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on 22 April 2013
I have had this book on my shelves for about a year, and periodically flick through it for inspiration. Its a very good book, and I WOULD recommend it, but it loses a star for lack of variety in art schools. Most, if not all the American artists ALL come from Rhode Island School of Design! Now a quick look at Wikipedia will show a massive amount of art schools, and I think this should have been reflected in the book. Its almost like a massive marketing campaign, which put me off a lot. I'm quite sure other art schools in America turn out very good artists... Other than that, it was interesting to peek inside the scribbles of the artists, and read how they use their sketchbooks.
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on 5 September 2011
This book is literally pages and pages of sketchbook glimpses. The book appears to be a spin-off of the authors blog Book By It's Cover, a place where she shares her love of art books and started a little feature showcasing the inside of artists sketchbooks... I will put my hands up to now and admit I had never heard of Book By It's Cover... but then I have never heard of a lot of the people that write craft and art books. I know what I like just not usually who made/painted it.

This book is quite simply gorgeous. A real feast for the eyes. I am a real people watcher, I love to people watch, making up stories about the passers by. I love to read blog posts sneaky peeking inside people's studios. My guilty afternoon pleasure used to be Through The Keyhole. So to be able to see inside so many sketchbooks at one time is just, well, like handing over the key to the secret chocolate stash. It's such an intimate thing for the people involved to show, accompanied with short interview questions, it gives a real insight into each particular persons thought process.

What I particularly like is that it's not just one type of creative person showing their books. There are artists, cartoonists, typographers... so much diversity. I also liked the inclusion of people across the globe - usually I've found craft books are mainly people from the USA which, granted, this book did still have a lot of but I was pleasantly surprised to see people from England, Scotland, Singapore etc. represented.

I took this book away with me on holiday and read it from cover to cover in the evenings while we were away. Since we've been back I've read it again. It's sparked something, I'm trying now to work in a sketchbook every day - whether it be just sticking something in that's inspired or actually drawing.

The only downside to Drawn In was that it left me wanting more - you can see images showing through the sketchbook pages and it's so tantalisingly out of reach. I envy Julia Rothman getting her mitts on all those books and seeing them in ALL their glory.

This is not a "how-to" book, it's a snoop-fest. And I loved it!
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I got to know of this book from Book By Its Cover, which is the blog of the author Julia Rothman. I visit her blog regularly to check out lesser known art books. She does a great job featuring artists and their books.

Drawn In seems like an extension of the blog in a book format.

There are 44 artists featured in this book. Each comes with a profile, an interview and pages from their sketchbooks. There's a nice variety of wildly differing styles, all very unique and raw.

Most are doodles of imagination, some simple, some intricate, there are pages drawn with pencils and others created from mixed media.

It's interesting to see what these artists fill in their sketchbooks because you can never guess what's inside. Katy Horan draws dark spooky women, Rob Dunlavey seems to like to draw castles, Chad Kouri creates lettering, Ted McGrath's book is well worn with the many things pasted onto the pages.

I like the interviews that talk about how they use their sketchbooks, their various inspiration, and you can learn more about their personalities. With the exception of the author, the rest of the artists are all new to me.

Delightful book. More for those who like doodle-like imaginative drawings.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 July 2011
Any artist knows that everyone likes to take a peek at your sketchbooks. There is something magnetic about them. In some sketchbooks artists reveal their thought processes, in others you can see their drawing style, the media they use, the way they approached a subject and their attitude towards colour. In short, an artist is revealed through their sketchbooks. Julia Rothman opens up the sketchbooks of 44 fine artist, illustrators, graphic designers and cartoonists. it's an interesting insight that most artists will enjoy. There is information on the artist, what they use their sketchbook for and more. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's bok review website.
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on 13 March 2013
I am a university illustration and graphic commination BA HONS student and I am constantly buying art and design books to inspire me and help me improve my professional practice, this book has both lovely images and good information content as a good balance, this has truly helped me and all my university friends love it. I would recommended this to anyone who has a interest
to anything visually appealing.
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on 21 July 2011
I had so wanted to enjoy sight of the professional sketchbooks promised and to learn how to take a sketch to work of art, but I was so disappointed with the unstructured scribblings presented. All artists were young, and it showed. I could not have learnt anythinhg from this book and had to return it.
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on 23 May 2013
Drawn In - more like suckered in! Might as well have gone through paper bin at home and stuck ephemera into kiddies colouring book. Save your cash or buy some toilet paper, you'll get more use.
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