“The Gift,” by Lewis Hyde – Book Review – A graphic designer and fine artist must read.
reviewed by Mitchell Eismont
If you are a graphic designer, freelance graphic designer, or fine artist, “The Gift” should be on your read list. I will talk about why you should read this a little later. How did I find this book? Well I watch many videos on Milton Glaser, and a lot of his philosophy is based off the book “The Gift.” I personally want to read all the books that the best graphic designers do, because I think that if I read what they read, I will be a better artist.
So what does the book talk about?
It talks about gift giving in primitive cultures. That tribes that lived near each other, gave each other art and gifts, as a way to keep the peace. It was said in Native American culture that they have peace offerings. That the tribe brings in outsiders and smokes a peace pipe with them, and at the end they give this pipe to the outsider. In turn Native Americans believe that, the outsider will then smoke the peace pipe with someone else and give it to them. (White folks got the term Indian Giving from this. They thought that they should keep the gift and not pass it on.)
Milton Glasers thought on the book are, “If you like Mozart and I like Mozart, we have something in common, and that commonality will keep us from killing each other.” <- Not a direct quote but pretty close to his words.
I believe in this idea also, that art keeps us from killing each other. If we start to think this way as graphic designers and artist we will do less harm on society. Do you agree with me on this one?
Freelance Graphic Designer and Art Educator.