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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Victoria: Spotlight on Keri Smith

This week's spotlight is on the works of Keri Smith, author of the popular Wreck This Journal.  Smith has written several prompt-based book designed to help people explore their creativity.  She is the author of Wreck This Journal, This is Not a Book, How to Be an Explorer of the World–the Portable Life/Art Museum, Mess: A Manual of Accidents and Mistakes, The Guerilla Art Kit, and Living Out Loud – Activities to Fuel a Creative Life, and The Pocket Scavenger.

Each page of the books has a prompt for the reader to follow that in some way involves creative thinking or action, and they can be as simple as scribbling all over a page or as complicated as doing a specific task every day for a month.  The prompts often require the reader to deface the book in some way, which of course might make some people cringe; however, through the defacing and creating the book encourages, the book can become something more valuable to the reader, since it becomes something the reader has helped to create.  It almost becomes a sort of scrapbook of all the experiences and things that the reader has experienced through the book's promptings.

Several pages encourage the reader to put themselves in a position they normally wouldn't be in, such as this example from How to Be an Explorer of the World:
"Local Lore: Document a place by interviewing people about it.  You can transcribe by using some kind of recording equipment or by filling out an experience documentation log."

I personally have a copy of Smith's This is Not a Book, which now wears a disguise on its cover and goes by the name of Gaius Non Libris, per instructions from one the many prompts found in the self-proclaimed non-book.

Keri Smith's works are perfect for anyone willing to take a chance and allow some random creativity into their life.

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