Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book review - Doodles Unleashed - Traci Bautista

Title: Doodles unleashed - mixed media techniques for doodling, mark-making & lettering
Author: Traci Bautista
Info: 128 p. - 2012
Rating: 8/10

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may have noticed I like bright colors and I like to fill a page to the brim. As much as I admire people who can work in more sedate colors and in a more minimalist way I just can't seem to do it myself. So it's no surprise that Traci Bautista's work is right up my alley.

I'm saying this up front, because I wouldn't be surprised if that at least partially affected my rating of her book Doodles Unleashed. I already own her other book Collage Unleashed and this book is pretty much done in a similar format. And the format is like this: ideas, ideas, ideas and then some more ideas. That's all.

This is not so much  a book about how to form a doodle. Instead the book is like a collection of unlimited possibilities of all the things a person can do with doodles and the materials with which these doodles can be incorporated into art and journaling. For me this book is like a treasure trove full of visual stimulation and verbal inspiration, and since I love Traci's work it's also an abundance of eye candy.

I'm not sure though if this book is very well suited for beginners. Although Traci gives some step by step information, the content of this information is not very thorough. She assumes a lot of knowledge. One of the most extreme examples being the suggestions about working digitally. If you don't already know how to work with a program like photoshop those suggestions will mean nothing to you. And I think it is that way with more techniques. They are wonderful for people who have been working with mixed media for a while and don't need things explained to them anymore, but they might be a little too lacking in details for those who have never touched a paint brush before.

For me this was a plus of the book as I am really past those books that explain every detail so you can copy the work of the artist, but I think it good to mention it for those who are actually looking for those kinds of books.

Another aspect I didn't really care for was how she mentions brand names and especially her own collage pauge. I'm sure it's a wonderful product, but I'm always a little worried that people will think they need exactly those brands in order for their art to work. Get some gel medium of any good brand and you'll be fine.

I'm a little torn about the fact that she refers to her website with links to video demo's and freebies. On the one hand this is wonderful of course, but on the other I have little confidence that the weblinks will outlive the book. In five years some of those video's may no longer be available. Still it's nice that there's an interactive aspect with her website.

All that being said the book made me jump out of my seat several times and put it down, just so I could go into the studio and make something colorful. I could not just leaf through it without wanting to do something and that I think says a lot for a book about art making.

All in all this book is a wonderful addition to my collection and will probably be referred to often if I need some quick inspiration.


  1. Well THAT is a really well-said review! I love that you sandwiched the good and the not so good together and were realistic and honest with your opinion. I also love Traci's art and with you, I can figure out what isn't said.

  2. Thanks for the review, Caatye! I am always happy to hear another mixed media artist's impressions of a new art book. Glad it motivated you to create more art...that does say a lot about a book!

  3. Great honest review, just the way we like 'em Caatje! I think a good book review will always give the good and the bad/not so great, and with both beginners and experienced creators in mind. :-) After reading your review, I want this book even more, but the link references sounds just silly.

    1. Hanna, you really don't need the links to enjoy the book. They are just a little extra bonus (that of course won't last the test of time), they don't take away from the book itself though. Just thought you might want to know that. It's not like she left stuff out of the book so she could refer to her website.


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