94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
I keep a journal. I have since I was 10. As I got older, and being artistically inclined, I began to add "fodder" to my journals. Within the last few years, I discovered the art journal, and though I don't put art on all of my pages, I am interested in adding flourishes, etc to my normal written entries. I bought their first book, Journal Junkies Workshop because I liked that they seemed to have a different perspective on the art journal. They seem a little disdainful (as another reviewer pointed out) of other popular art journalers who always use layer after layer of paint and include antique-y photos with dunce caps and wings. True, those elements seem to be favored by a lot of artists for some reason. But if THAT is what speaks to those people, then they should do it.
I was firstly disappointed that the "365" and "daily doses of inspiration" didn't mean that there were actually 365 writing/journaling/art prompts. They divide the book in 12 sections, meant to be done throughout a year, but then they give you only 4 basic prompts, that, one would assume, you are supposed to ruminate over for 7 whole days. I think they mention that there are places on the internet that list journal prompts, but couldn't they have just come up with a big list anyway, to make the title more true?
I liked the prompts, I will possibly work some into my journal, but their techniques that they show were all pretty much covered already in their other book.
I really love the look of the cover. And one last note: Neither of these guys must have kids for them to suggest you leave your journal out and open on your desk. If I were to do that, my kids would grab the nearest crayons and scissors; goodbye journal.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2012
I was really excited to receive this book because I am a big fan of the first book by Eric and David - The Journal Junkies Workshop.
The wait was certainly worth it - there are so many ideas for writing and art in this book, it would be suitable for both adults and especially teenagers (the fact these guys are school teachers really comes through - in a good way).
What I really like it that the book lacks pretension - it's not high end, fine art and doesn't pretend to be. It is using accessible materials in a way that is easy to understand. If you're someone who wants step-by-step instruction, there is some of that, but it also encourages readers to do their own thing and make their journals personal and about them. Those are the books I love the best - books that encourage students to do their own art, in their own style and doesn't judge.
I personally think the prompts are fantastic too - but I would encourage people to use the 'Look Inside" function, see some samples and then, if you choose to buy the book, really embrace the opportunity to do something unique to themselves. It is THEN they'll really benefit from this fun book.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
This is a nice book with some good ideas. The format is interesting and the instructions clear and easy to follow. The large illustrated pages are great, wish there were more of them. Didn't buy the book for the prompts but it's loaded with them, so for people who are looking for direction or inspiration, this book may be very helpful. The book encourages artists to use what they have on hand...bits of this and that, scraps and recycled material. It's a book you might want to check out.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2013
I really liked this book. I wasn't sure about it, and was happy when I saw it at the library, so I put it on reserve. I wasn't sure if this was a book I would refer to again. But...I want this for my shelves now because I don't want to give it back!
I have seen somewhere, someone mention that there were not 365 prompts, but I think that was taking using a narrow sense of "prompt", and the authors don't actually say there is 365 prompts but ideas, and because I have too much time on my hands clearly (!) I went through and roughly counted and there is that many ideas. But more than that, I think that there is more than enough here to occupy one for a year if they really want to dive into the book. There are so many directions presented, it is like one of those pick-a-path books (do they still have those??).
There was a lot I liked. The book is split into 12 sections covering aspects of your life in a broader sense, from your personal mythologies, to dealing with the unexpected, seeking solitude and then connection, dealing with fears and mistakes, dreams and awareness. I really liked the way it was set out. For each chapter there are four writing prompts and then different drawing and painting techniques and ideas for taking it further. There are also sections on observations and ideas for taking your journal out and about and extending your comfort zone.
I know that some of the techniques and ideas were a little basic, for instance one of the ideas was to use gel medium as an adhesive, but I think that makes it good for the absolute beginner. However, it is not the techniques that blew me away, although there were some things that I thought were incredibly clever and I am going to try. The best part for me was what they called "Anatomy of a Journal Spread", where the authors present finished spreads combining the different techniques and analysing what they did. I was very inspired by their finished pages and loved seeing ow they integrated techniques to help pages come together.
As opposed to creating works of fine art in a book the emphasis was very much on turning your life into art, the smaller details and recording those smaller details artfully. There is an emphasis on your personal journey, and I really like that.
There is also an emphasis on using supplies that are easily accessible and everyday sorts of items, like ball point pens. You are not going to have to spend a fortune at Dick Blick to try out their ideas. :)
Something that I completely geeked out about, and I haven't noticed before was the clever use of QR codes which takes you to extra tutorials. I loved that idea, and the clever use of technology.
If I was stretched to say what I didn't like I would say that some of the techniques and ideas were very basic, but I think taking that view disregards the genius of the book which is looking at the finished spreads as a whole and seeing new ideas for using different techniques. It is not about the individual techniques but there are so many layers that bring spreads together, like there are many layers of our lives, and so it is seeing the ways the techniques are put together that excited me.
For instance on its own I have wondered about the wax crayon/watercolour resist (I just didn't get it), but there is a spread that uses that technique as lettering fill and it looked amazing. I saw the benefits. I love their art style, the rawness, and stylised imagery, and how the finished pages were so reflective of them.
There are no "projects" as such, but it is just not that sort of book, and wouldn't work considering that the point of this book is to be about you making your own pages and being inspired to try new things, not copying what the authors did.
All in all, I think you could say I very highly recommend this gem.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I'm into journaling. I was an English teacher for 14 years; once an English major, always an English major. I've read nearly everything my local library has on journaling (20 books or so), myriad web pages of prompts and writing techniques, and lots and lots of journal entries from all walks of life. I keep around three journals at a time. I rarely go anywhere without one.
However, I am not a serious art journaler. I find the idea of art journaling interesting, but sometimes it seems to me like just a lot of single abstract nouns on a page: peace, inspire...etc. Okay, okay, sometimes there are verbs too: breathe, believe...etc. Overall, I'm still looking for a book on art journaling that matches the power of written sentences and paragraphs, color wash and vintage-look newsprint or not. Art journaling is not my favorite way to interact with a journal.
But, that brings me to what I like about this book: there is attention to actual writing. The prompts are designed to be used weekly, rather than daily, which is fine by me since each prompt is pretty dense. Honestly, I think you could do one prompt per average level blank book and make a whole series for yourself.
I can't say whether a serious art journaler would like this, though the voices of other Amazon reviewers seem to indicate that it would be a big hit. This book is definitely worth the list price for the nice, meaty writing prompts. Maybe I'll do some of mine in colored pencil.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
This book has everything an art journaler could ask for! While I didn't think they needed to be so dismissive of other types of art journalers, I like that the authors focus on tips and techniques using typical art supplies. A must have title for your art instruction library.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2012
The great thing about art is that anyone can create. Perfection does not equal art, reflection, perception, even doodling all these are art.
That is the feeling I came away from this book with, I felt encouraged to expand my thoughts through using an empty page in front of me to 'talk' thoughts out in my chocie of fodder and design,thus art becomes a kind of therapy to help think through thoughts more thoroughly, develop, improve, maybe even totally change mental direction on a subject.
Enough has been noted in other reviews already about there not being 365 prompts. There are some great topics to devote to much introspection, and encourage personal growth and development. These are my favorite part of the book.
Chapter headings that give some insight on the prompts:
"How do I remain spontaneous as I react to the unexpected?"
"How do I prepare myself to be wrong and make mistakes?"
"Where is my personal safe place? How do I create it?"
"Where am I at this moment? How can i get the most out of today?"
"How do i connect with myself? To others? To the world?"
"What is holding me back? What is keeping me from moving forward?How can I step up and procalim who I am?"
"Where am I going? How do I get there?"
"What are the archetypes or icons of miy life? How do I symblolize the movement of my journey?"
"How did everything get so hectic? How do I come back to Center?"
"How do I define myself? How do I honor my strenghts and nurture my ability to grow?"
"What is my support system? Who is in my tribe?"
Talk about thought provoking! I am excited to get started never having used this form of art in a journal I have big expectations for my next journal to really boost my journaling to a new level. Personal growth in art and life, who doesn't enjoy that?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book doesn't really have 365 daily prompts; it actually provides 48- it's divided into twelve monthly sections and each section has four prompts. There are a lot of art techniques in each chapter, though, so you could still consider it to have 365 ideas.
The authors expect the reader to do some deep journaling. Along with the more common subjects of dreams and personal history are ones like owning your shadow self. They recommend strongly against using standard imagery- like the ever popular woman with wings or a crown- and coming up with your own- use pictures of yourself and ephemera you've saved. They don't want you just creating collages; they want the collages to be personally meaningful.
Unlike many art journal projects, they don't advise that you have to own every art supply ever made to do the job. In fact, the basic list is very short- journal, colored pencils, glue stick, scissors, water colors and a few pens, pencils and markers. These simple supplies- and a few others recommended in each chapter- are used in numerous ways to create many different looks. Each chapter shows different techniques for writing, drawing, painting, collage and more. There is even a URL you can go to for extra technique tutorials online. There is a lot to the book.
The down side is that the techniques are fairly basic. They are geared to the beginner artist. This is not a bad thing- it's great that there is a book that won't intimidate the beginner. But a more seasoned artist may want to seek out a more advanced book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I am a journal junkie. So anything that offers new methods of using a journal is an exciting new adventure. (I have a closet full of blank ones...ready to be spoiled.)
I admit I wanted it for the images--just to show me what I could do if I were as creative as the author. On inspection though, the images were not extraordinary. I do like the silly faces, and the splashes of paint on the pages. But some of the suggestions just didn't seem 'artsy' enough. (Running tape along a page, and using stencils) I did enjoy the writing though, and read most of the book.
Some art journal books are so beautiful and clever, I just know I can never replicate anything so special. This book does make me feel like I don't have to make journals for anyone but myself. (No Youtube journaling for me!)
So with all that said, and despite the lack of eye-candy, I did open my journal and write and draw and paint. And that was my goal. This book is nice, and I did get inspired to spoil a journal.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
From the title, I thought this would be a book of 365 ideas for your journaling. It isn't quite that. The book does have some good ideas to get your started or restarted with your journal. There are some writing prompts like: "How are you being present or absent in your life?" "What metaphors about your experiences and emotions speak to you?" that will get your thinking in directions you might not have considered. While I like what this book says, for some reason the graphics are just a little too jumbled for my liking. You might want to flip through the pages before buying this book to make sure it appeals to your taste.