Craft blogger Future Girl at Futuregirl.com made a post recently on the Keri Smith book “This is not a Book”. Unfortunately because there was a contest involved with the post, commenting was disabled so I’ll have to share my Keri Smith love here!
I am actually quite glad that I came across Future Girl’s blog post because after a mad organization a few months ago my Keri Smith book, “Wreck this Journal,” was tucked into a shelf and forgotten about. Up until that point it was always in my bag with an array of pens to provide entertainment mostly during my long waits for late public transportation.
The book is one of many in a series by Keri Shaw that encourages Adults to be messy kids. Each page has a project or direction of some kind to destroy, think or create. There is a big thick adult coloring book, another for office distraction, the one that Future Girl posted on, “This is Not a Book,” as well as “Wreck this Journal.” Which is perfect for people who have always wanted a journal but didn’t quite have the words to fill them (me.)
Here is my copy. It has seen some wear and tear although I think I could do better. There are plenty of flickr groups that allow Keri Smith fans to display their destruction and mine is rather tame in comparison.
The beginning of the book comes with a warning: “During the process of this book you will get dirty. You may find yourself covered in paint, or any other number of foreign substances. You will get wet. You may be asked to do things you question. you may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in. You may begin to see creative destruction everywhere. you may begin to live more recklessly.”
Each page is filled with instructions on how to destroy the book…some are entertaining, others bizarre. A few have been thoroughly satisfying, like breaking the spine of the book. It feels like an antique to hold it now and I am considering breaking the spines of all my other books. Another satisfying task was on page 47, (not chronologically, it’s just the number I decided to give it as that is one of the tasks) color the entire page. I chose to use pen for the challenge of it and it was an immense achievement that it only took one pen.
I also really enjoyed the process of filling this page with circles. Every time I had a new pen I went back to the page and filled in the largest circles with the new color…although now that I look at it, it is incredibly organized
A lot of it is just silly fun to pass time like coloring the ends of the pages, eating bright candy and licking the page, writing or drawing with your left hand. Some tasks are more journal-like…recording events…except that they’ll ask you to record a meal by spilling and smearing on the pages. You rip some pages, throw some out, play paper golf, make airplanes. I haven’t brought myself to throw any out yet…I still like it too much. But that’s something I’ll have to get over!
It’s interesting how difficult it is for me to be messy with this book but it is certainly an excercise in creativity. For someone who sticks to the computer because its easier and cleaner to create the perfect circle, the perfect line; these tasks are an entirely different way to view art and creativity…and its a lot of fun 🙂
I highly recommend Keri Smith books to anyone, even those that aren’t in the creative field. Everyone can use a distraction in the office or a mindless activity once in a while.