Creativity and Gratitude by Amy Oestreicher Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson © 2021


Creativity and Gratitude - Exercises and Inspiration for a year of art, hope, and healing
by Amy Oestreicher
Apollo Publishers
ISBN 978-194-806-2688
Published 4/2021 - Softcover - 320 pages - $19.99

With the world getting crazier by the minute, we need a few distractions to keep our sanity, and art and crafty stuff are just two of mine.  More and more people need to be motivated when it comes to creativity and I am one of them, so I am having fun (and learning a lot) trying out new ideas.  Amy Oestreicher's story is a sad and incredible one but a wonderful avenue that opened up before her.  One she so generously shares with us.  A sketchbook is all you need to get going, any kind of book you can sketch and/or take notes in.  And of course, you'll need something to write/sketch with.  Amy's daily practice is her way of encouraging herself to create something, and I loved her sentence, "'ll grow your creative muscles by honoring a daily practice with your sketchbook."  And it doesn't matter if you sketch, draw, doodle, scribble or take notes, just do something every day.  There are 52 weeks worth of exercises—under four sections: Creativity - Hope - Storytelling - Gratitude—to bring forth inspiration, and they are a lot of fun.  It's a whole new way of helping yourself get going and creating, something so many of us struggle to do.  You'll learn to look at everyday things differently, not to be judgmental about your art, quieten your inner critic, and move forward.  I particularly enjoyed Week 7 as a lesson.  And don't worry about not being able to draw because not every exercise requires drawing or sketching; there's something for all kinds of creating.
I cannot see myself doing every single weekly exercise as some don't appeal to me, but there are lots to try.  Make your sketchbook your safe place where you can do and say anything you like.  If nothing else, you'll learn to actually live in the moment and see, feel, hear, and create!  I wish Amy continued good health.

book cover


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