Think Like An Artist by Will Gompertz

…and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life.

Think Like An Artist isn’t a book I would normally read, I wouldn’t even have sought it out. But, because I can’t shop on the Daunt Books website without buying books I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy a non-fiction bundle rather than my customary fiction. A small, yet fruitful risk.

tlaaThink Like an Artist by BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz – wisdom and smart thinking from Da Vinci to Ai Weiwei Why do some people seem to find it easy to come up with fresh, brilliant ideas? And how do they turn them into something worthwhile? After spending years getting up close and personal with some of the world’s greatest creative thinkers, the BBC’s Arts Editor Will Gompertz has discovered a handful of traits that are common to them all. Basic practices and processes that allow their talents to flourish, and which we can adopt – no matter what we do – to help us achieve extraordinary things too.” GoodReads.

Immediately inspiring, Think Like An Artist has eliminated (if only in the short-term) my reading slump. I feel as though my sleepy head has been brought back from slumber. Gompertz is the BBC Art’s Editor, he knows his stuff. Among the art, quotes and drawing is engaging, uplifting writing.

He takes art and makes it attainable.

He deconstructs the popular notion of art, likening it to any other craft that is undertaken with hard work and passion. With Art, especially modern, there is an air of ease, a side effect of what appears to be creating nothing and calling it art. When really, art is toiled over, mastered and obsessed over. It can take years to craft.

One early (in the book) example is Bridget Riley. Riley studied art for years, but it wasn’t until she was able to take all her studying of other artists and channel this through her own experience that she became notable.

Kiss by Bridget Riley.
Image from Op-Art.

Alongside a fascinating slice of art history, Gompertz explains how the practice of art is not restricted to Art as a creative pursuit. There is a system, a way of thinking, that if harnessed can benefit you. He combines art, entrepreneurial thinking, science, psychology and other disciplines to make this point. Think Like An Artist feels like the best sort of Art, well researched, well-formed and well delivered.

My only complaint is that the art attachment at the back is almost falling out, but one can hardly blame the author for that.

Have you read any great books on art recently?

6 thoughts on “Think Like An Artist by Will Gompertz

  1. I loved this little book when I reviewed it for Shiny too. Gompertz’s previous one ‘What are you looking at?’ is a brilliant survey of modern art – and includes a fold out ‘tube map’ of how all the different movements and isms interconnect. I also enjoyed reading Grayson Perry’s book of the Reith Lectures he did last year, Playing to the Gallery, although it is quite slight in comparison.


  2. Have you read anything by Sarah Thornton? I read her book Seven Days in the Art World last year, and I thought it was excellent. She talks about both art and the world of art, and since that’s not a world I’m especially familiar with, it was really cool to read. I hope your reading slump stays busted!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.