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In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus, author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual pr In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus, author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves. McManus demonstrates that we all carry within us the essence of an artist. We all need to create, to be a part of a process that brings to the world something beautiful, good, and true, in order to allow our souls to come to life. It's not only the quality of the ingredients we use to build our lives that matter, but the care we bring to the process itself. Just like baking artisan bread, it's a process that's crafted over time. And God has something to say about how we craft our lives. With poignant, inspirational stories and insights from art, life, history, and scripture interspersed throughout, McManus walks readers through the process of crafting a life of beauty and wonder.


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In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus, author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual pr In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus, author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves. McManus demonstrates that we all carry within us the essence of an artist. We all need to create, to be a part of a process that brings to the world something beautiful, good, and true, in order to allow our souls to come to life. It's not only the quality of the ingredients we use to build our lives that matter, but the care we bring to the process itself. Just like baking artisan bread, it's a process that's crafted over time. And God has something to say about how we craft our lives. With poignant, inspirational stories and insights from art, life, history, and scripture interspersed throughout, McManus walks readers through the process of crafting a life of beauty and wonder.

30 review for The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob Henry

    I have never read anything by Erwin McManus, but I stumbled upon this book at Barnes and Noble on my day off. It wasn't the author or his church that drew me in, but simply the title of the book. "The Artisan Soul" is a terrific read. I found myself posting quotes on Facebook so much that people were either getting annoyed or wanting to read the book. Not too many books have spoken so profoundly to my soul and my passion to see EVERYONE use their artistic, God-given talent to craft a life that m I have never read anything by Erwin McManus, but I stumbled upon this book at Barnes and Noble on my day off. It wasn't the author or his church that drew me in, but simply the title of the book. "The Artisan Soul" is a terrific read. I found myself posting quotes on Facebook so much that people were either getting annoyed or wanting to read the book. Not too many books have spoken so profoundly to my soul and my passion to see EVERYONE use their artistic, God-given talent to craft a life that makes the world a better place. For me, this book did just what it said - it took me on a journey to embrace my artisan soul and begin to create. The essence of this book is the fact that the author has himself embraced his artisan soul - and who better to guide us on this journey. I plan to, and already have, returned to the pages of this book for continued inspiration, hope, and the spiritual process I need to acknowledge and allow my creativity, and the creativity of those around me, to burst forth onto the canvas of life! Buy this book! Be inspired! Share it! And make your life a work of art so that God's kingdom can be made visible in our daily lives. This is a beautiful work of art - thank you Erwin McManus.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Being an artist, I approached this book looking for answers, insight and hopefully some inspiration. I am not much for the inspirational, either in book form or lecture but this book really hit home. Working at art is very hard work, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I can spend a mere 4 hours in my studio or plein air painting (painting in the great outdoors) and feel absolutely bushed by the time I wrap it up. Art can be discouraging, at times exciting and sometimes, though not lately, Being an artist, I approached this book looking for answers, insight and hopefully some inspiration. I am not much for the inspirational, either in book form or lecture but this book really hit home. Working at art is very hard work, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I can spend a mere 4 hours in my studio or plein air painting (painting in the great outdoors) and feel absolutely bushed by the time I wrap it up. Art can be discouraging, at times exciting and sometimes, though not lately, exhilarating. Reading The Artisan Soul: Crafting your Life brought me back to square one in that creating art is an act of faith and it takes courage. Being a Christian artist, I strive to bring my faith and the essence of God to my viewers. Not an easy task, at least in my mind. While reading this book, I am reminded that being true to myself and allowing my own story of my life in Christ, my experiences, good and bad has shaped who I am. Art making is allowing all that has made you who you are to come out naturally. I have discovered that my approach and attitude has been desiring to be successful or "great". True art is allowing the essence of your soul and who you are as a person to direct and guide that artistic journey. The greatness is already there and the success if minuscule in comparison to an artistic life shining out. And better yet, if that artistic life is shining brightly with the love and Glory of God!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mbgirl

    I thoroughly enjoyed Pastor McManus’ book on crafting oneself into art. To claim the reminder that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, for purposes of worshipping our Creator. That we are given everything to suss out our God-given gifts, to use for others. Though I never considered myself an artisan per se, I loved this book and didn’t put it down until I finished it. An awesome and unique ministry of Erwin’s: always inclusive... always, always encouraging us to be in sync with Him.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I picked this book up based on the good reviews, with the hope that it was exactly the book I was looking for. I wanted a book that discussed the human need to create, the importance of beauty, and the significance of being created by a creative God. This book tried to be just that, but fell flat for me. While there were a few gems here and there, and a few good points made, mostly, this book felt like one long, run-on sentence. Raphael tells us over and over again that our lives are our masterp I picked this book up based on the good reviews, with the hope that it was exactly the book I was looking for. I wanted a book that discussed the human need to create, the importance of beauty, and the significance of being created by a creative God. This book tried to be just that, but fell flat for me. While there were a few gems here and there, and a few good points made, mostly, this book felt like one long, run-on sentence. Raphael tells us over and over again that our lives are our masterpieces, intertwined with brief anecdotes about creative people he has met who have struggled somehow in their path. The entire book was a choppy argument for a premise anyone drawn to this book most likely has already accepted. And his conclusions along the way felt weak, at best. I might recommend skimming this book to the person who refuses to believe his creativity is good for anything. Otherwise, it left a lot to be desired. I'll continue my search.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lulufrances

    It's a fantastic sign when non-fiction actually manages to inspire and motivate you so much, you want to get going right away and get sh*t done asap! This was a beautiful example. I am inspired. I want to create. I want to love. Yay! I wish I were brave enough to furiously highlight my books, because this would have been a yellow neon signpost afterwards, and everyone loves yellow neon signs, right?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Claxton

    This book convicted & inspired me to develop & use the gifts God has given me. This is not to say that I think any of my gifts are great, but that I need to be a better steward of craft & whatever art is within me. McManus gives the old Picasso quote we've all read a million times, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up," then gives a biblical defense & analysis of this concept in 200 pages. If I really believe the quote -- which I do, in theory -- I w This book convicted & inspired me to develop & use the gifts God has given me. This is not to say that I think any of my gifts are great, but that I need to be a better steward of craft & whatever art is within me. McManus gives the old Picasso quote we've all read a million times, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up," then gives a biblical defense & analysis of this concept in 200 pages. If I really believe the quote -- which I do, in theory -- I will act on it. Someone else said, "To know & not to do is not to know." I'd like to transfer this theoretical knowledge into experiential knowledge, and McManus makes me believe I should act soon. :) Some passages I liked from the book: Years ago I had the privilege of hearing Daniel Kahneman while participating in a community known as TED, for tech- nology, entertainment, and design. He is widely regarded as the world’s most influential living psychologist, and he won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on economic behavior. In one pre- sentation, he talked about how we are all essentially two selves—our experienced self and our remembered self—and how in essence we do not choose between experiences, but rather between memories of experiences. According to Kah- neman, even when we think about the future, we think of our fu- ture not as experiences but as anticipated memories. What struck me in his observation of our two selves is the idea that our personal happiness is rooted not in our experi- enced self but in our remembered self. In fact, in some strange way our experiences have a minimal effect on our personal happiness. This is not to say that we do not have painful experi- ences that bring us great sorrow. But in the end our experiences are not the dominant force affecting our personal happiness. It is instead our remembered self that controls how we perceive and experience life. That may be one way we discover our unique artistic space—that point where reality matches imagination. This may be the best indicator of a natural talent or where we find our natural sweet spot: how closely does our execution resemble our imagination? In the paradise known as Eden, we are told, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone. We are relational creatures liv- ing in a universe held together by relationship. There may be no more powerful or elegant example of design through synthesis than the one we find in the opening pages of the Scriptures. A unique characteristic of design thinking is that the process is in- formed less by the product than by the people it serves. All de- sign is in a sense informed by ergonomics. What matters is how what we create affects and serves humanity. This characteristic of the design process can be described as empathy, which means we begin the entire process by asking a question: How does this affect others? It is curious that the Ten Commandments have been used to prove that God wants to limit our freedom. It is true that the driv- ing narrative within the commandments is built on the phrase do not. It’s much less appealing to be told what not to do than to be inspired about what we should do. Still, regardless of the lan- guage of these commands, the intention is clearly not to limit human freedom but to protect it.... The Ten Commandments establish what I described in my first book, An Unstoppable Force, as the minimal standard for liv- ing a humane life. What exactly is ambitious about a command that says, “Do not steal” or “Do not kill” or “Do not bear false witness”? These are not about inspiring. They are not appeals to our nobility but rather attempts to keep us from crawling lower than we had already managed to do up to that time. In fact, the Ten Commandments provide a perfect example of why boundaries are essential for freedom and creativity to find their greatest expression. When we are committed to not steal- ing, we have to commit ourselves to creating. Often that’s a code word for work. When we resolve to never lie again, the commit- ment to telling the truth drives us to live a life that is trustworthy. When we make a commitment to never kill, we have to deal with our anger issues and learn the power of forgiveness. The Ten Commandments not only do not restrict human free- dom; they protect human freedom. Instead of limiting human creativity, they provide the context from which we become our most creative selves. Even the God of the Scriptures embraces limitations, which is kind of unexpected for a God who is all- powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. Why embrace limitations when the context for your creativity is the omnis? Yet the creative act has within it inherent limitations. The moment we create, we establish boundaries and limitations. The first creative act described in the Scriptures, “Let there be light,” has no observable limitations. But once God creates light, new rules come into play. This becomes apparent in the next movements of his creative act. He creates the universe, and the universe has rules. In that universe, there are galaxies and solar systems, and those bodies contain their own rules. The solar system has rules specific to this planet we know as Earth—the design of the sun, the relationship and distance between Earth and the sun, as well as Earth’s revolution and rotation. Bound- aries are set into place—from the rules of gravity to the chem- icals to the specific formulas that create water and atmosphere. Yet the integrity of the universe is the context in which cre- ativity is best expressed. The canvas does not limit God’s cre- ativity but rather celebrates it. The elegant complexity of creation is a beautiful reminder that the creative mind is a disciplined mind, that the creative act is not a struggle to be free of limita- tions but a demonstration that when we embrace our limitations, creativity has no boundaries. No single attribute creates more beauty in the world than a life lived out of love. Imagine how the world would be different if each of us left every person we ever met better than we found them. Imagine a world where love was the rule, where love was the boundary, where it was unthinkable to violate this principle: love your neighbor as yourself. It is not incidental that when Jesus was asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” his response was, “Love.” “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). What- ever else we may accomplish in our lives, if we neglect this arena, if we diminish the importance of human relationships, if we live our lives for any lesser principle than the principle of love, our lives will not be our greatest works of art. Love creates a beautiful life. As an artist, you must never forget that your prin- cipal canvas in life is relationships. The second dimension of our canvas is accomplishments. Just as we are all created to belong, we’re all equally driven to be- come. The human spirit is designed for progress. In that sense, we are created to create. In an ideal world, this creative energy is to be used to create the good and the beautiful and the true. If in relationships we are to leave each person better than we found them, in our accomplishments we should leave the world better than we found it. But just as height and length need width to create depth, so the human experience needs a third dimension as it becomes a work of art. Beyond relationships and accomplishments is the arena of well-being. If relationships express how we treat others and accomplishments express our stewardship over our talent, then well-being reflects how we have cared for the health of our soul. Einstein noted, “The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” May my life be a mosaic: a work of art made up of frag- mented and broken pieces brought together by the Master Artisan, who creates in me a masterpiece most perfectly re- flected when his light strikes through me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maya Senen

    I agree with the main point: our lives our works of art. We are at once works of art and artists at work. However, much like Uprising, I would agree Erwin's talents are in his lectures/presentation much more than in his writing. He is a powerful speaker on these topics, but this book leaves much to be desired. I think if you are new to Mosaic, it's a lovely companion piece to his lectures. It is light, full of fallacy, though very well-intentioned. Nevertheless, while I find Erwin's ideas contri I agree with the main point: our lives our works of art. We are at once works of art and artists at work. However, much like Uprising, I would agree Erwin's talents are in his lectures/presentation much more than in his writing. He is a powerful speaker on these topics, but this book leaves much to be desired. I think if you are new to Mosaic, it's a lovely companion piece to his lectures. It is light, full of fallacy, though very well-intentioned. Nevertheless, while I find Erwin's ideas contribute to a useful dialogue on faith in our lives, I remain none too charmed by this book nor Mosaic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Chen

    If you're a fan of MOSAIC you will enjoy this book. Erwin writes in a way that stirs you to explore your creative spirit whether you believe you are creative or not. He speaks in a way that makes sense to believers or non believers and I really enjoyed this read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Beckett

    A couple of tweetable quotes but this is not a groundbreaking work. 20% humble brags. Not a lot of Scripture support. I almost gave it three stars because the cover is preetty.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Kenyon

    Another beautiful book about creativity and The Creator. How can we talk about one, without talking about the other? Many authors manage to do so, but this book is a work of art in itself. I just ordered another one of his books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yelda Basar Moers

    This is the thing I find fascinating with books. There is a very subliminal and subconscious process that happens when a reader is introduced to a writer's words. It is like meeting someone for the first time. The content of this stranger's words could be perfect, everything they say could brilliant, but you just don't like the person. You don't like their vibe, energy, it's not that there is something wrong with them, or maybe there is, but you just don't connect with them. Or their voice rubs This is the thing I find fascinating with books. There is a very subliminal and subconscious process that happens when a reader is introduced to a writer's words. It is like meeting someone for the first time. The content of this stranger's words could be perfect, everything they say could brilliant, but you just don't like the person. You don't like their vibe, energy, it's not that there is something wrong with them, or maybe there is, but you just don't connect with them. Or their voice rubs you the wrong way. So here was my main problem with Erwin Raphael McManus's book Artisan Soul, his manifesto on creativity and spirituality: I felt entirely disconnected with his voice. McManus is both a minister and was an entrepreneur in the fashion industry (and I wondered at this interesting combination, which he doesn't explain much of). Fashion industry and ministry in my mind are as far apart from each other as Mercury and Pluto. So how did he come to this junction? He doesn't say. He also founded a church. This is a huge endeavor and he gives not much detail of this either. We need these details as a reader to get a full understanding of his book, since it is written in the intimate first person. In the end, he is trying to guide our soul, so shouldn’t we get a solid sense of who he is? As for the style and language of the book: At first the voice almost seemed undeveloped, too simplistic and devoid of the very soulful quality that it promised. As the book progressed, the writing became slightly more sophisticated, but still treading on a basic elementary level. When speaking, McManus gives few details, as if his vocabulary cannot support a more sophisticated language, and his paragraphs are at times mired in generic phrases. This type of simplistic writing style writing may appeal to others. So many of the things I read in this book about the soul and the creative process, I had read elsewhere, but the author, being a minister, infused his pages with much scripture, which gave it an added dimension. Though I'm not sure if these additions were cohesive with the rest of the text. McManus goes through the process of the artisan soul, and lists its elements including the following: the soul, voice, interpretation of life, imagination, craft and workmanship, among others. But I still didn't get a clear idea of what an artisan soul is. What he laid out appeared to me to be more his view of the creative process than anything. Some of his insights ring true: talent and passion are just as important as discipline and determination, and sharing our story is pivotal as it can bring forth the truest art. He also writes that the height, length and width of the art of life are our relationships, accomplishments and wellbeing. If you want to assess how your life is progressing you can evaluate these three aspects of your life. I found this to be true. Ultimately, I didn't get a sense of who the writer was or how he came upon this philosophy of the artisan soul, which I was still confused about in the last chapters. I was left with an odd feeling at the end of the book, not one I usually have after reading a book of spirituality. I think there were just too many holes for me, and in the end, I can't put my finger on it exactly, but on an instinctual level, I just felt something disingenuous about this book. I hate to say this as McManus seems to have done much for his community, but I also can’t discount how I felt.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tessa Hall

    Deserves more than 5 stars!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Iamthird

    "We are most human when love is our motive. It is the same with creativity. God created us through the universe's most creative and intimate act. We are the result of a creative act by a creative God." pg 13 "We ming wonder if it even matters what we think of ourselves. Is it really that critical to embrace the artist within us? I would simply remind you of the insight from the scriptures: as a man thinks, so is he." pg 36 "the way of the artisan is not an invitation to sit in the sun enjoying a "We are most human when love is our motive. It is the same with creativity. God created us through the universe's most creative and intimate act. We are the result of a creative act by a creative God." pg 13 "We ming wonder if it even matters what we think of ourselves. Is it really that critical to embrace the artist within us? I would simply remind you of the insight from the scriptures: as a man thinks, so is he." pg 36 "the way of the artisan is not an invitation to sit in the sun enjoying a cool summer's breeze, imagining a better life and a better world. It is about embracing our creative power and responsibility to create the life and the world that our soul inspires us to imagine." pg 42 "The healthiest people I know were raised by parents, families, and communities where the truth was always spoken in love. In an ideal world, the voices that teach us language teach us self-respect, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Those same voices also form in us humility and gratitude, and as those voices inform our inner voices, they also pass on wisdom." pg 59"Who has led you to where you are right now? what voice did you embrace? what story corrupted your soul? Why would you choose a narrative that only leads you to death? This is a tragic reminder that we humans have a strange capacity to live a soulless life. Our inner voice was never supposed to be simply an echo; our inner voice was always to resonate with the voice of God. Every other voice will either make us less that we were intended to be or convince us that we are more than we really are." As critical as it is for us to understand that art is always an extension of ourselves, the creative act is also an expression of our essence. It is equally important for us to realize that our guiding narrative determines the story we tell through our lives. Our inner voice not only informs us of who we are but affects everything we touch and in the end becomes the driving force through which we strive to shape the world around us." pg 77 " we cannot love deeply or risk greatly and never know failure or disappointment. Not even God was able to pull that one off. Love never comes without wounds; faith never comes without failure." pg 86 "to engage our lives as a creative act, we must understand that a significant part of the creative process is interpretation. Our interpretation of life determines the material from which we will build the future. The great danger, of course, is that who we are meant to be can so easily be lost in translation." pg 89 " Our interpretation will be informed either by the worst of who we can be or by the best of what it means to be human. When we allow our filter to be shaped by bitterness and jealousy and envy and greed and hatred and apathy, our interpretation of life is skewed and the future becomes smaller and smaller. when our interpretation of life is informed by the best of human emotions, when we are informed by love and hope and faith, it changes the way we see everything. pg 95 " we first dream; then we create. We first think; then we act. Even scriptures remind us that as a man thinks, so is he." pg 105 "what is inescapable is that we have been designed by God as a creative being. Each day that we walk this earth, whether we recognize it or not, we are in the process of creating. Our work, like God's, is to create. One question remains: What are we creating? What are we leaving in the wake of our lives? The words we speak, the choices we make, the actions we take are the material from which we not only create our lives but create the world around us." pg 109 "Everything is created with intention. Nothing is arbrirary or meaningless. Humanity is God's culminating act of creativity, designed with the highest intention to reflect most personally the likeness of God. Ironically, we who were created with the highest intention were also created with the capacity to deny, betray, or demean that intention. Whereas a horse will always live as a horse is intended to live, humans man live inhuman lives. " "The artisan soul reclaims its intention. We understand that with creative freedom comes creative responsibility. When we live our lives without intention, it is like throwing paint against the wall and pretending that is art, unless there is intentionality behind it. If God's intention was to....every word, every action, every creative act should have as its ultimate intention to bring life to others. " pg 137 " That moment you can't miss form the three-point line; that moment when you know exactly what to buy for anniversary; that moment you have such clarity that the entire universe makes sense to you; that moment when you are awesome - and then you lose it. It only lasts a couple of minutes. The problem is you don't know how you got there and you have no idea how to get back. ... spend your life trying to find the zone, get back your groove, step into your flow... pg 147 "Creativity isn't about finding the thirteenth note; it is about arranging twelve notes in a way the world has never experienced before. " pg 158 "when we are committed to not stealing , we have to commit ourselves to creating. Often that is a code word for work. When we resolve to never lie again, the commitment to telling the truth drives us to live a life that is trustworthy. When we commit to never kill, we have to deal with our anger issues and learn the power of forgiveness. The ten commandments not only do not restrict human freedom; they protect human freedom. Instead of limiting human creativity, they provide the context from which we become our most creative selves. Even the God of the Scriptures embraces limitations, which is kind of unexpected for a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. Why embrace limitations when the context for your creativity is the omnis? pg 160 " He took great pleasure in creating a creature whose material is the substance of the earth and whose essence is the image of God. " pg 165 "When it comes to life, there are similar dimensions we use to create depth. the height, length, and width of the art of life are our relationships, accomplishments, and well-being. If you want to assess how your artistic expression is progressing, simply evaluate these three aspects of your life. In the greatest expressions of a life lived as a work of art, we find beauty and artistry in our relationships...we cannot live our lives as works of art and not hold people as our highest value. We humans are designed for relationships and find our greatest fulfillment in intimacy....Imagine how the world would be different if each of us left every person we ever met better than we found them. Imagine a world where love was the rule, where love was the boundary, where it was unthinkable to violate this principle: Love your neighbor as yourself. " What must I do to inherit eternal life? Love - Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love you neighbor as yourself. pg 166 "Our lives will become our greatest works of art not only when our relationships are a beautiful expression of love, acceptance, and intimacy, but when we have a deep sense of purpose that produces accomplishments that express, for us, success and significance." PG 168 "People who enjoy life make life more enjoyable for others. It is strange, but one can be profoundly loved and still lack the wholeness to experience that love." pg 180 " there has never been an ordinary human being born on this planet. But while there has never been an ordinary child born on this earth, the undeniable tragedy is that most of us die after having lived painfully ordinary lives. Every child is born with his own genius, her unique creativity. Every human being is brimming with divine potential. When you were born, you were no ordinary child, but perhaps live so many of us you traded your uniqueness for acceptance, your genius for security. ...I don't know what you are like now , but I know you were born with curiosity, imagination, creativity, and courage. Human development is impossible without curiosity....refuse to relinquish the God-given attributes given to them at birth and applied them to the great problems faced by humanity. " pg 186 " you need both the wisdom and the wonder for your life to become a masterpiece." "creativity takes courage" "we are creatures of faith, hope, and love. If these are the colors with which we choose to dip our brushes to touch our canvases, the world may see on the canvases of our lives in the end the result will be the same. ....you will know without arrogance or embarrassment that your life was your greatest work of art and that against all odds, from your first breath to your last, you never relinquished your artisan soul." -Take time to enjoy life, and make sure you laugh a lot -connect to a community of faith and open up your life to others -Do more of the things you love and less of the things that kill your spirit -spend more time with people who inspire you and less time with those who crush your spirit -Ask a few close friends to hear how you understand your story, and ask them to reflect back to you if your assessment resonates with them -Take time to study what the Scriptures say about who you are, and think about what your life would look like if you embraced this narrative as your own. -Focus on what it means to be created in God's image -Write a declaration of who you are! -Share it with at least one friend who will celebrate your new life narrative The hard work of changing our perspective: -Begin a process to investigate how you see the world -Make two lists: -Everything good in your life -Everything bad in your life Now examine your lists -which is longer - which list came more naturally? Is it easier for you to be pessimistic or to be optimistic? Place yourself on a scale of optimism versus pessimism write your life story in one page as a pessimist now write it in one page as an optimist now write it as if your were convinced that God is at work in your life and intends good for you -Train yourself to see life as a miracle by thanking God continuously for your life -Always find hope and joy in every circumstance. Make a list of things in your imagination that would make the world better if they became a reality. Identify everything you could do NOW to make your life a closer reflection of the one you long to live. Make every small change you can to move your life into an expression of your passions and longings. grab some close friends and ask them which of your ideas they think you have the most potential to make happen look to see if there are others who share your passion find a place to serve Start small. Dream big. If you want to be a writer, write articles and share them with your friends Reorganize your priorities to give more time to what you do well and drop those things you do poorly refine your skills by working with people more skilled than yourself. Practice, practice, practice Never stop learning - never stop growing - never stop improving EMBRACE the FUTURE as an ADVENTURE.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pamy Lazatin

    “Whether we realize it or not, everything we do is an expression of either how alive our souls are or how much we have allowed ourselves to be deadened over time.” This book is a work of passionate art laid out on its pages. It calls back to humanity's roots in divine creativity. To anyone who has felt stagnant or remains searching for that 'unknown', this anchors us to the truth that we are all God's works of art, just as we are artists-at-work. Also quite an experience listening to the audio bo “Whether we realize it or not, everything we do is an expression of either how alive our souls are or how much we have allowed ourselves to be deadened over time.” This book is a work of passionate art laid out on its pages. It calls back to humanity's roots in divine creativity. To anyone who has felt stagnant or remains searching for that 'unknown', this anchors us to the truth that we are all God's works of art, just as we are artists-at-work. Also quite an experience listening to the audio book (in my efforts to hit my Goodreads goal), definitely worth an actual read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marta Viktorija

    It is sometimes hard to give stars to the books as I somehow find that many times the four-star-ones, the ones which ask for a little something more or a little something less actually make me linger in thoughts much longer and become dearer to me than the no doubt “everything is said just the way it should be and I have nothing more to add or retract” five-star-ones. I’d say this is a quite sweet four-star-one for me, I think I’ll get back to it (a good sign) try to practice anything of what th It is sometimes hard to give stars to the books as I somehow find that many times the four-star-ones, the ones which ask for a little something more or a little something less actually make me linger in thoughts much longer and become dearer to me than the no doubt “everything is said just the way it should be and I have nothing more to add or retract” five-star-ones. I’d say this is a quite sweet four-star-one for me, I think I’ll get back to it (a good sign) try to practice anything of what the book suggests and then figure out is there something more helpful to say about this book to others who might consider reading it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Barron

    “The Artisan Soul” by Edward R. McManus is a deep dive at what happens when we see our existence as works of art divinely inspired by God and placed on Earth to create individual masterpieces, through our work, our art and our individual lives. This book was the jolt I needed to break away from the mundane and aggressively attack the hopes and dreams God has placed on my own life. As McManus says in the final pages of the book, “This life was never intended to just be endured or survived.”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oni Pînzariu

    “created to create” - these 3 words show the essence of this book. And this book itself is a masterpiece, a work of art. It managed to show me, in a few words, not many of them, what it means to wake up your inner child and let your imagination be boundless. To create without fear and to live a life that is, at its core, a work of art, a masterpiece. And, most of all, all the things that I have to learn from the Master Artisan, Jesus of Nazareth.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura Victoria

    I absolutely loved this book. Erwin McManus put to words a lot of what I’ve believed my entire life but could never really explain myself. I found myself highlighting a huge portion of the book. It helped remind me that I am creative and God has us on the earth not only to make a difference but create within us masterpieces of His love.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Kramer

    This is the kind of book that challenges you to change how you look at the world and how you interact with it. Surprisingly deep and insightful. Despite the title, I'd consider it a great read for anyone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Manes

    For anyone who leads creatives or wants to be inspired to be more creative, this is a great book. Read by the author in the audiobook, I loved how it conveyed his passion. There is a great section on the difference between an artist and a craftsperson.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED. this book has me so fired up about creativeness. GOD HIMSELF IS AN ARTIST, YOU ARE CREATIVE EVEN IF YOU AREN’T TALENTED IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adam Johnson

    Whereas a book like Called to Create (Raynor) talks about the essential quality of creativity in entrepreneurial contexts, McManus writes The Artisan Soul to talk about the creativity's essentialness in everyday living--a divine necessity for all. And it's an electric manifesto that can change your life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    This is the second time I've read this book. I eventually bought my own copy, as I said I would, and have marked it up for future reference. The link for my initial review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... This is the second time I've read this book. I eventually bought my own copy, as I said I would, and have marked it up for future reference. The link for my initial review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Boyce

    I cried after reading the entirety of this book because the revelation that McManus brings to just ... being alive ... is overwhelming and beautiful and inspiring.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Thomas

    This book itself is a work of art! I love that the author demonstrates how our art and creativity is an opportunity to glorify the ultimate Creator. I listened to it, and plan to own so I can look & reflect on it again in the future. I can’t say I agree with everything the author believes, but I still think this book is valuable and there is something to take from it. This book itself is a work of art! I love that the author demonstrates how our art and creativity is an opportunity to glorify the ultimate Creator. I listened to it, and plan to own so I can look & reflect on it again in the future. I can’t say I agree with everything the author believes, but I still think this book is valuable and there is something to take from it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Blake Atwood

    I've found Erwin McManus's books to always be inspiring in some way. In his newest, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art, he ruminates on the heart of creativity and reminded me that my words aren't in fact my greatest creative achievement—my life should be. Great thoughts flow through the book, like "The most important works of art to which we will ever give ourselves are the lives we live." But, there are a few parts that sound like Deepak Chopra if taken out of context, lik I've found Erwin McManus's books to always be inspiring in some way. In his newest, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art, he ruminates on the heart of creativity and reminded me that my words aren't in fact my greatest creative achievement—my life should be. Great thoughts flow through the book, like "The most important works of art to which we will ever give ourselves are the lives we live." But, there are a few parts that sound like Deepak Chopra if taken out of context, like "There is a reality waiting to be materialized if we could trust in our dreams." Still, McManus is a pastor at heart, and the stories he shares—both from his own life and from the Bible—undergird his central thesis: that we're all creatives at heart because we were created by a creative God. I may have been a bit underwhelmed with this particular book because it touched on many of the same ideas that Matt Appling did in his smart, short book on just about the same subject, Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room. Both books pair well with each other though. My one major complaint with The Artisan Soul is that I'm unsure who the audience for the book is supposed to be. If McManus is trying to convince "non-creatives" that they are in fact creative, the majority of the book seems to cater more toward those who already consider themselves "creative." Then again, I like to consider myself "creative," so I'm not sure how a self-described "non-creative" would approach the book. While an inspiring book, it appears to be preaching to the already "creative" choir.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a very frustrating book to get through. Overall, it lacks any remote structure to its content. Oftentimes I could not understand how one paragraph connected to the one before, or why it belonged to this chapter in particular. Often it felt rambling and almost stream of consciousness, which doesn't exactly work for non-fiction. Some good editing may have been needed. Or, the problem may lie in the fact that there didn't seem to be much substance to the book. For taking up nearly 200 page This was a very frustrating book to get through. Overall, it lacks any remote structure to its content. Oftentimes I could not understand how one paragraph connected to the one before, or why it belonged to this chapter in particular. Often it felt rambling and almost stream of consciousness, which doesn't exactly work for non-fiction. Some good editing may have been needed. Or, the problem may lie in the fact that there didn't seem to be much substance to the book. For taking up nearly 200 pages, it had very few things to say. Out of each of the hefty chapters, I found only a couple underline-worthy sentences. Coupled with the lack of substance and structure, I thought the author presented very shaky evidence, Biblical or otherwise, for the points he was trying to make. Evidence might even be too strong a word for the brief anecdotes or explanations seemingly scattered in at random. I was prepared to give it two stars if I really liked the action points at the end, though I feel they would have been much more effective if included at the end of every chapter. Unfortunately, you couldn't even call some of them action points. So like I said in the beginning, I'm frustrated. Frustrated because I think this book had a lot of potential, but not only did it not have much of anything new to say, it also lacked the effort, evidence, and organization to communicate what it wanted to say well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Minaa B.

    It's a really good book but I couldn't get through the whole thing. It started to feel redundant. I am however, not a big fan of self-help books so I am used to not finishing books like this. I kind of treat these as go-to guides whenever I am need of some sort of enlightenment. It's rare for me to read these kinds of book from beginning to end. So i'm giving it 4 stars because overall it provides really good insight and offers valuable teachings that we can all apply to our lives.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Inspirational but not explicitly practical. Lots of quotable quotes. A book for those who would like to change how they think about creativity and how it applies to daily life. McManus argues that to be human is to be creative and encourages his readers to fearlessly embrace their creative nature, however it manifests.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Connie Inglis

    Highly recommended. Not just for artists but for anyone who has an interest in making the world a better place through their life, because that's what turning your life into a work of art is all about.

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