Archive for the 'Books' Category

Book review: The creative entrepreneur

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered The Creative Entrepreneur book by Lisa Sonora Beam. I never had heard of her, but from all the good reviews she had from her book, I decided to give it a go and try it. I’m a book-lover, so money spent on book is never a bad thing for me. 😉

From the start, I really liked the visual of the book. I was afraid that, perhaps, there would be too much text, but no, there’s plenty of pictures and the guidelines are easy to understand. The images in the book are mostly made of other creative journals pages, of course. Which I found to be very inspiring. I love to read, but I like my craft books to lean on the visual side. 😉

An interesting page with two self-portraits

The author takes you step-by-step in the making of your creative entrepreneur journal. From the materials you will need, the reasons why you should make a creative journal for your business and she even explains each step of the process very clearly.

I’ve been very interested in art journals lately and their creative ventures. As I’ve been thinking about starting my own business for years now (Yes, years! *sigh*), I thought that this approach on the creative side would certainly help me get some things done and understand some of the “reasons” that stopped me from doing so.

A beautiful positive & negative page. I ♄ the butterfuly idea!

This book is defenetely for you if, like me, you’re trying to start a creative business but may be “stuck” somewhere. You may have other reasons as well as you are not sure if “busines and art” can go together. (A sensitive subject for many artists, from my experience.)
You also need to want to start a creative journal with a business goal, in mind. You need to be open-minded and patient as I don’t think such a journal can be filled in an afternoon. The author asks you deep and thought-provoking questions, which are not always easy to answer, but all of your answers may be very rich.


To help you getting started, here’s my own creative entrepreur journal that I recently started:

I went to my local arts & craft store, and bought a 8″X10″ small drawing journal with medium to thick paper as I want to paint in it. Oh, and it’s got 30% of recycled fibers, as well. So it’s all good with mother-nature. 😉

One thing I wish to do in the next year, is to finally focus on the things I really wish to do. So I did an entire page on this subject!
It says: “Focus on the things that’s important to your hearth.” Do you think my subconscious mind will finally get the message? 😉 I sure hope so!

That’s the interesting thing with The creative entrepreneur book, it’s that it opens doors to many thoughts that I’m keeping shut. While doing an exercice, I will often drift away and think about some other important issues I’ve been having. If I feel this is something that needs to be cared of, I will make a page about it to help me out.

Here are some links that you may find interesting to get more information about this book or to start your own creative journal:

Have you ever started a journal with this entrepreneur theme as a goal?
Is this something that interests or repulse you?
Let me know as I’d like to know if this is something that interests you or not.

Book review: The colored pencil by Bet Borgeson

I found this book on a blogger’s favorite books links, last week. I’m not too sure, but I think it’s Tracey. (Correct me if I’m wrong!)
I always love when bloggers shares their favorites books and/or ressources as it always leads me to some interesting discoveries. The colored pencil by Bet Borgeson is certainly one of them.

There is a lot of interesting explanations and text in this book. It shows that the author has a great knowledge of this medium and is willing to share all she knows about it. Even thought I have been using colored pencils since I was a kid, I found it very interesting to see this medium in a different way. I think I’ve been taking colored pencils for “granted” and should have really put more time into learning how to use them well.

Mmm... cholocates drawing made with colored pencil

This drawing had me almost drooling! Can you believe this was made -only- with colored pencils? No photoshop or whatsoever technology! Good ol’ pencils and a lot of patience.
Because that’s the thing with this medium, even thought it can give great results, it does require some time to get what you want. But they are up to it.  And when you think about it, doesn’t every medium requires some time before getting a result you like?

Bet Borgeson also shows some very interesting techniques and ways to use it while creating different effects. I love the part where she explains how the colored pencil is actually translucide, just like watercolors. For some reasons, it didn’t occured to me that I could work it in this way. To juxtapose different colors so I could get a new one. To actually think before taking that black pencil. Perhaps I could use different colors to do an even more interesting one. It opened a door  and made me think a lot about the medium.

It seems like Bet and I share a mutual love for black cats. 😉 It’s funny how all black cats looks the same! Big round and expressive eyes, this could almost be Morgane!

Now, here’s my take on it. I must say that this is a small about 3″ x 3″ drawing and that it is a first test.
This is a character I’ve made for a graphic novel story I’ve had this in mind for some time. I’m planning to finally start seriously and finish it, this year. I wish I had the time to make the entire comic in colored pencil, but I don’t think it will be possible with the time I have.
But I may just make some special prints. That, I could do. 🙂

Now that I wrote about this project, this will motivate me about actually doing it. Yep!  😉

Now, go grab that old colored pencil suitcase of yours you’ve had since high school and start exploring with it a little. And don’t forget to show us your work!

Ebook review: Crafty Tree Trimmings

It’s that time of the year again! I usually wouldn’t talk about a Christmas themed Ebook until, say, a few days. 😉
But this one is special because, not only is it made by awesomes crafters: Sister Diane, Susan Beal, Linda Permann, Katey Terry, Betz White and Patricia Zapata.
But also because part of the profits made on the ebook will go to Project Linus, a non-profit organization that delivers handmade blankets to childrens in need of a little comfort.

Why I love this crafty ebook:

  • Lots of quality images with the tutorials.
    It’s very easy to follow each steps as there are beautiful images that comes with it.
  • Originals projects.
    I love how each one of them is an original idea from each crafter. I love to try out different projects for Christmas crafting since, you know, it does come back each year. 😉
  • Patterns are included. 
    And this means you can just print the pattern from your computer and start your project right away. How cool!
  • List of ressources and materials.
    At the end of the ebook, you have a good list of online stores where you can find the materials for your projects.

Not to mention I see a lot of potential with theses projects to organize a Christmas craft party with friends &  family.  🙂

Interested in getting this ebook? It’s in Craftypod‘s shop, right here!.

Book review: Made from scratch

I recently read Jenna Woginrich’s Made from scratch book about her experience on having a small homestead farm and got absolutely inspired to , one day, do the same. 🙂

I think I’ve been longing to do something similar for years, but never thought this could be possible since I’m working on getting a very computer-minded job. Graphic and web design, illustration… you get the idea.

But this book’s a little different. First of, Jenna is a webdesigner. And she’s giving  a little hope for us, geek folks, who secretly wish to get back to basics.


Her book is written like a novel with chapters that covers different subjects of interests such as chickens, bees or vegetables. She also adds in some personnal funny experiences and , sometimes, even sad. Her writing style is easy to read and, to get you started, she shares an amazing list of web and non-web ressources at the end of the book.

Before reading her book, I never thought I’d actually even think about getting chickens or rabbits. One cat is enough, isn’t? Now, thanks to Jenna, i’m slowly changing my mind.

If you’re curious and would like to know more about her lifestyle, here’s her blog!

Survival guides for illustrators

I just received the brand new Illustrator’s survival guide from the AIIQ (Quebec’s illustrator’s association).

The one I’ve ordered is in french, so I asked if they had it in english and they told me they are waiting for the funds from the federal to be able to translate and produce it in english.

The inside illustrations are made by some the AIIQ’s members.

I really love that Mr. Frederick Back has one of his amazing illustration on the greeting page.
He’s the main artist behind the Oscar-winning animated film, The man who planted trees.

The book has a strange 7″ x 12″ format, which makes it hard to open and read for a long time, unfortunately.
But it is packed with valuable informations such as how much should you charge, copyrights, financial ressources , how to make your promotion and much more.

It is not something to read before going to bed as it is written in an informational way
But it is a good reference when you have specific questions about the illustration fieldwork.

Still, I believe every freelance illustrator should follow at least one course on starting a business, no matter how many entrepreneur books they reads.
This business for women classes have been extremely useful for me.

Similar books you may like if you’re an illustrator:

 And here is a good one in french:
–> Le guide du travailleur autonome

And here’s a FREE PDF  book offered by the Cultural human ressources council.
–> The art of managing your career.
You may order it in print for around 20$ . But you could also download it’s PDF files and print it for FREE. 🙂

And they also have a french version:
–> L’Art de gĂ©rer sa carriĂšre

Happy reading!

Art vs is the blog where arts & crafts are no longer fighting!
It's about illustration, crafts & related events.

My name is Fanie and I’m a Montreal based illustrator & graphic designer. You may know me from drawing The Crafty Life comic in CLM. I ♄ comics, vegan food & ghost stories.

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