whiplash – 52 projects

by kath_red on 13/04/2006

in Books, Whiplash

Jeffrey Yamaguchi has donated 3 copies of his book ‘52 Projects‘, ‘random acts of everyday creativity’, to be given away.

When I received the book in the mail I was so excited, having seen it around and read several reviews and having been an avid reader of 52projects the blog. Such a good resource for getting the creative juices flowing. I also went and downloaded a couple of podcast interviews with Jeffrey to help me get a better idea of the person behind the book. Having emailed Jeffrey a few times and always receiving such enthusiastic and positive responses I sort of knew what a great guy he must be. I encourage you to listen to the pod cast interviews as he has such a great voice and creative spirit, and it was interesting too hearing about his previous projects and how the book all came about. {craftypod and craftsanity}

52 projects the book is neat and smooth and handy for travel, easy to read and beautiful to hold and look at. Opening it for the first time was exciting, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin, I began by flicking through in a hurry to absorb everything. Once I had that out of my system I slowed down and began from the beginning. Before Jeff gets to the projects he starts off with some short essays on creativity, what making projects does for him and what others can get out of it too. He says that projects tap into “how you see the world and what you’re feeling on the inside” and “making projects stretches the imagination and generates new sources of energy”. I like this philosphy and felt a kindred-ness with this book from this point on.

Most of the projects are either writing or photo/art based, and tend to be quick projects that give a sense of instant satisfaction. They are centred around ways to instigate your creativity, jumping off points to bigger and longer projects, or simply fun projects to get back in touch with your inner child. Amongst the many good ideas Jeff has snuck in a couple of eclectic ones, like no. 28 – collecting broken umbrellas in the rain and burying them, documenting the whole event, and no. 43 where he suggests making a huge cake with an obscure message on top and leaving it in the kitchen at work to be mysteriously found. Another thing about this book which I enjoyed is Jeff’s quirky, slightly irreverent, views on the establishment, such as his suggestion to take a sickie and simply use the day for yourself. But don’t get me wrong, there are lots of serious projects here too, such as no. 6 writing a letter to your loved ones for the day your life is at its end.

All in all I think this book has some great ideas, good writing instigations to get rid of writers block or to encourage those who don’t think they have any talent to just give it a go. Also some fun weekend projects, group projects, party projects, projects for friends and projects for yourself. These are not home handyman projects or gardening projects or craft projects, this is not a ‘how to’ or ‘diy’ book, instead it is a thoughtful ideas book, get off the couch, turn off the TV and think about life book.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 betsy April 13, 2006 at 9:21 pm

jeffrey kicks ass!

hooray for projects!


2 Heels April 13, 2006 at 11:13 pm

I bought Jeffrey’s book last November or December the same night after reading it on either the Molly Chicken or Angry Chicken (there was a “chicken” in there somewhere!) blog and it’s just a completely delicious book.

Not only can you browse through it quickly and sort of light on a project that interests you, you can also savor the entire book a bit at a time.

(I read it the first night and go back through it all the time.)

The projects are thoughtfully suggested and they’re utterly thought-provoking.

Plus, Jeffrey’s just plain nice.


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