From Art to Empowerment:
How Women Can Develop Artistic Voice
by Annette Luycx
A hands-on workbook for self-discovery through artistic expression.
Author, Artist and Art Illustrator Annette Luycx introduces women how to become a real artist by using personal life experiences in ‘From Art to Empowerment’.
“I wrote the book because I wanted to provide a method for teaching art to women that would empower them. My goal is that many women will use my method to make art that is meaningful to them and get self-knowledge. My book will teach women how to use writing and visualizing for art making. It provides a method to guide women to find their unique personal artistic expression by going on a journey into their inner world.”
“From Art to Empowerment” is an inspiring workbook that shows women that making art is a transformative experience when they use their personal life experiences for the art they create. The book will encourage readers to find their artistic voice through self-discovery and become empowered.
"My hands-on workbook for self-discovery through artistic expression describes the method I have developed over 20 years of working with women in art education. It is written for all women who want to develop their artistic voice; that personal visual language that reflects beliefs, life philosophy and self-identity. It is an ideal book for women who love to make art: total newbies, seasoned amateurs and well-established artists. As a working method it uses collage and photo-montage, ways of art making that are fun and easy, and my specialty. But you can also use another artistic medium, if you like."
The book guides women in developing self-awareness and personal power through making art. That is the essence of empowerment! It helps women to look inward, find inspiration in personal life experiences and generate their own themes, images and symbols, discovering what is meaningful to them and learning to express that visually. By making personal art, by expressing the images women encounter on the inside when they start a process of self-reflection, journaling and visualization about a personal issue, they start a conversation with themselves, they get in touch with themselves and they discover what is meaningful for them, what makes their heart beat faster. This process is empowering! When you realize what is meaningful for you and you express this in your art, you obtain self-esteem. This is the first step in the process of personal growth. Self-esteem and feeling you are growing as a person, enhance your self-confidence, and this supports you in making healthy choices for yourself in your life. This empowers you. Becoming strong and conscious, that is empowerment.
"In the book I lead women through a step-by-step process using self-reflective thinking, visualizing, journaling, and other creative practices. It starts with explaining how to find a personal story that you can use for your art-making and it ends with a proposal to organize your final exhibition, in order to share your artwork with friends and family."
Included in the book are the first-hand experiences of three participating women, reflections about their studio process, and the impact of the workshop on their identity as they learned to trust their life experiences as sources of inspired art-making.
The book has twenty-four practical fun exercises and twelve art assignments that guide you to develop your artistic voice: that unique way of art-making that is so characteristic of who you are, your own style! This book will expand your artistic ability and self-awareness as you work in collage, photo-montage, or in your preferred medium, on an issue of personal interest.
It is available on Amazon, Archway and Barnes & Noble as a print copy and as an e-book.
Please have a look at this review on Goodreads:
Offbeat, authentically original… A beautiful, accessible workbook.
Art educator and mentor Annette Luycx presents a highly practical and effective amalgamation of personal experience, practical workouts, studio process, and art exercises to help women artists-to-be develop an artistic voice through self-discovery.
Drawing on her own teaching workshop, Becoming an Artist: Art as a Process, Luycx introduces guidelines to help discover a personal visual language for artists. In the workshop, the students are encouraged to work on an issue of personal interest and use cut-and-paste collage and photomontage techniques.
Aimed at budding women artists, the workbook is designed to help them develop their own individual artistic voice. Mixing art-making with issues of individual interests prompts students to venture into their inner world of self-enquiry and self-reflection, helping them to discover the relation between their thinking process and artistic expression.
Two techniques make for the basis of Luycx’s method: visualization of personal issues by consciously using the imagination and journaling to keep track of the artistic process. While the visualization of personal issues encourages students to experiment with self-directed ways of using collage material, the journaling enforces self-discipline and better organizational skills. The key is to venture into one’s inner world of imagination and scrutiny and discover their unique creativity while setting fear and doubts aside.
Luycx’s formula for instilling these lessons is simple: she categorizes the whole process into twelve consecutive sessions (from how to access the imagination, metaphors and the meaning of images to memories, color sessions, dreams and nightmares, feelings, spirituality and personal symbols, meaning and material, abstract art and multimedia, and finally preparing for the exhibition), breaking down the multidimensional reality of creating art in such a way that the reader can follow each session in order to absorb the psychology behind each step and understand their working both individually and as a collective group.
Besides the workshop, Luycx explores issues such as how despite women making up a majority of art students everywhere, more male artists exhibit their works in art galleries and museums and how most professional artists are men. Accompanied stunning collages add to the intrigue of the book. This uncommon approach to developing an artistic voice has way more to offer than other such guides and is a great deal more accessible.
With the book as an inspiration, the women artists-to-be will discover an exhilarating new way of creating art and uncover their hidden abilities.