Book Review: Alternative Art Journals (And a Giveaway)

Winner:  The winner of the copy of Margaret Peot’s Alternative Art Journals is Lisa Brown–Congratulations, Lisa!

Title : Alternative At Journals: Explore Innovative Approaches to Collecting Your Creativity.
Author: Margaret Peot

Details: Published by North Light Books. Soft cover, 128 pages in eight chapters, plus a Gallery of Work, and further reading.

Contents: Traditional Sketchbooks, Collections Art Journals, Card Set Art Journals, Landscape Art Journals, Correspondence Art Journals, Box Art Journals, Faux Family Album Art Journals, Tag and Charm Art Journals.

What I Like: Right up front, I have to say I am a sucker for books that encourage people to bring out their inner artist, give ’em a handful of art supplies and then let them feel successful with simple instructions that work well. And this is a book that does that. I love the breath of “simple” here.

Several times in the book, you get a bonus step-by-step demo on the artistnetwork.com website. Coptic book binding, bonus demonstrations, and if you sign up for the newsletter, there are additional downloads available.

The step-by-step photographs are large and clear and numbered with big, bold numbers.

The variety is big and interesting. The suggestions for alternatives are challenging so the book is suitable for beginners and advanced artists as well as those who like to flip through a book for ideas and head off on their own.

The book has a lot of tips, ideas, explanations. I am a huge fan of marginalia, and this book does a good job of it.

On technique uses white gouache as both a resist and as paint, and the instructions include washing ink off the page and allowing the sheets to dry by lining them around the walls of the bathtub. That photo alone made me want to plaster the walls of my tub with wet art. I tried the technique and found it worked well and gave great results.

What I Don’t Like: I had to think a long time to find something I didn’t like. Then I didn’t find one. The typeface is big enough and dark enough to read when you are in process of working. I’m guessing that not everyone will like the big variety of non-traditional projects–boxes and faux photo albums, round cards, charm journals and illustrated stones. I might not make all of them, but I’ll use ideas and adapt them. I’m also guessing that some people would want a more colorful book–I am a big fan of sepia, brown and cream tones, but some people will want brighter colors.

Disclosures: I received the book from a publicist for free. North Light Books is also my publisher.

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away the book. Once more, I’m willing to spring for international postage. All you have to do is leave a comment that you want the book. I’ll draw the winner Friday night and put the announcement at the top of this post as well as on Saturday’s post.

-Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach who is writing a book on the inner critic.

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95 thoughts on “Book Review: Alternative Art Journals (And a Giveaway)

  1. First time visitor to your blog. Was looking for some inspiration to do some journal covers and my search lead me here – going to try out some of your ideas. Would love to win a copy of this book. Great review – I’m a big fan of sepia tones as well.

  2. Sounds like a useful book to have on hand for reference and inspiration. Love all the additional references from web sites to the extras available. Any book that gives me web sites to go to gets bonus points. Also, that the print is dark enough to actually see! I’d love to add this book to my collection and have it to work through during the wintery months ahead!

  3. Being a bookworm, I would love to win this! And that it contains inspiration to be creative—that turns a bookworm into a butterfly!!!!!!

  4. Oh wow, like so many others that have already commented, I’d love to win this book…I’ve just gone back to school to become a teacher, and plan to bring so much art into my classrooms! 🙂 Love to read your blog Quinn, and always look forward to your posts….

  5. “Simple is as simple does” (or something like that). Simple is good for a novice like me, and I trust your judgment, Quinn. I’d love to be thrown in the hat for this book-thanks for the give-away!

    Shine on!
    Kelley

  6. This looks like an interesting book. I often tend to get stuck in a rut in my own art journal, so maybe this book would have some ideas for ways I could liven up my journal practice. I would definitely love to win it!

  7. I would love to get a copy of this book! This summer I participated with a small group of friends in doing our first Sketchbook Project through the Brooklyn Art Library. Next year it will be part of their traveling exhibition and then on permanent exhibit at the Brooklyn Art Library. Very exciting stuff. Now I’m helping a teacher friend of mine do another Sketchbook Project art journal with her students and we are collecting all kinds of stuff to whet the students’ creative juices. They are still a little intimidated at the thought of their work being on exhibit all over the world and then permanently in Brooklyn, so we are trying to give them a little creative nudge. Thanks!

  8. Can never have to many loverly inspirational books,looks interesting……just curious if you still have mine!! I think it came out about ten years ago! Bit dated now! Last royalty check was about 8 dollars,used to be four figures!! Thanks for your generosity….xxxx

  9. Thanks for the review. I appreciate that you tell what you don’t like, and laughed at your struggle to find something not to like. I can’t imagine people objecting to the non-traditional projects, that’s what interests me the most. Please enter me in the drawing, I’d love to have this book.

  10. I really enjoy your book reviews Quinn and put a lot of store by your own opinion. This book seems like it be a really great way of learning more about art journaling from a different perspective and I would love to win a copy. Thanks again for your dedicated blogging. I really look forward to all you have to say.

  11. Any book that shows that only a few purchased art supplies are required and how to use found objects is fantastic. I’ve been squeezing a bit of art into my work in classrooms (a journal to reflect on progress as a learner) so I’d be really keen to be able to use the book on a personal and professional basis.

  12. Quinn! Thanks for the heads up on what looks/sounds like a great resource for the book artist. I would LOVE to have a copy *and have already bookmarked it in the event that I don’t win this copy!* …always looking for new ways to approach my favorite form: the book.

    p.s. – to my mind, life is all about the marginalia 😉

  13. This looks like a great book to have on my shelf with books on writing and creating journals. Your review shows some areas that would stimulate the creative in a positive manner. What a nice opportunity to be a part of a drawing. The book is now on my wish list and will be on the shelf even if this draw does not generate my selection as winner.

  14. At 61 yrs old I’m just beginning to stretch my creative muscle and this book looks like it’s full of great ideas! I’d love to have this book – thanks of the opportunity!

  15. oh goodie another journaling book on the market, maybe you can help me meet my objective where one can never have too many art books, the more I read, the more I learn, the more I paint. Send the copy my way pleeeeze!

  16. I’d love that book. It looks great and I loved your review.
    I promised myself no more books this year (2.5 months left!)…. but winning one would work. 🙂

  17. I love how you do book reviews. Clean, informative, no rambling on a different subject. This is what it is, here is what I like, here is what I don;t like… And I am happy that you mention how easy it is to read (visually, not grade level) and how well the instructions are written. Both important. Looks fun, too.

  18. This sounds like a great book, stimulating and inspiring, with enough quirkiness and whimsy to keep me on my toes. It sounds like a keeper and I would love to win it!

  19. I joined an online art journaling class this summer and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Took me totally out of my comfort zone and I am bursting with ideas! But I can happily make room for more inspiration and this looks like the book for me. Please add my name to the pot!

  20. I didn’t get that exited at first but then I checked the book out at Amazon to see more of the pages and now, I hooked: IT HAS PICTURES OF BOX JOURNALS! I am seriously addicted to boxes. Take me to a shop full of boxes an I am a happy camper! It’s really fun to open different kinds of boxes. There is a tingling of anticipation, of exploration and discovery. Even if I know that there is nothing in it. It’s just the act of opening. I’ve being trying to come up with ideas for art in boxes and this book definitely would seem like a good source for inspiration. Thanks for the tip!

  21. My sister thought I would like your blog…she was half right…I LOVE it! And I would love to be inspired by the book. Add my name to the hat. Thanks!

  22. I love sepia, brown and cream tones too. The third image reminds me of weaving textures, which I also love. Please enter me in for the draw 😉

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