough – not everything is for everyone, but you might think differently and that this is the best and most empowering thing you’ve read. If so, Barbara certainly has much to tell you.
The second half of the book is devoted to the projects the first half promised and this is where things get practical. It is also, unfortunately, where the book gets hard to use. There’s nothing wrong with the instruction, which is clear and well laid out, but there is a lack of breaks in the design to indicate where one section ends and the next begins. That may be the idea – that this is a journey that extends out in front of you in a continuous thread, but I think the general reader, used to more conventional layouts, will have trouble following. I’m also a bit concerned by the colour reproduction, which looks out of balance – if these are the irresistible creations the blurb promises, something has gone wrong, maybe with the magenta. Where the balances are right, you can see that Barbara is actually a very capable artist and her line work in a variety of drawing media is superb.
All-in-all, I feel a bit underwhelmed, but that this has considerable promise that’s let down by the lack of a designer and by the method of reproduction. For once, though, in a book that has a self-published feel, I don’t so much get the sense of the lack of an editor.
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