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  • Writer's pictureJemima Tor

Book Review - Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World, By Neil Gaiman

We bought a copy of this book for the children of one of the Art Grenade team about a year ago. Even though we're constantly trying to impress on the younger generation how important art is, this book seemed like it could provide a possible link, maybe even a shortcut, between the wisdom gained as an adult to the wonder and excitement of the creative child.

It actually does do that, and more, so we're over the moon with this little book!

The format of this book is very much in the style of the Art Grenade ethos - short, snappy, direct and, above all, interesting and easy-to-read.

It is, essentially, a collection of illustrated quotes - the wise and inspiration thoughts of world-renowned New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman (have you seen Netflix's The Sandman - he wrote that and there's a review of volume one here) illustrated by the phenomenally talented Chris Riddell.

Riddell's style is free, flowing, fast yet executed with seriously amazing draughting skills - most artists would labour away at revision after revision of drawing before finally arriving at something that looked even remotely as good as Riddell's work, but with the spontaneity that Riddell keeps long since lost to the initial flurry of inspiration and inception of the piece. His artwork is the perfect partnership for Gaiman's quotes, keeping things brief, light and, most importantly, impactful and elegant.

As an adult, this books serves as a beautiful reminder of what most of us already really know deep down, but have let get buried beneath the endless onslaught of responsibility and the general drive to thrive in this modern uncompromising world. It works well as a kind of mini bible for the creatively minded - keep a copy of this book in your pocket or your briefcase and every time you feel like life is grinding you down, open the book, pick a page - any page - and let yourself be reminded of the power and importance of art and imagination. It's a tonic of the best sorts.

For children, it's a beautiful and poetic expression of conclusions they'll probably arrive at in later life, so why not let them in on the secret now?! It will only enrich their lives and drive home the fact that art - and creativity of any kind - is ultimately the most important aspect of the human soul and the driving force behind absolutely everything we hold sacred.

We just need a reminder every now and again to take a deep breath, slow down and remember what it is that makes us all tick.

Buy the book here:

Note from the Editor

Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have worked together on a number of projects as well as some incredible projects independent of each other. We've put together a brief list of further reading that we hope you enjoy!


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