As I mentioned earlier this week, I've been reading a lot these days.
Some of my favorite books right now are memoirs. And Steve Martin's Born Standing Up is one of my favorites.
I love learning the journey it took for people to get to where you see them now. It's always fun to get that behind the scenes look.
This memoir covers Martin's first few jobs at Disneyland along with his thoughts on school and family life, then moves into all the trials and errors it took to get him to Saturday Night Live.
It's brilliantly told in an entertaining, but very heart-felt way.
One of my dreams is to have my own clothing line, even if that means it's only for me to wear.
I've always adored fashion and dresses, but have never had the patience for sewing and pattern making. But when I went to West Africa in 2001, I had my first opportunity to work with a seamstress to design my own clothes. I went to the markets, picked out the fabrics and sketched the looks I wanted.
I've always wanted to do that again, but with summer dresses in fabrics featuring my paintings.
Grace: A Memoir completely rekindled that dream for me.
Like I said, I adore seeing behind the scenes and this book really gets into it. Not only do you get to see Grace Coddington (now creative director at American Vogue) in her career, but also probably my favorite past was learning about her early life and seeing how she always had that spark for color, vision and fashion.
A very inspiring and fun read, especially for anyone in love with fashion.
As a lover of imagination and children's lit, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is one to read.
This is a coming of age story that is so thoughtfully told, the entire time I was reading it I thought, there's no way I could ever write anything as good as this.
Luckily, I've learned with my painting process that too much inspiration from others artists can stunt my own creativity, so I quickly turned off that voice, reminding myself that everyone needs to tell their own story in their unique way.
Instead I focused on just what this book reminded me I wanted to strengthen in my own novel. Like looking at a painting and seeing that I am most in love with the way turquoise hits up against hot pink, with this book I remembered I am most delighted by books that bring emotion, connection and story to life through imagination.
What inspired me most about this book was not just the part taking place in the real world and the gorgeous metaphors, but the way Stead talks about time travel. She seamlessly wraps the fantasical side in with the reality of growing up to tell a relatable story.
Have You Read Any Good Books Lately? What Are Some of Your Favorites?
ps. I am crazy excited for my next online course SERENDIPITY: A Year In Mixed Media to begin in September. Registration opens August 16.