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on 25 September 2012
As someone who has recently started "art journalling" I have purchased a few books about techniques and some showcasing other artists' work, hoping for inspiration. I had high hopes for this book based on the reviews and the "look inside" (always much appreciated). Unfortunately I was terribly UNDERwhelmed by the variety and character of the work shown here. I kept turning the pages and encountering very similar work - almost as if half of the artists had attended a workshop together and employed the same techniques to their pages. Techniques like drawing wavy lines and hand-lettering variable sized text to fit in the lines; stamping 'headlines' in alphabet stamps; marking out 'calendar squares' on a page and writing short daily entries over a month; lots and lots and lots of pages covered in colour washes with inspirational words or quotes pasted on them....
And one of the last things I'd expect to ever hear myself complain about - but the majority of artists featured (at least 90%) are female. Generally injecting more female power into any perspective is a positive, however in this case I feel that it contributes to the sense of homogeneity that pervades this collection. The work here is very skewed towards people who are making their personal journals artistic, rather than artists who are keeping personal journals. For me, this was probably the key to the problem. If the title were "1000 ARTISTIC Journal Pages" it would be much more accurate. I'm not keen to say who is an artist and who isn't - we all have some creative ability and should be encouraged to express it. I would not call myself an "artist" (I could probably be defined as someone trying to make a personal journal artistic!) but my heart yearned for more variety and inspiration than I found in this book. Also it's worth mentioning that due to the number (1000) of pages displayed, they are small - on average four journal pages to one page of this book, and many artists have multiple pages represented. There is no information about the artists but there is a list of names, with web site links where available at the back. I am sure there are people who will find this book fits the bill but it's not what I needed.
Personally I found An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers to be much more inspirational, varied and exciting - and it includes short interviews with the artists who answer questions about their journals, what notebooks they use - and in some cases includes photos of their workspaces and collections of note/sketchbooks.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 December 2011
Two or three years ago I bought "An illustrated life" by Danny Gregory, an anthology of extracts from the notebooks and journals of professional artists, illustrators and designers.An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers I was enchanted by it, and following the enthusiasm with which this later publication has been greeted, I felt sure that I would enjoy this one too.

Regrettably, this volume is a totally different kettle of fish; or should that be can of worms.

Firstly, it is very badly produced. A glance through the pages will reveal that most of the contributors prefer the portrait format for journals; so why is this book produced in a square format ? Answer, so that four portrait format pages -- presumably A4 in the original -- can be produced on one page.

Whilst my eyesight is perfectly adequate for reading normal print, this huge compression renders even normal scripts unreadable without a magnifying glass. But perhaps it doesn't matter. Most of the contributors prefer, or are only capable of, illegible scripts, and like to place them against backgrounds which make them still more illegible anyway; and those that are legible make far from pleasant reading.

After browsing this book, my overwhelming feeling was one of pity for the contributors, who appear to have the most miserable lives; a powerful magnifying glass reveals that many of them are telling themselves to cheer up, think positive, relax, forget, lose weight, or reassuring themselves that they are superior to everyone else, or offering sad and wistful expressions of unrequited love, together with rants against employers, lovers, friends and colleagues. (What can we conclude, I wonder, from the fact that the vast majority of contributors appear to be female ? As is the compiler).

Not all contributors are tarred with the same brush. For example, I make a notable exception of the assured, elegant pen sketches and legible script of Glaucia Mir, Julia Molina's smart little montages, and Paul Abadilla's great character studies. There are others but they are few and far between, occasional jewels floating on a sea of angst and scruffy, unintelligible psychobabble.

The Journal genre has grown in popularity in recent years, starting with extracts from artists' sketchbooks and gradually evolving -- I would say deteriorating -- into the form we have here. This newest form is unquestionably a large market, as all the favourable reviews illustrate; but Art is a very subjective field, and publishers -- and reviewers -- need to make clear the kind of taste being catered for. These are mostly not extracts from artists' journals, but from teenagers' illustrated diaries. It's art, Jim, but not as we know it...
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on 15 January 2013
I don't think you can beat having the book but when the total number books in your house is getting beyond a joke and space is short then kindle is the answer for fiction. Normally I would not buy a book like this on Kindle because whilst I love my Kindle for straight forward reading, it only supports black and white ... and rather flat .. images.
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on 26 April 2012
I have been reviewing if there is any point in having scrapbooking/journal books for kindle, due to the nature of the books, you want to see them in hard copy. However I still like the idea of having a reference at hand on a kindle or kindle device. So far this one is the best. In some others, the graphics are not high enough resolution to zoom in and appreciate the page (including any text within the graphics). This version has very good resolution and the graphics can be viewed well. Not many of these types of books are available in kindle editions as yet either.
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on 31 October 2011
There is something so satisfying about looking at other artists sketchbook journals, it provides such a great insight into other people's minds, their motivation, deepest fears, thoughts, hopes and inspirations. If you are stuck for ideas on how to start a sketchbook then this book is amazing. I cannot rate it enough. It is reassuring in its content, and so packed full of information for the senses I love reading this in bed and going to sleep dreaming up my next artistic ventures. An inspirational read, I am buying this again for someone as a Christmas present I was so impressed.
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on 22 January 2016
A fantastically inspiring book. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to show their work in a colourful and imaginative way. This book is not just for journalling ideas. It brightens up a dull day; has me wanting to buy more of these arty books.
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on 2 March 2014
I only gave this book 4 stars as I would have liked some information about how each journal page was put together. There is a list of web pages in the back of the book so its easy to check each artists blog or web page for further information.
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on 29 October 2016
Lots of journal pages to look at, helps if your journaling, gives ideas.
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on 14 March 2017
As described
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on 22 August 2013
i bought this artist book to use as a backround for a project i was doing for a16th b/day so only used the pages in a sought of this is your life photo book it looked incredible every body commented on it .very very pleased.
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