Raw Art Journaling: The Book

Tonia Davenport, my editor at North Light books, walked across the parking lot carrying a tote bag. She’d told me about the painted canvas cover she’d made for her computer, and we generally have show and tell when we get together.

Front cover taken on my kitchen counter because I didn't want to wait for good sunlight tomorrow morning.

But this was different. She handed me a sealed, padded envelope. “It’s your book. The first advance copy. I thought you should open the envelope.” And so, sitting in the outside garden of Pita Jungle on a cool May evening, I opened the envelope and slid out  the printed, color copy of my book.

When you’re a writer, you often look at a piece of writing you did a year ago and cringe. Wish you had done it differently. Wish you could re-do it. I didn’t feel that at all. Each page looked wonderful. It was the first time I’d seen the book in color. Held a bound copy. Enjoyed what I hoped it might be–a welcome for everyone who wants to keep an art journal but can’t draw. A set of projects that come from your heart, that will make your ideas come alive for you. A way to pique the interest of everyone who is tired of assembling perfect kits, of pre-designed scrapbook pages. Who longs to make meaning while they make art. Who wants. . . more. More meaning. More deep writing. More than just putting

Back cover--glare and all, just to be able to post it.

color and words on a page. A real exploration of the journey. I hope readers feel encouraged, cared about, nurtured. Grandiose ideas? Foolish? I hope so. It’s about time. I felt the same way when I held my son for the first time–filled with big dreams for him, filled with joy at the power of creation.  Now it’s time to take my word for 2011–Step Up–and step into the world with the book.

–Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art.