Monday, March 5, 2012

Book review - Raw Art Journaling - Quinn McDonald

Title: Raw art journaling - making meaning, making art
Author: Quinn McDonald
Info: 128 p. - 2011
Rating: 7.5 / 10


Anybody who just enters the world of art journaling may become completely overwhelmed by what's out there, in blogs, in books, in techniques and in examples. You might start to think you can't be an art journaler unless you have an art supply store full of supplies to work with and put layer upon layer of paint in your journal.

As wonderful as magazines like Art Journaling and most art journaling books are (and I love them all and own most of them) they rarely practice what they preach. They claim that in a journal anything goes, that you really don't need many supplies, that ugly pages are okay, etcetera etcetera, but what do you see when you look at them? Intricate layered and often gorgeous pages! Beautiful, but quite intimidating too.

Quinn McDonalds Raw Art Journaling is like a breath of fresh air in the art journaling books genre. It takes us right back to the basics of why we journal in the first place: namely to express ourselves. She gives very simple and wonderful exercises and ideas that really can be done with just a few supplies and she focuses more on the expression than on the making of a pretty page. In fact the book focuses on how imperfection is all part of the game. It's all about meaning.

What I also love about the book (as an avid journal writer) is that she gives attention to a thing often overlooked by most journaling books: text. She gives way to incorporate words, poetry and writing into your journal and even to make the writing a visual aspect of your page. But there's also a section about working with imagery like photographs and about doodling with lines and shapes. In fact it was this book that inspired my ribbon and circle drawings from my last post.

I would highly recommend this book to beginners and to those who feel overwhelmed by the mixed media aspect of art journaling. You really don't have to jump through hoops. You just have to get real.