Book Review: Joining the Dots by Alex Mathers

Using our creative skills to make money and make an impact – while staying sane – can be hard as heck…

…If you don’t know what you’re doing.

A lot has been done to help creatives and artists find success, but much of it doesn’t apply to people with ‘arty’ skills. It can be hard to understand, and some of it is downright unhelpful.

With over a decade working for himself as an illustrator, writer and coach, Alex Mathers is intimately familiar with how we can hold ourselves back.

The common thread he’s discovered in his approach to success is the need to feel alive.

Every idea in this book addresses this very human need, distilled into a handy A-Z guide.

Though none of us is perfect, the way we think consistently will move us in the right direction.

Whether you’re an artist, a designer or a writer, working for yourself or with a team, the right mindset is the difference between giving up and thriving.

These 26 concepts will help you join the dots, seeing with greater clarity what it takes to be a successful creative.

Success is in your hands.




My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Starting any business can be daunting and Joining the Dots: The A-Z Handbook for Making a Success of Your Creative Skills is a resource that can help you stay focused. It’s presented in an entertaining and thoughtful way, helping the reader to consider the questions that are important to being successful. It also has a place for notes at the end of each chapter which is helpful.

I’ve always tried to emphasize to my boys the importance of making your passion your profession.  Joining the Dots: The A-Z Handbook for Making a Success of Your Creative Skills is designed to help you do just that.

Just for fun, the author has arranged the concepts from A to Z, and there are adorable illustrations throughout (think quirky fruit). Anyone starting their own business to market their creative skills would definitely find Joining the Dots: The A-Z Handbook for Making a Success of Your Creative Skills an excellent resource to go back to again and again.



About the Author

I’m Alex Mathers, a nomadic writer and illustrator, currently based in Bangkok, Thailand.

I started out drawing pictures as a young man, before studying Geography and Real Estate in London. Eventually, realising that these degrees would not help me much, I turned to creating more pictures, writing, and helping others make the most of their creative skills by sharing with them what I’ve learned as a freelance illustrator, through making many mistakes.

I’ve worked with clients like Google, Sony, Mars and the BBC.

I have written several books on attracting clients, creativity, and standing out, and have written for 99u, Design Taxi, Computer Arts, Six Revisions, and Digital Arts.

I have spoken at ICON Conference in Texas, OFFF festival in Barcelona, Behance in Tokyo, Ilustratour in Spain, DXSaigon in Vietnam, and the AOI in London.

My personal site, where I share mostly illustrations and drawings is here.