Think like an artist: Will Gompertz

Think like an artist

Think like an artist

Think like an artist -or Think Like an Artist, by its original English title, is an art history and textbook written by the British art editor and author Will Gompertz. It was first published on August 11, 2015 by Viking publishing. The same year it was marketed in Spanish by Taurus. Contrary to what has been said on several occasions, this is not a practical guide.

If you analyze it calmly, Think like an artist It is a conversation, a reflective debate between the author and the reader, where concepts related to art and creativity are addressed and ways of thinking, right and wrong, that have revolved around the artistic world throughout history are broken down. One of the most important premises of the title is that absolutely everyone is creative.

A book to learn about art

In a certain way, we have been educated to perceive art as a spark of magic that permeates some human beings at very specific moments in their lives, which creativity It comes from hidden places where only the privileged can access. The history of art is soaked in “eurekas!”, but Reality indicates that great works required much more than inspiration.

En este sentido, Think like an artist It claims discipline and effort over “natural talent.” Not for nothing, Pablo Picasso said that “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” This is how, through the lives of the most brilliant minds in art, Will Gompertz expands the idea that being ingenious has its genesis in study, determination and, why not?, a little luck.

Synopsis of Think Like an Artist

The book starts from the argument that all people are creative, no matter how they prefer to express their tastes or what they do for a living. With that premise in mind, he demystifies the figure of the artist as an almost divine being and turns him into a simple mortal. Thus, the author clarifies that there is an inherent attitude in all creatives, and this has to do with being entrepreneurial and accepting failure.

The latter is considered part of the creative process. Will Gompertz did not create a do-it-yourself volume, but to make clarifications regarding the artistic work, always giving credit to those who dared to think outside the box, such as Caravaggio, Vincent Van Gogh, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Vermeer, Picasso or Andy Warhol.

Structure of the work

Think like an artist It is a small book with few pages. The first thing found in it is a list with the names of the most outstanding geniuses of ancient times and today. With the help of the stories of these characters, the author sets out to examine the creative processes in each case, implying that creativity is a kind of muscle that must be exercised.

Later, It is possible to find an index with chapters whose titles include words like “art” or “artist”, as well as a preview about the characters that illustrate each passage. Likewise, the sections are accompanied by an illustration that contains a phrase written by a relevant figure, such as Coco Chanel or Paul Klee. Later, there is an introduction with the phrase “we are all artists.”

Is it true that we are all creative?

According to Will Gompertz, that's right. From the introduction, The author develops a series of concepts, techniques and practices that serve to start the engine of creativity, which can be applied to any art, be it photography, graphic design, drawing, sculpture, goldsmithing, engraving, ceramics, among other areas. However, these exercises can be extrapolated to other races.

While is true that Think like an artist was created to help creatives understand themselves, his work and the world, it is also true that creativity concerns the human being. This implies that all branches of knowledge could benefit from a book capable of explaining, in an entertaining and didactic way, how the creative process has worked throughout history.

Review of Think Like an Artist

Part of the criticism of this text is, paradoxically, the same thing that makes it interesting. The writer makes a positive call to artists, asking them to challenge themselves and be brave, to learn to tolerate failure and assimilate it to steal the most ingenious ideas of others and adapt them to their personal criteria. Likewise, Gompertz proposes an entrepreneurial attitude.

Some have not liked reading that being an artist requires exhaustive study, arduous effort and a lot of patience, since they continue to portray the creator as a mythological being. There is also a bit of disdain towards the idea of ​​more art and creativity classes being taught in schools and to allow the artists work independently.

About the author, William Edward “Will” Gompertz

William Edward "Will" Gompertz was born on August 25, 1965, in Tenterden, Kent, England. He attended Dulwich Preparatory School, Cranbrook, Kent, and then Bedford School.. The author was expelled from the latter, so he was not able to complete his secondary education. However, that did not stop him from achieving great things professionally, working at Tate Media.

Later, he collaborated on an exhibition at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009 called Double Art History. As editor, ha participated in media such as The Guardian, The Times and with the BBC. He currently works for the Barbican Center, a position he began to hold as of June 2021, XNUMX. The writer is married to Kate Anderson, with whom he has three sons and a daughter.

Other books by William Edward Gompertz

  • What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye /What are you looking at?: 150 years of modern art in the blink of an eye (2012)

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