Book Review: Sketching Stuff-Create Like a Kid Again!

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  • So you’re a grown up now. All serious and such. But you still want to be creative.

    Charlie O’Shields latest book “Sketching Stuff – Create like a Kid Again’ is all about that. Don’t be fooled by the fun, bold illustrations. A young child would probably enjoy looking at them, and might instantly start creating their own stories. That’s the whole point – children don’t need much inspiration. Adults often do. And that’s the point of this book.

    There are 60 exercises that invite you to think like a kid again, and turn on the creative benefits from doing so.

    Format : ‎ Paperback
    Pages: 80 pages
    Size: ‎ 8.5 x 0.19 x 11 inches
    Binding: Glued



    The book explores how our brain works, and explains how the exercises will help work your creativity into a froth. It’s very interesting information – but if you’re the type of person who doesn’t care, you can jump right into the exercises and start frothing. Those of us who enjoy the how and why won’t froth any better – we’ll just know why!

    What to Expect

    Although this book is aimed at adults, I think it would be a wonderful book for parents who are looking for activities to do with children, as well. The exercises can be done with writing, drawing, as games, or a combination of all three. They can be done with paper and pen, digitally, or simply in your head.

    I can see many of these exercises as great games for a family road trip.

    I did the first three exercises for this review. I went with the premise that I was shooting for creativity, not artistic perfection, and I just had fun with these! They were all done in 10 – 15 minute sessions.

    Exercise One: You Have 10 Minutes

    What can you do with a fork that isn’t eating? Does it say something about me that the first thing that came to mind was poking someone in the butt?

    Exercise Two: Let’s Make a Story

    These exercises can be done with writing or drawing or a combination of the two.

    Can stories be abstract? I believe so and I think all true stories are, and that is what I wrote.

    If read incorrectly as a linear telling, the story goes thus:

    Angel Wings

    Once Upon a Time there was a girl who could fly because her angel taught her how. “All children fly. Simply spread your wings and believe. “

    “Oh,” she said, and then she flew.

    And then she grew and lost her wings, but she never forgot how it felt to fly …

    Exercise Three: Mixed Up Combo

    Changing one part of a compound word can lead to creative ideas. I took sunflower and changed it to moonflower.

    Charlie O’Shields latest book is paperback filled with information about how we think and create. Nothing dry or boring though, and it’s filled with fun illustrations throughout. There are 60 exercises total in the book, along with tons of information about how we think. You can do these as writing exercises, drawing exercises, as games or just in your head.

    Written for adults who want to increase their creativity, it’s also a great book for adults who want to share creative time with their children.

    Where to Buy
    Sketching Stuff – Create Like a Kid Again!: Creative Activity Book

    Links of Interest
    REVIEW: Handmade Multi-Media Journal from PaintPalettesPages

    Tools Used in Examples
    Mary Roff Handmade Multi Media Journal – PaintsPalettesPages Etsy Shop
    Zebra Pen Zensations Technical Pen
    Jack Richeson Half Stick Sampler Signature Pastels
    Daniel Smith Mineral Mixing Set Watercolor Paint, 9 Piece
    ARTEZA Gouache Paint, 60 Colors
    ZenArt Travel Watercolor Paint Set – 24 Half-Pan

    Disclaimer: I bought this book. Charlie did not ask me to review it. I decided to do so because I believe others will be interested in it. I received no other consideration. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

    Want to learn how to draw or doodle? Nope. This isn’t the book for that. Chock full of beautiful illustrations that make the information fun to read, and with 60 exercises based on the info, it’s a book to stimulate the brain.
    You can do the exercises by drawing (as I did with these colors), by writing, and in many cases simply by thinking. It’s not a book to hand to a young child to use on their own, but the exercises would be great for an adult and young child to do together. It would be fun for an older child and/or children to work through.
    There are no step-by-step drawing or writing exercises, more like challenges. In my examples above, I did the challenges to come up with non-food related uses for a fork, to finish a story about a little girl who could fly, and to drop wet paint onto a wet page, and find shapes/stories in the result.
    There is a lot of information about how the brain works, and it’s written in an easy -to -understand way. Many people would find the book fascinating even if they never did the exercises. For those who aren’t interested in the reading, they can do the exercises without reading it. No matter how you slice or dice it, this book has something for everyone.

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