Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release: January 16th 2018
I received a copy of Zen Pencils: Creative Struggle from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Zen Pencils: Creative Struggle is a wonderful compilation of stories about real people, all of whom were visionaries of their time. The focus isn’t just on their successes however, but on how they persevered or their viewpoint on how to get through a writer’s block or find their inspiration. The stories included are: Vincent van Gogh (The Blank Canvas), Albert Einstein (Life is a Mystery), Leonardo da Vinci (Step Away from the Canvas), Mary Shelley (Teenage Dream), Marie Curie (Our Happy Place), Creative Pep Talk #1, Ludwig van Beethoven (Art Has No Limits), Stephen King (the Desk), Akira Kurosawa (the Notetaker), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (In the Mood for Work), Creative Pep Talk #2, Nikola Tesla (Visions of the Future), John Coltrane (the Power of Music), Frida Kahlo (Heroine of Pain), Ernest Hemingway (A Lonely Life), and Creative Pep Talk #3.
What I truly loved about this book is just how inspiring it is. I believe any artist (or writer, musician, composer, anything creative you can think of) should read this book when they find themselves struggling. Seeing other people, real people that we’ve grown up idolizing, be in the same position? Well it certainly puts a new perspective on things, to say the least.
I think everyone has felt like they’ve fallen into a creative rut at some point in their life, even if they wouldn’t personally consider themselves to be terribly artistic, and that is why I think reading empowering stories like this is so important. I know I certainly felt a bit better about my creative blocks, both past and present.