Book Review: The Pulse of Mixed Media

The Pulse of Mixed Media

by Seth Apter

I have long being a fan of Seth’s blog (The Altered Page), but I was undecided about whether or not to get this book.

The description reads:

Listen closely…can you hear it?

Can you hear the voices? Thoughts, insights, confessions from the creative community sharing ideas, trading secrets, venting frustrations; asking and answering questions such as, “What color rarely shows up in your work?” or “How do you express vulnerability in you art?” Or “What is one current trend that you wish would go away?” As artists, we are curious by nature and there is a longing to see inside the hearts and minds of artistic souls of our own kind. That is the beat of our lives—the Pulse of Mixed Media!

Having now read it I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did like this book.  I knew it wasn’t an art technique or project book, so I had no expectations of that genre.  I love hearing people’s stories and view points on their work and so this book was really interesting to me from that story gathering point of view.  I didn’t agree with all viewpoints (far from it in some cases!), but really you don’t agree with everyone in life, so why would I expect to in a book.  :)

Their was a good range of featured artists, many of whom I was familiar with, and also some new faces which I loved.  I was really impressed with the works and some really inspired me.  Which is what I want when looking through an art book, any art book.

I really like Seth’s writing, and would have liked to have known more about his thoughts, rather than acting solely as a facilitator for the other contributors as he did her here mainly.

I also felt that the last section, which was compiled from a range of people submitting their work was not as tight.  There was clearly a large number of contributors to that section and so not as much of their voice was heard, and that was a shame I thought.  You didn’t get to connect as much as you did with the featured artists.  It felt like I was missing some sort of flow.  It was a nice idea, and I saw the original call out and almost contributed so it was nice seeing everybody who did.  I just didn’t connect as much to that part and it felt like it was missing something.  Less may have been more, it didn’t feel like a consistent pulse.

Overall however I did really enjoy the book.  It was interesting seeing where I was in agreement, and where I wasn’t.  I did go back a few times and reread what a particular person said again in light of later responses and the questions were interesting as well I thought.  Worthy of some thought from ourselves in our journals.  Definitely thought provoking, and so I would say in that regard Seth was very successful. :)

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