There is quite a lot to read in the book Raw Art Journaling, so it’s taken me some time to get through it all. Part of it I read at the beach in August. And now it’s time for a review!
The book Raw Art Journaling (making meaning, making art) is written by creative coach Quinn McDonald, and she does a great job encouraging us to find our way to our (sometimes hidden) creative side.
The book starts with how to deal with the inner critic, a.k.a. the gremlin and allowing yourself to make mistakes and dealing with fear. It’s a great book for beginners, especially since Quinn’s approach does not require paint, paint brushes, fancy pens, expensive crayons or lots of fancy papers… You don’t need anything (but the book!) to get started!
I wouldn’t have called her style “raw” (maybe doodle art journaling? or free form? I guess “raw” just feel more messy to me), but let’s not get into semantics here. Let’s look at what you’ll find inside this book.
The book has two main aspects or tools for you to use: journaling (writing in different ways) and doodling (drawing lines, swirls and imaginary landscapes made out of those lines and swirls). And then combining the two. In the journaling part you’ll learn about haiku, found poetry, framing your writing and such.
The imagery is scars but effective and just enough to lead you in the right direction. I really like that the exercises are so precise and descriptive. It gives you somewhere to start, and once you start it’s hard to stop.
I feel inspired by the long descriptive exercises – and I have marked quite a few sections that I want to go back to, when I have more time. I’ve already made one of the doodles described in the book (confetti lines on page 73) and I am set to finally create a jar of words I like (described on page 32-33) for all kinds of prompts. I adore drawing repetitive patterns (page 74-75), an exercise I do all the time, filling page after page in my notebooks.
At the end there is a chapter on a few easy to make journals (in pamphlet stitch, one accordion style, etc, and taping together index cards to make an accordion journal).
To me this approach to art journaling is a bit unusual from what I’m used to, where everyone starts with a thick layer of acrylic paint and then builds up layer upon layer! ;-)
So, all in all, a great book if you want to get started on Art Journaling! Read it and you will learn how to slow down, find your creativity and have lots of fun with just a pen and some paper.
More of the Raw Art Journaling
* Raw Art Journaling on Amazon
* Quinn Creative – the authors blog is great and full of inspiration! Check out her thoughts on the book and the 47 ideas it contains!
* My book reviews for more inspiring book recommendations.
I felt very inspired by your review, Hanna. The book looks really interesting, and your descriptions make me think that this will work well for my little sketchbook journals that I carry with me for doctor’s appointments and such. In fact, I have one tomorrow morning, so I’ll be thinking about this while I doodle. :)
You know I love the journaling! I love these line drawings and the “doodle” style. I recently read about Sunni Brown on cnn… she links to the piece on her site here: and there is some amazing research behind the value of doodling!
It looks like a great book. I’d love to read on how to deal with the inner gremlin.
Thank you for sharing your book review. Your thoughts on the book are valued :]
Seems like a wonderful book for anyone interested in the basics, love it!!
I bought this book to take on holiday….. and loved it. It was great to have time to really ‘read’ it.
Thanks for this review. It’s on my wishlist and now I know it will stay there to get bought some time in the future. I like that it’s not another standard mixed media art journaling book, but has more content. Look forward to reading it.
It’s good to find so many different approaches to journaling. Even if it’s less art and more text, it holds so many creative possibilities. Creative thinking is art, too!
I always enjoy your reviews, Hanna. Thanks for turning us on to new things!
Thanks for the lovely review, Hanna! I love beginner’s mind, and I’m a writer at heart. I love the photograph of the side of the book dividing the landscape into a horizon line! How wonderful an idea is that! Thanks, again.
I’ve been pondering about getting this book before. Your review says: Go for it.
Tack Hanna för att du alltid är så inspirerande!
Thanks for the book review. I don’t purchase many art books but may look for this one because it seems like it would help with those “blank” moments I get stuck in from time to time.
I have so many books on creativity and journaling…but this one looks great! I think I have been tempted again;) I love reading your blog and I love Scandinavia…just got back from visiting my two (grown) children who are living in Oslo!
thanks for the book review – it is always interesting to see what is out there. i agree that the word “raw” means something a bit more uncomfortable or painful than what this book looks like.
thanks for stopping by my blog. i always feel a “brush with fame” when you visit. :-)
[…] of anything except color and texture. I started steering away from it before I started my book, and iHanna, the popular art blogger, noted with some surprise that there wasn’t a lot of layers in any of my […]
Thanks so much Hanna, collage papers arrived safely, thanks for the lovely doodled envelope mail art, that’s going in my keepsake book, and inspired by your post i have gotten Quinn’s book, cheers Carol Ann
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Thank you for the review it is always nice to know before a book is bought what to expect.