Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars64
4.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2010
I bought this book after searching through many that could possibly help me get back into the 'sketchbook habit'. I am planning to apply to an uni art course next year (as a mature student)and really wanted some inspiration of how to set out my sketchbooks to include as part of a portfolio.

This book isnt about your normal sketchbooks i.e. the one-drawing-per-page type from back at school, but more so the journal kind where anything and everything is recorded; pen and pencil thumbnails whilst commuting, collage using bus tickets and receipts, diary entries experimenting with different fonts - you name it. The artists in this book have taken journaling to the next level with excellent sketches from observation and memory, as well as lots of imaginative bits and pieces (one artist visually records their dreams).

Although the majority of artists in the book have had formal art training, a handful are self taught and are doing extremely well with their art. It shows that there is no hard and fast rule as to how you should keep a sketchbook, and to say I flew out of my chair to start drawing straight away would be an understatement!!

I am so pleased I bought this book, and since then I have been recording events from my day visually every day in my sketchbook. I think that by the time I come to apply to art school, I shall have a good few books full up with some (hopefully) impressive and unique pages. You will get all manner of ideas from this book, and it is one that you can dip into time and again - highly recommended!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
When I was searching for information about the book, I found a lot of positive reviews. And I really mean A LOT. It's one thing that a book is well liked. It's another when it's so well liked people are actually talking about it.

An Illustrated Life is a compilation of sketchbook pages from 50 illustrators all over the world. Each journal is packed with sketches, captions and a narrative as the artist talks about his sketchbook. At 266 pages, some of the scans are a little small if you want to read the writings. One reader I found bought a magnifying glass just to make sure every detail isn't missed.

Every page is a surprise, every page is a discovery, a glimpse of what the artists is thinking, seeing and feeling. It's the perfect book to go to when you're looking inspiration and motivation.

Most artists have their websites listed. It's another avenue for exploration. Jjust to name some, they are R. Crumb, Christoph Niemann, James Jean, Peter Ankle, Cathy Johnson, James Kochalka, Brody Neuenschwander, Chris Ware, Stefan Sagmeister etc.

Danny Gregory has published a truly wonderful book. I really love it. It's well worth every single cent.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2009
Being a regular viewer of Danny Gregory's Blog, plus an owner of his
other published works, I was really looking forward to this, and the first thing that hit me when it arrived, was the size of it...'s a BIG book, but you are not disappointed when you open it. Its a wonderful insight into the journals and sketchbooks of a wide variety of very different artists. Printed on lovely uncoated stock, the illustrations and editorials throughout provide hours of enjoyment. I cant stop picking it up!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I've never seen a book like this before! These are a collection of private entries from the diary/journals of artists from around the world.

Included are some well-known ("R. Crumb") to the obscure. Teachers and professors, retired and entrepreneurs, housewives and the very affluent, they're all here side by side.

Apart from the illustrations the artists' kept, the most compelling thing are the notes. You get the real sense that if art weren't a part of their lives, in some active way, then they would cease to function as human beings. These are some very raw emotions revealed.

"The true purpose of my sketchbooks is to help me celebrate and truly experience my life...If I don't have my journals with me, I invariably miss them."
-- Cathy Johnson, painter & illustrator

"I draw with fountain pens. A Montblanc `Meisterstuck #149" and a Mamiki `Falcon.' I use ink from Noodler's and watercolors. When I restarted my sketching, I chose Moleskin sketchbooks"
-- Mattias Adolfsson

"Doodling in my books can also be therapeutic. I've genuinely had nasty or upsetting experience that I've been able to get through much more easily by documenting them."
-- Peter Arkle

"My sketchbook is an extension of my art studio. My sketchbook is a place where anything goes."
-- Rich Beerhorst

"A book means a sequences of pages. A sequence means a story and I like to tell stories, even if sometimes it's with no words...I often encourage my children, their friends and students to keep a sketchbook. It consider drawing as a language, like writing."
-- Simonetta Capecchi

"I've gone through many in-out periods of drawing--especially in more recent times. I just don't have as strong a compulsion to draw all the time as I used to. Sometimes, you just have to give it a rest or Life, itself, just overwhelms you and forces you to lay it aside for a time."
-- Robert `R" Crumb

"At about twelve, I stopped drawing all together. My mind was too chaotic to draw or even think in a deep way. I went along like this through high school, college and five years into a job in publishing. At twenty-eight, I found myself in the countryside of France studying skills I realized I longed for all my life."
-- Peter Cusack

This book is a rich testimony of what it means to want to be AND need to be an artist.

5 stars.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2009
I defy anyone vaguely creative to pick up this book and not be inspired by it. What it gives us a glimpse into are the sketchbooks of quite a few artists. Some of the artists are professionals ; some market their work while also doing a bread-and-butter job; others create for the sheer love of doing so. Each artist has submitted a few pages of drawings, watercolours, etc from their sketchbooks, and a few paragraphs on such things as : why they sketch, what kind of art materials they prefer, what inspires them, etc. There are also photos showing people's workspaces-as a creative person myself (writer rather than visual artist) I am always keen to see THOSE !

AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE is edited by the always-worthwhile Danny Gregory. Creatives from 9 to 90 will really treasure this big and generous book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2010
I got this book at Christmas (2009) to motivate and inspire myself to continue with my journal writing and art. The book is large and rectangular which was sort of annoying but the content overrides this problem. As you read through the book you feel the layout and questions that each artist was given in order to responed. Some artists include a lot of detail on what stationary and journals that they use while others revealed very little. If you're looking for the type of things artists use then this book will be useful. However, if you're like me and tend to blame my tools for the outcome of my art, this book will open your eyes that art can be made with anything and it's just the 'look' of the art it will create.
Some of the artists in the book are professionals which obtained a BA in graphics etc. but some artists have journals for pleasure and can create just as well, if not better. This shouldn't put off the reader but should, instead, inspire that anyone can draw, shouldn't be afraid of empty pages, and that your art will get better and better. The book ends with sadness which surprised me. I won't give too much away but it really made me think about how I took each day and how, with a journal, I could make each day special and memorable.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2013
Originally purchased this as a present for my boyfriend and I thought it'd just be a collection of photos of people's journals. What it actually is is that and more - you get the photos of people's journals, but you also get mini-interviews from them. Things like what their favorite tool is, how they began etc etc. I can't speak for myself, but this was the part my boyfriend especially adored because it told the tale behind their journals and offered you a really nice glimpse into the differences and similarities between all the artists. Essentially, it demonstrated that you don't have to be working as an artist to make art.

What I liked was the interview because it really boosted the morale for the less confident and encouraged people who had never really done more than dip their toes to really try getting involved in art. What I didn't like was (oddly enough) also the interview part because personally, I would be looking for just a book of photos and as somebody who has more than a bit of experience with art, I found it got in the way. So wonderful for those starting out, but for those a little more experienced, probably not quite the thing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2009
I just wanted to add another good review for this book.It is a lovely book to look at again and again for creative inspiration, or just to marvel at all of the artistic ability and varied styles.
By replicating the images from artists journal pages there is so much content and detail to look at. Each artist is also given some space to explain how they use their journal, which is interesting and adds a very personal perspective.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2009
I love this book. It has a lot of illustrations and it is a great inspiration for making my own illustrations in my journals.
I want to thank the artists who gave a vision of their manner of making illustrations in their journals and Danny Gregory.
His books are always worth to obtain.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
Just to say that I bought this from a local independent book shop last Friday and I've nearly finished reading it, it is one of the most inspiring 'art' books I've read. I'm so pleased I purchased it as it has completely persuaded me that I MUST take my art stuff on holiday and do some sketching and drawing. I'm really excited about it and recommend this book highly, especially for anyone wondering if they should start keeping a sketchbook... do it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators & Creatives
Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators & Creatives by Richard Brereton (Paperback - 29 Oct. 2012)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.