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Raw Art Journaling Paperback – July 20, 2011

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Raw Art Journaling is for anyone who wants to keep an art journal but doesn't because the inner critic's loud voice: "You can't draw!" or "What makes you think that your life is interesting enough to write about?"

Journal-keeping is a powerful, soulful tool to find out who you are and explore your world. That tool belongs to anyone who wants to use it, whether or not you can draw or write.

Because I am a writer, I know that journaling creates a path for your heart, soul and mind. The path wanders through your past and keeps you grounded when life is rocky. Many journaling books don't talk a lot about writing. Most art journaling books focus on illustration. I wanted to create something different--a space for people who want some ideas they can develop.

The book helps move you from wanting to keep a journal to keeping one through 40+ exercises--both writing and drawing. None of the exercises require you to be an illustrator. They just require you to be willing to experiment. Because willingness and experimenting is art.

Many authors use well-known artists to contribute to the book. I used people who didn't know where to start in their journals, but jumped in anyway. I wanted the book to be in everyone's ability. I wanted to attract readers who thought, "I can do this!" and then did it.

New to art journaing? You'll find easy but intriguing exercises to get you hooked. Already an experienced journaler? You'll find some exercises to go deeper into your creative practice for a richer experience.

I'm working on my second journaling book now--conversations with the Inner Critic. The book will be very different and very familiar to those of us who struggle with the Inner Critic. Again, it will not require advanced art skills. It will require courage and a sense of fun.

About the Author

Quinn McDonald has experience writing for newspapers, corporations, those in need of speeches, financial firms and marketing companies, and she currently offers creativity tips on her blog. She writes two columns for Stampington: "The Business of Art" in Somerset Studio and "The Raw Edge" in Art Quilt Magazine. Quinn teaches courses on writing for the web, team building, creative thinking for leadership and other custom writing courses, and she is a life and creativity coach.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (July 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440308551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440308550
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Quinn McDonald started writing at age six, and has never stopped. Her corporate jobs required world-wide travel, and journaling became her memory and her planning medium.

She took art courses because she was curious about life. Art helped explain the world as she found it. In 2002 she realized she was not an obedient corporate employee and opened QuinnCreative, to quit looking for meaning in life and start making meaning.

She teaches writing, collage, and courses on finding your Inner Hero at retreats, workshops, and private classes.

She also teaches non-fiction writing, technical writing, grammar, persuasive writing, and other writing-related courses. For details, see her website at

Quinn is a Certified Creativity Coach, writer, mixed media artist and the author of Raw Art Journaling (North Light, 2011) and The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal, (North Light, December 2013).


To see more about Raw Art Journaling and links to the Webinar and podcasts visit the Raw Art Journaling page on my blog:

More Monsoon Papers:

More about creativity coaching:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Harbeson on July 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of projects that are fun, easy to try, and don't need a closet full of special materials and tools. I don't really "do art" and don't have anything like "art supplies", but even I can find things like index cards, scissors, glue, a marker, and a pen. Who knew what you could do on a notebook page with that stuff? Not me, at least. Or maybe I did but forgot!

The best thing about this book is you can open it to any page and see something you can try right away and turn out something better than you expected. It's very visual, the ideas and projects mostly take just a two-page spread, and it's organized just the way you need -- if you need materials, there's a list. If you need something to start with, there are pictures and examples galore.

I usually feel put off by books about art projects because they show results that are beautiful but need long practice, a studio full of specialized stuff, and weeks of dedication. THESE projects I can actually do with the things already available, reasonable amounts of time, and, in my case, little or no practice since Mrs. Johnson's second grade class.
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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Bo Mackison on July 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Are you creative? Are you a blocked creative? Do you think you have zero creativity, but wish you did? This book is for you, and you, and you.

This is a great book to spark creativity in anyone, and as an added bonus you will find yourself having fun and making meaning in your life at the same time.

The overall intent of Quinn McDonald in her new book,Raw Art Journaling is to give anyone the confidence to begin, and continue, an art journal. But I found idea after idea that I simply wanted to try for the fun of it. So whether you want to begin your very first art journal, add new ideas and techniques to an already existing art journal, or simply play with words and creative techniques, this is the book for YOU.

I am a creative person -- I am a photographer -- but I do not consider myself accomplished, or even average, at drawing. Yet, when I write, I often find myself wanting to add color and designs to my pages. Quinn offers ideas to add a spark and sparkle to any page without needed any drawing ability, but this book is so much more than just cool ideas for decorating journal pages.

Quinn is a certified creativity coach and her training comes through loud and clear in her writing. She provides support, encouragement, and permission to try without fear of failure. Every project in this book is doable for anyone, because even mistakes become creative and meaningful.

Quinn begins the book by encouraging all to "create imperfectly," then defines raw art. Raw art is what you "create because you love the act of creation, the fun of problem solving and seeing the project move ahead...creating personal, powerful art.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Lynn on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quinn McDonald's book, Raw Art Journaling is such a refreshing addition to the collection of art journaling books that fill our shelves. She starts out giving us permission to be imperfect in our journals. She reminds us that our journals are places to experiment, to be raw, and that we don't need to be creating pages that look like works of art (as many of the other art journaling books lead us to believe). She shows us that indeed art journaling can be done without a studio filled with expensive supplies. We can journal with pencil, pen and paper - who knew? <grin>

I love that most of the exercises can be completed quickly and with just a writing instrument of choice, journal or other paper and perhaps a colored pencil or two. We can expand and use scissors, a clipping from an old book page and a glue stick. All things that pretty much everyone already has!

How refreshing to be reminded that my lines don't need to be perfectly straight, my letters don't all have to slant in the same direction or even be the same size! This is the book I have been looking for! Quinn encourages us to make our own marks - imperfect as they may look to anyone else. The techniques can all be done by anyone, any place.

I'm buying copies for friends who have been missing out on art journaling because they insist they aren't creative, can't draw or don't know what to write. This book is just what they need and it's just what experienced art journalers can use time and time again to try something different.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rosaland Hannibal on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I stayed away from art journaling for a long time because it looked so complicated. Raw Art Journaling is anything but complicated. It is easy and author Quinn MacDonald does not expect you to 'get it perfect'; in fact, she wants you to treat it like an adventure, with plenty of room for imperfection and adjustments. You don't have to be able to draw. You don't have to be able to write. She gives you plenty of ideas and techniques to try. The book is colorful, with actual raw art journaling on just about every page and great photos. Each technique includes a list of what you need that is not an overwhelming laundry list of supplies you feel you have to collect before you can attempt anything. What a relief. I have been stopped from trying techniques on more than one occasion because I didn't have many of the things on the list or couldn't find what was on the list. Quinn gives you options on a short list for the techniques in her book.

My current favorite chapter is Pouring Emotion Into Line. This chapter contains five techniques: Confetti Lines, Drawing Patterns that Repeat, Over and Under: Complexity in Dimension, Free-Floating Bubbles and Getting Edgy. My favorite is the over and under technique which I never seemed to be able to get right until I learned about it from Quinn. Seeing this technique in Raw Art Journaling triggered a great journal page for me that expressed some feelings about diabetes which will be shared on my blog. What is really great about these techniques is that you can use them in so many different ways. I am a quilter too and sometimes I will stitch or thread-sketch the kinds of line-making I have learned from Quinn.
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