Top books & films of 2019

Michelle Mars blog Ocean Beach San Francisco

Overlooking Ocean Beach in San Francisco

 2019 is almost over (phew!). A lot happened this year didn't it? This year I started designing and making jewelry. I updated the ventilation in my studio and remodeled my aging kitchen. I had some great trips to San Francisco and Palm Springs and I took a road trip through Oregon. I've been learning some French, meditating, and biking daily. Overall, 2019 was a pretty good year for me. 

I wanted to give a HUGE thank you to those of you who came to my shows and supported me this year. I plan to keep up the good work and put out more jewelry and art! in the new year. ❤️

Top books I read this year

I think what you input into your brain informs your output so I try to stick to the good stuff. Here are my favorite books that I read this year.

  • Ellsworth Kelly is a gorgeous book that investigates Kelly's expertise in color and minimalist shapes.
  • Leon Polk Smith has many full-page photos of Smith's elegant shapes on primary colored canvases.
  • Corita Kent's Learning by Heart shows you how to see the world differently and incorporate those views into your creative work.
  • James Clear's Atomic Habits was one of the most useful books I read this year. His technique of micro habits has been working for me.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic gave me some useful ideas on how to overcome the FEAR of creative work.
  • Jessica Abel's Growing Gills has a lot of tips on how to keep up the creative habit without drowning in daily life.
  • Gary Rogowski's Handmade is an engaging story about an Oregon-based woodworker and the trials that come with working with a physical medium.
  • Joan Miró's I Work Like a Gardener compares his work in the studio to maintaining a kitchen garden.

Top films I saw this year

It's no secret that I love a good documentary. I think it's because I enjoy seeing how other real-life people live their lives.

  • Pain and Glory is worth seeing just for the beautiful furniture, art, and clothing used in the film (it's also a great story).
  • Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool takes an in-depth look at Miles's musical process and how he redefined himself every decade.
  • Above Us Only Sky is a unique documentary about the collaboration between Yoko Ono and John Lennon on one of my favorite albums Imagine.
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? is an important reminder of what can happen when you don't trust your artistic instinct.
  • Susanne Bartsch: On Top is a captivating film about the woman who ran the New York nightlife scene in the 80s and 90s.
  • Vivian Maier is a fascinating documentary about a nanny who was also a secret world-class photographer.
  • Iris is about Iris Apfel's wonderful collection of costume jewelry. Her collection was one of the inspirations for me to start making jewelry.


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