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What It Is by Lynda Barry

What It Is (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Lynda Barry

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7012120,235 (4.28)10
Title:What It Is
Authors:Lynda Barry
Info:Drawn and Quarterly (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 209 pages
Collections:Your library

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What It Is by Lynda Barry (2008)


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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I really liked this book, not just for the art but the great brain storming in every page and how the author leads you to create new ideas, characters and even creatures! ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I wasn't thrilled about the layout of this book at first, but the story and ideas are interesting and well presented and in the end, I realized I appreciated it more than I thought. It is a great book on creativity! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I wasn't thrilled about the layout of this book at first, but the story and ideas are interesting and well presented and in the end, I realized I appreciated it more than I thought. It is a great book on creativity! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I'm going to give this book five stars and I am going to suggest you buy a copy for your friends, foes, family, co-workers, co-slackers, cohorts, and anyone else you can think of and I am going to rave about everything I got from it and I am going to say that it has changed the way I look at creativity and creation and I am going to say that it opened brand new worlds, thoughts, and ideas for me.

I'm going to do all of those things and, for a certain group of you out there, you are going to say that I am insane and that it is none of those things and you bought the book and it didn't work for you and it has nothing to do with business.

And I don't care, because this book has, indeed, had a profound effect on me. And it is a book I will keep next to me on my desk because I will be revisiting it time and again to learn, to remind, and to (yuck – I hate this word, but I'll use it anyway 'cause it is the only one I know that really fits this particular point) motivate.

If you don't know who Lynda Barry is, I cannot give you a good, succinct description. Look it up on Google and Wikipedia and whatever your favorite source of misinformation and check out Amazon and Drawn & Quarterly and search for Ernie Pook's Comeek and, maybe number one and foremost, check out "The Near-Sighted Monkey", the site where Barry shares her teachings and whatever she is doing at the time.

Among her many skills is her ability to connect with artists (and non-artists) who are struggling with the concepts of creativity. This is evident in her classes and the afore-mentioned near-sighted monkey site. This book brings much of that information together and, in so doing, is a combination "how-to" for kick starting creativity and some deep thoughts about what we even mean when we talk about the subject.

It is put together in Barry's trademark style – a combination of her distinctive drawing with a collage technique (that's it, now I've definitely lost some of you). It immediately starts in by asking big questions about creativity ("What is an idea made of? ") and then jumps into the continuing series of autobiographically toned comics. Yes, you might call this "new-agey", but I don't think that is a bad thing. Any book that makes me start thinking about such things as "When did you first notice you were bad at something? And then what happened?" or "When images come to us, where do they come from?" or "What are we doing when we are looking?" is a good book. And, no, there are no answers; but what good is a book full of answers.

The second part of the book is specific training exercises for writing - for extracting images. And that is where it all comes together to speak to how creativity can be developed.

I work with business people on the development of creativity in a business environment. And, trust me, this all speaks to what they are trying to do. Most might shy away from it. But the ideas and concepts are ones that anyone, in any environment, can use to build their creativity. Do they all want to be creative writers? No. Can they use the concepts in this book to be better business writers? Yes. Can they use the concepts to be more creative and innovative? Yes, with a number of exclamation points following.

And, if it can do that for three-piece suited, corporate types, imagine what it can do for you. ( )
1 vote figre | Jul 22, 2014 |
"I loved to copy comics at night in front of the tv. I liked ballpoint pens on notebook paper and a show on I didn't care about. Sometimes I drew with the radio on. It was a form of transportation. I did it because it helped me to stay by giving me somewhere else to go.

Maybe this is why we draw shapes in the margins during meetings or on the backs of envelopes when we're waiting on the phone. Drawing can help us to stand to be there. That, alone, is something. Give a kid a crayon and some paper when they are stuck waiting somewhere. Somehow it changes things. How?"

-pg. 105 ( )
  alycias | Apr 4, 2013 |
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How do objects summon memories? What do real images feel like? For decades, these types of questions have permeated the pages of Lynda Barry's compositions, with words attracting pictures and conjuring places through a pen that first and foremost keeps on moving. What It Is demonstrates a tried-and-true creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or to remember. Composed of completely new material, each page of Barry's first Drawn & Quarterly book is a full-color collage that is not only a gentle guide to this process but an invigorating example of exactly what it is: "The ordinary is extraordinary."--From publisher description.… (more)

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