Book Review: LIFE after ART by Matt Appling (@MattTCoNP)

When was the last time you took an art class?

When was the last time you were in an art room (besides at meet the teacher night for your kids)?

When was the last time you created something beautiful?

When we become adults, we often put things aside.  We now have responsibilities.  We have “important” things to accomplish.  We don’t have time to play.  We have to work.  We have to make money.  We have to provide.

When we grow up, we leave the art room, and we stop creating beautiful things.

In Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room, Matt Appling challenges readers to become artist’s again.  Matt, who is an art teacher in Missouri, takes readers back into the elementary school art room.  He reminds us how creative we once were when we were young.  From here, Matt goes on to describe how society is suffering from an epidemic of lost creativity.  He then takes readers through the process of relearning to create, to take risks, and to be artists again.

I appreciated the perspective Matt brings to this book.  An an engineer and operations manager for the past 20 years, I recognize the tendency to fall into a state of complacency.  I do the same things day after day.  It becomes easy to stop thinking and to stop creating things of beauty.  Personally, my writing has become a place for me to create again.  I may never be the next Monet or Van Gogh.  I may never become the next C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien.  But I can create something beautiful.  Thanks for the reminder, Matt!

To learn more about Matt, check out his blog or follow him on Twitter.

This month, I’m giving away a copy of Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room to someone in the Stretched Community.  To be considered for the giveaway, you must be one of the top 10 commenters during the month of February.  If you don’t want to wait for the winner to be announced, feel free to pickup a copy of the book by clicking here.

What is the last thing you created?  What was your favorite thing about elementary school art class?

(Please note:  There are affiliate links in this post.  Should you purchase Life After Art by clicking one of these links, I receive a small percentage of the purchase.  These funds are used to support The Stretched Blog and to extend ministry and missions to Guatemala.  Thank you!)

(Special thanks to Tammy Helfrich who sent me a copy of this book.  You should consider reading her blog and listening to her podcast.)