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on June 3, 2010
I have to admit my bias right off the bat. I really enjoy art journaling books and have quite a few of them. What puts The Journal Junkies Workshop in my top two is that even though the authors teach several of the same basic techniques that other books do, they make it simpler and take it further. Each time.

The section on image transfers is a prime example. I had mostly given up on using image transfer techniques in my journal when I couldn't get them to come out right, even after buying an entire how-to book on them. The Journal Fodder Junkies explain the differences between techniques, materials, and effects clearly and concisely. Now I know which technique to use when - and my eyes never glazed over. Not once. My pages finally have the depth I was looking for. You can tell these guys are teachers through and through.

The focus on process and experience is balanced with easy to follow instruction, plenty of inspirational photographs, and the right amount of open ended prompting. This book is just like one of those games with rules that take ten minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. Is it a great starter book? Absolutely. But it's also a powerful guide and goad for pushing the limits in your art journal pages.
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on May 16, 2010
I met Eric and Dave a couple years ago at one of their week-long visual journal workshops. I was INSTANTLY addicted. I'm an art teacher who had never heard of the term "visual journal" before and thought it might be a great vehicle for student expression as well as a way to keep art in my personal life on a daily basis. Both are true. Since then, I've involved classes with the visual journal and have kept a few of my own. Other people I've known have taken Journal Fodder Junkies workshops, and they too have become addicted.

I think that what sets apart Eric and Dave's approach (and their book) from others is that they truly use the visual journal for an everyday, everything book. Their pages include the mundane, the profound, the beautiful, and the ugly. Well maybe not ugly... but imperfect, unfinished, misspelled. It's such an approachable style, completely unintimidating, something that truly anyone can embrace. I've read many books on visual journals and related subjects such as altered books or mixed media collage, and have been enticed by the imagery only to find that it set the bar too high--it was too perfect. Not good for anyone who feels even a tad bit unartistic, self-conscious, or nervous to begin. Not good for anyone who tries to emulate the how-to steps only to feel they fail miserably and then they give up.

"The Journal Junkies Workshop: Visual Ammunition for the Art Addict" is a great starting point for anyone who is intrigued by the idea of visual journals. After poring over every page, every word, every image in this book, I feel renewed and ready to tackle more pages in my own visual journal.
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on May 14, 2010
Here's the thing: North Light Books appears to be heavily tilted towards the female author and reader. Whether it's self fulfilling or that the world thinks only women read and purchase books like this, I'm not sure. BUT I can say that I, though female, do not necessarily do feminine art. If it says 'goddess', 'soul', etc, if it has any of that pseudo spiritual lingo and cute work, it is definitely not for me. I was very excited to see a North Light book by guys and I hoped it would be truly inspiring and edgy. In my opinion, North Light has plenty of journaling books in the catalog already that cover the how-to aspect. I'm not sure that this book offered anything new...I have seen all the techniques a few times in other NL books. The only thing really different was that it was a guy. So, the image he chose wasn't a sweet little girl and it wasn't vintage looking. I did appreciate the perspective and seeing the demos without all the cutesy art. But I was expecting a little more work sample and less 'this is a way to make a background'...

I would say, that if you are on a search for a journaling book and really don't know any techniques to get going and are still afraid to just do what you want, and all that cutesy goddessy type of thing turns you off, this is the book you should get. If you already have quite a few, you probably don't need anymore.

I wish NL would push a few more books by guys out there just so I can get to work that isn't easily identifiable as feminine. A little balance would be nice, North Light. Not all of us want lacey vintage sweet work. But, before you award publication to another artist, please make sure they really are offering something different.
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on December 23, 2010
The Journal Junkies Workshop is the first Visual Journaling book I purchased, and the best I've seen so far. It is educational, providing plenty of techniques for beginners (like me,) and it is also inspirational, encouraging "out of the box" approaches to keeping a visual journal. I make a distinction between "art journals" and "visual journals" and this book, in my opinion, applies to the latter, which is my preference. What is visual can be "art" but creating a journal is for me, not for display. The authors, I must add, are artists, and I love what they create and how they do it.

Another reviewer wrote of there being too many "girlie" books out there about visual journaling. I agree. And this is not one of them. I am female, but prefer The Journal Junkies' more in-the-moment-not-always-pretty approach. Of course, no matter what your own interests, even if your visual journal has hearts and flowers, this book provides all the techniques and instructions to make the best hearts and flowers visual journal you can make!
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on December 11, 2010
I'm an avid collage journalist. This book is fabulous for detailed step-by-step information on techniques from simple watercolor washes to more complex photo transfers. It is rich in inspiration, hints, tips, and cautions. I found lots of encouragement while I made pockets, folded doors and gateway in new ways, added more bling and detail to my work, and genuinely enjoyed my latest project. Heck, I even set the book on fire! Get this book....and create something WONDERFUL that nourishes your soul!
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on June 5, 2010
I bought this book for my daughter's 18th birthday. She'll be an art major at college, and she enjoyed art journaling in three high school classes. She loves the book, and it sent her to the local crafts store to purchase a new journal in celebration of it. The examples are inspiring; the book itself is made to look like a well-done (but not too refined) art journal. The instruction is more about what you can do right out of the box, basic techniques to master and everyday materials to use. None of the instruction is limiting; none has the reader ending with a predetermined form; none shows the reader, for instance, how to draw a horse. It's more about how to live out a journal. I've been writing in journals for several years, and I bought an artist's journal two weeks ago hoping to complement some of my writing with some artwork based on the book's lessons and ideas.
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on April 8, 2011
I have to agree mostly with meli sufari's review - it was a relief to see art journaling that wasn't frou-frou or sickenly sweet, as so much of it seems to be. Yes, this is a beginner's book but it's a good one as there are many ideas/techniques all in one book.
I also think it has a few new, or not often used, ideas. The short section on drawing is good for helping people be less afraid of drawing and you are definitely not going to be guided toward drawing or painting shallow, sweet faced girls with pretty dresses. I think it's edgy enough without being so out there that it turns people off. As a result of reading this book, I ended up making a master list of art journal prompts and techniques to use regularly and I will keep the book close by to use as eye candy.
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VINE VOICEon November 20, 2010
Finally, an art journaling book by male authors - and great for women too! This is not a "project" book to learn how to draw, paint and/or collage by number. It is a compendium of art techniques, which are clearly described, and can be used by anyone to express themselves creatively. Most importantly, a multitude of strategies and prompts are presented to help the reader begin to process daily life situations - rather they are good, bad or in between. Finally, the book is filled with fantastic examples of Eric and David's work - very inspiring!
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on June 8, 2010
While I am fairly new to the land of art journaling I have managed to get quite a few books on art journaling, and I think this is one of the best. Frankly I wish in some ways I had it when I first started! Even if you do not identify with the style of the journals the content of the book is worth it 100%! Filled with techniques step by step and with what people keep visual journals for, prompts of all sorts and encouragement! I think that this is a very valuable resource for any visual journal keeper!
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on September 5, 2010
The style of this book has a strong graphic element that I really like. This is not the way I naturally work so it has been a bit of a stretch for me and I'm seeing elements of it creeping into my own art journaling. I say, yeah! and thank you for expanding my visual vocab.

These two guys gave me some great ideas for using watercolors and watersoluble media that are inspiring me. I like their examples for using text, stencils and tracing. I'm enjoying their prompt section very much. There is not a single beautiful vintage-looking girl in sight; instead think: sharpies and lettering and stencils. Sharpies and lettering were not a "go-to" for me and it's exciting to work with these new elements.

I like opening this book randomly for an bit of inspiration. I think the visuals here are very appealing to teens, twenty-somethings and guys. And let's face it: most of what is out there in the art journaling world has been largely aimed at women so this is very refreshing.

One of the things I look for in craft and art books is the aesthetic. I've been around for a while so it's hard to spring new techniques on me. But great new ways to present the techniques is something that draws me in for a second (and more) look. I'm excited when I see something different.
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