Why artists should read about other artists

Mixed media WIP inspired by “Stitch Stories”

I’m not only writing about reading art history here but contemporary artists too. I recently got my eager hands on “Stitch Stories” by Cas Holmes. I’m enjoying it. It helped inspire this post. While most of these benefits are often ascribed to going to art classes, reading gets overlooked. But I don’t have energy or the money to go to art classes.

Keeps the ideas flowing

Reading helps you look at your materials from new angle. It can also help you rework an UFO (unfinished object). I already have two new projects from reading “Stitch stories”.

Encourages cross pollination of ideas

Read about any artist or artistic idea you are interested. If nothing else you’ll get a good read. Even if the ideas aren’t useful now, they maybe useful in the future. When I read Cas Holmes first book “The found object in textile art”, I was doing hand embroidery on evenweave ground. Cas’s talk of layering fabric was foreign, even if I enjoyed the book. I moved on and developed as artists do. One of the few times I did take a class it was on reverse appliqué which relies on fabric layers. I reread “The found object in textile” this year because I was having trouble getting my hands on “Stitch stories” and found I could now use some of the processes.

Next week I’ll post a list of possible reading material.

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