Pam Carriker’s book, Art at the Speed of Life, is a compilation of what works for both her contributors and for Pam’s busy life. There are sections with specific concepts: “I Want to Be an Artist When I Group Up” and “So Many Supplies, So Little Time.” These sections are called chapters, but each one of these chapters has even more in it–there are generally three parts: There are articles from contributors, called “Inspiration.” Then there is a project from a contributor called “Artist Spotlight Project,” in which you see a step-by-step project. You get one extra goody: Pam carries the concept one step further in “Speed of Life Project.” Sometimes Pam’s project adds depth or another viewpoint, sometimes her project is a faster version of the original.
In the first chapter Christy Hydeck shows how to create a background for a journal page using tissue, glaze, crackle paint, stencils, pen, and pencil. Then Pam show you how to create multiple backgrounds, keeping all your tools out at once for a one-time cleanup in a step-by-step project way.
The Grungy Glaze Recipe on page 22 is an idea example of extras–it’s a glaze that takes down high gloss and vibrant color the the softer, glowing look so familiar to Pam’s readers.
In “Go Skinny on that Latte” Pam herself serves as inspiration, showing how using barista jargon can translate to giving yourself a sliver of time (make it a skinny), setting computer-time limits (hold the foam) and working on multiple projects at a time (make it a quad). An essay by Dawn Edmonson follows, called “The Joy of Blogging,” in which you learn that blogging has more uses than airing your rants.
You’d think this is really enough for a book–topics, inspiration, commentary, projects. But there is more to this book. There are gorgeous illustrations, aphorisms to encourage you, and a square size that makes dropping it in your tote bag and taking it anywhere possible.
The first thing I did when I got the book was to flip through and find project and add tabs to the book pages so I could find the projects I needed. There are seven pages of a seven-day journal throughout the entire book, and I needed those marked. I used blue sticky notes for that.
I wanted to check in regularly with some of my favorite writers, so I tagged their pages in yellow sticky notes.
And finally, I loved some of the aphorisms, so I put pretty paper clips on those pages. Pam, I’ve started to alter your book! You can buy the book here.
- I want to be an artist when I grow up!
- So many supplies, so little time
- Creating Cyber-Space and Setting Limits
- Art therapy
- The working Artist
- Art on the Go
- Reclaim your creative time
Cate Coulacos Prato
TwoCoolTexans (Glenda Bailey and Alisha Fredrick
Full Disclosure: Pam and I exchanged books so we could see the other person’s book. No money exchanged hands.
—Quinn McDonald is an avid reader of other people’s books. She also wrote one: Raw Art Journaling, published by North Light Books.