The Art Journal Work Shop - Review

The Art Journal Work Shop - Review
I recently received a review copy, from the publisher, of the book The Art Journal Work Shop by Traci Bunkers. The book is published by Quarry Books. This is a great book for anyone who is involved in creative work or journaling. When I received the press release for The Art Journal Work Shop, I thought it was aimed at artists and designers who were trying to work past a block in their creativity, with artistic exercises. I thought it would be a good book for doll designers to work with a creative block, so I requested a copy because it would be of use to many of you.

When I got my copy it quickly became obvious to me that the book is partly what I thought it was, but is so much more, as well. I think the title is somewhat of a misnomer. In my opinion, the exercises in the book are using art in the journaling process, but also journaling in the art process.

I am so inspired by the book, that I have begun to do the work described in it. I had an old book, purchased in a library sale, that was of no use to me except as an altered book. It has become my new "art journal" and I find that the process of using the exercises has opened up my mind to possibilities in how to move forward with my own work.

The Art Journal Work Shop is divided into 4 chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction to visual journaling with a good explanation of "why do it." Chapter 2 is an extensive discussion of materials, and there uses to the visual journalist. Some of the uses are not what you might expect, and Ms. Bunkers gives some great examples of substitutions if you don't happen to have some of the materials on hand. Chapter 3 is "working details", with good nuts and bolts of actually doing the work. Chapter 4 is exercises with specific journaling prompts, and they are very helpful to get you un-stuck.

There is also a DVD included with the book to give you a video of how some of the pages were originally done, which is quite helpful. The only thing I would recommend is to turn the sound down on your TV or computer when you watch the DVD because the only sound is a guitar accompaniment which I found somewhat annoying and distracting.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is working through a creative block, or just to gain some insight into your creative direction; but it's a lot of fun, too.

The Art Journal Work Shop by Traci Bunkers
2011 by Quarry Books
ISBN-10: 1-59253-684-0 $25.00 USD

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