Featuring artwork from a wide range of contributors, this resource explores creative self-portraits through fun and easy exercises and essays that instruct and inspire artists working in all media. Examples of collage, fiber arts, and mixed-media artwork offer visual inspiration while essays throughout the book act as a guide to personal and artistic self-discovery. Step-by-step techniques and creative prompts are used to direct artists through different approaches to creating self-portraits while exercises utilizing collage, drawing, photography, and stitching will jump-start the creative process and get ideas flowing on paper and fabric, encouraging artists to express themselves in new ways.
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Cate Coulacos Prato is an editor for Cloth Paper Scissors and Quilting Arts Magazine. She lives in West Boylston, Massachusetts.From Booklist:
In artist and magazine editor Prato’s first book, examples of self-portraits, in nonvisual and visual media, introduce chapter 1, beginning with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “Of course I’m enjoying myself. There’s no one else here to enjoy.” This book is about showcasing different media and encouraging crafters to reveal at least one part of their personalities through art. Exercises follow, using digital images, a “who lives here” quiz, color symbolism, even caricatures to warm up visual inspiration. The last chapter, promising hands-on instructions, is a bit of a misnomer; the author skillfully mixes the how-to’s (fashioning different role dolls, for instance), artisan samples, and self-portrait ideas (e.g., pick from a birth-year book or a mini-assemblage, among others) in a collage that can be hard to follow. The occasional missteps in book layout and design are more than forgiven by the immense range of expression and, at the very end, a nine-item gallery of self-portraits. --Barbara Jacobs
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