I’ve finished reading Orly Avinery’s self-published book One Artist’s Journal and wanted to share my thoughts with you guys.
I am a big fan of Orly’s artwork, published in art journal form on her blog. She is great with words and often have something profoundly beautiful or thought provoking to say. Without my love of her blog presence I would never have splurged on her book. As so often these days, the blog precedes and markets the book and/or author enough to tickle my curiosity… I think it’s something to take note of if you want to publish/write/sell – and don’t already have a blog of your own… Think about starting one!
I know I will look through this book many times, and I’ve read every page (there is quite a lot of text overlays over the painted pages), but to my surprise I was a little disappointed too. I wanted to take a closer look and “figure out” Orly’s pages, but learned that each page/painting is “enhanced” with a digital doodle on the computer. This makes it hard to figure out how anything is done (what layer/thing came first?) and to me, it’s confusing. It’s simply something I would want to know about before I bought the book. I’m not sure I think of it as cheating to digitally alter your art, but since I myself haven’t tried drawing with a tablet I’m not sure I like it. Or simply put: I don’t think Orly’s artwork needs it. Not sure that it adds to the whole of the book either… But it’s there, so okay. Orly explains what and why in the introduction, which is good, and each page has added text which makes this book into a illustrated story, and I really like that a lot.
I love reading and getting to know the thoughts behind artwork and images. To some it might be distracting, but I often think that text adds. It adds depth and meaning beyond my own interpretation, but it doesn’t interfere with my relationship with the artwork itself. Maybe it’s because I love words/writing equal to images/looking, and need both to be happy.
This book slows me down, and encourages mind traveling and heart gazing. That’s why I truly recommend you to take a look at it if you’re into these kinds of things… When my copy isn’t out on my desk I’m going to let it live next to my copy of the book Truth will measure by Jesse Reno, kind of a similar book that I can look at again and again and see new things each time… BTW, this book is self published so you should get it directly from Orly’s site here. And if you haven’t already, go read her blog, it’s full of inspiration!
Thank you so very much Hanna, for spreading the word about my book. I appreciate your kind words and your insight, and honor your less favorable words as well (-; I would like however to offer you and your readers a new look into my process. Through my eyes, and my eyes only of course, a beauty of a journal spread lies in the mystery, in its complexity, in sometimes not knowing exactly how it was done. The use of Photoshop became a part of my visual expression through my life experiences. More over you can hear in an interview I gave with Art & Soul Radio
I don’t use it to “enhance” any part of it, I don’t use it to add “doodling”. It’s an integral part of my work. I combine sometimes several of my journal pages and work with layer modes and transparencies, fonts, etc. This unique process gives my pages the depth and the mystery I’d like to convey to myself and to others. This is definitely not a How To Book, and as such the way I got to the result is irrelevant and shouldn’t be of any concern to a viewer, or definitely not “confuse”. My goal in journaling is mostly self expression, I utilize all that is in me, and all that I learned so far. If my pages move someone’s heart to feel, to create, to grow, that’s all a bonus. Photoshop is not a tool to make things prettier, or to “cheat” with. It’s another tool to make art…that’s what mixed media is all about. Combining my physical pages that include, collage, painting, writing, with digital tools of layering, that’s the true meaning of Mixed Media for me and for many others, with out all of these being a part of a whole, my work wouldn’t be mine. With gratitude, Orly
Thanks sweet Orly for reading and adding your thoughts! I feel honoured that you read my blog. I think I’m just like any artistic person; curious about the “how” of a peace that inspires us! Though mixed media on paper is what I love most I do get how a computer could help you deepen and mystify your pages. I was this close to taking your class in England this year, but then I chickened out/decided to save… Maybe one day.
Anyway, hope I haven’t offended you. Thank you for making this book, and sharing your thoughts in it and online.
Hi, Hanna. Thanks for being direct about your reservations about this book. I like Avineri, too, and would find the same thing troublesome. I also wonder sometimes if digital manipulation of a collage or painting is a fair way to display it in print. It might suit the publisher to make the book as ‘bling-y’ as they can, but for me, it is cheating. Just as I wouldn’t want something on etsy to be mis-represented when I purchase it, I don’t want a book to be confusing.
However, I bet it’s bold and interesting, just like all of Orly’s work!