3 out of 4 stars
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In From Art to Empowerment, Annette Luycx guides the reader through a 12-session workbook about becoming a real artist. How can the reader become a real artist? Luycx helps her students connect their thinking process to their creative expression by implementing visualization and journaling techniques. An easy and imaginative read, it is an art and self-help book consisting of 227 pages.
Luycx indicates that its target audience is women, and that is what I liked the most about this art workbook. She is a self-employed art educator and artist with three decades of experience. Collage art and mixed media workshops for adults are her primary expertise. After noticing that most of her students were women of all ages and backgrounds interested in developing an artistic voice, she decided to do something about it. Luycx came up with a workshop called "Becoming an Artist: Art as a Process."
For most of history, women have been "the devalued sex" in society, and as a result, the author wanted to empower them through art. One of the most potent arguments Luycx makes in the book is the following: "Art making can be an important tool for personal empowerment. Self-empowerment and finding one's own voice in life is a key way for true liberation from an oppressive patriarchal social system that excludes women's experiences and perspectives."
Besides the author's feminist stance on art, I enjoyed the 12 art sessions in the book. Without a doubt, Luycx makes the reader reflect, dig deep, imagine, and express their feelings and beliefs. The reader is encouraged to follow the sessions and work with artistic methods such as the meaning of words and colors, accessing memories, dream interpretation, and abstraction. Luycx matches the sessions with a famous woman artist that employed the method in question in her life's work. Examples are Kara Walker, Helen Frankenthaler, Faith Ringgold, Joan Mitchell, and Nancy Spero.
A professional editor reviewed this book, but it still needs a final revision. I found more than 10 grammatical mistakes and formatting errors, which is the only thing that I disliked about it. Fixing these mistakes would be ideal for the rating of the book.
I rate From Art to Empowerment by Annette Luycx 3 out of 4 stars because it is an excellent workbook for women to develop their artistic talents. I cannot wait to implement some of the ideas I got from it, like having an artist's journal and making collages. The author makes it clear that the reader can combine collage techniques with other art forms. For example, I am quite excited about making collages to visualize my stories' characters, settings, and plots. I deducted a star because of the grammatical and formatting issues. I recommend this book to women looking to get into art, artists, and feminists.
From Art to Empowerment
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