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Book Reviews

Conscious Creativity by Philippa Stanton @5ftinf : a book review

Book ReviewsEllie BeckComment

My editor sent me this beautiful book to enjoy. Wow - I have an editor, and get sent books before they are available to the general public. I must admit, that is not something I really ever thought might be me… Just goes to show, doing your own thing, and being on your own journey can lead to remarkable things. Soon I’ll have my own book too!

Anyway, back to this one. Conscious Creativity* by Philippa Stanton, better known as uber-talented @5ftinf on Instagram. This beautiful book is a perfect format that take with you in your bag, to have on your bedside table, to pick up around everything else that’s going on.

I’ve been dipping in and out of the pages, soaking up bits of information and wisdom here and there. I’m very keen to have time to sit down and read the whole thing, but I think Philippa has cleverly made this book perfect for use in our busy days. Where we can tap into the creativity we so desire, without having to set aside hours and hours of time for reading the actual resource material first. Know what I mean?!

I love the feel and layout of this book. Since stepping into the very early stages of my own book (still very very early stages), I’m looking even more closely at covers, page layouts, feeling of the paper, text, chapter headings, content pages, the ‘with thanks page’, and more. I already did that, but perhaps more subconsciously than I am now, where I’m actively picking out the bits I like about books.

But of course the contents are really the most important. Even in this age of pretty books. We want to be able to read and take in information, be educated while enjoying what we’re reading, to expand our horizons, stretch our creativity, find new ways of looking at things.

Conscious Creativity does all that, and so much more. Broken into chapters that build on each other, talking about looking and noticing, light and shadow, composition, and our own personal practice and projects. I love the way Philippa brings her own story to the pages, while being open enough that we can all see ourselves in her examples and her ideas. That her suggestions fit within so many different creative genres, that you don’t need to be a photographer, artist, crafter, or even an Instagramer to appreciate and find so much interesting information to send you out exploring and looking at your surrounds in new ways.

I’ve always been fascinated with synaesthesia, since i saw it on Philippa’s Instagram account many many years ago. And the fact that she talks about it in her book is a lovely addition to the pages; her own viewpoint and way of seeing the world, which I must admit I’m guessing is quite rare and a special thing to share with us.

The little ‘Daily Practice’ and exercises in the book would be perfect for a child or teenager, as well as for a full time practicing artist, and anyone in-between. They’re little ideas to stretch you past your usual way of thinking, but simple enough to catch onto how to implement them into your days.

Conscious Creativity is due for release later this month (in the UK, at least - as far as I can tell), so you’ll have it in time for Christmas gifting. I’m thinking ideal for teenagers or pre-teens, and for your friends who might need a little extra prompting to tap into their own Little Moments of Creative.

I recently found out that pre-orders of a book help immensely for the writer. It puts their book in a good place, before the official publish date, which makes the publishers very happy. Most writers (unless they’re full time best-sellers) don’t really make money from their books, but when we pre-order their book it shows the future success of it, and means that publishers are more likely to promote / push it themselves.

I didn’t realise that so much of the selling of a book comes back to the author themselves. While the publishing house does promote and sell the book, the best success from any book comes from the author doing book tours, online promotions, their own audience and more. So - when we pre-order a book … and then have to wait weeks or even months before it’s release date - we’re helping that author to sell more copies, hopefully make a little more money, and the publisher be happy so they’re more likely to want a subsequent book. It’s a funny business for sure, and I’m slowly learning lots of things about it. From now on I’m pre-ordering any and all books that I know I’ll buy.

(If you can’t pre-order, perhaps you could ask your local library to get in a copy. My library does that if the books fit in with what they think are needed for their audience. And you can share on your social media account about the author and their upcoming book).

*I receive a small commission from Book Depository, if you purchase through my link. I only ever share things on my blog that I personally use and enjoy, or would love to own myself. This small commission doesn’t mean you pay any more, but it’s a small way for me to offset my internet bills. And I thank you so much for purchasing through my links.