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Journal Bliss

Journal Bliss Creative prompts to unleash your inner eccentric

by Violette

Published by North Light Books, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60061-189-6
RRP $22.99

In some ways it is hard to review a book that is mainly whacky illustrations
with a cheeky proportion of wasted space.

The book seems to largely be an outlet for Violette's extraordinary imagination
and talent for zany illustrations. Her style is unique, bizarre and expressive,
and I find myself drawn to the book, flicking through the pages over and over again,
constantly spotting details that I hadn't noticed before. In fact the book works much
better as a dip-in-and-out-of book, rather than a read-from-beginning-to-end one.

Violette gives us many simple techniques to bring art into our journaling. She describes the techniques with small hand-drawn illustrations and very few words - most of the instructions are easy to follow and understand, such as the
face drawing tutorial and two lots of scrape painting suggestions. It may just be me of course, but I did find some of the others a little hard to follow, specifically the image transfer techniques. I have yet to try them out, and perhaps by actually doing them I will get the knack. But I have read them several times and either I have a mental block about them or the instructions are not quite comprehensive enough!

Oh yes, the wasted space comment. I don't consider the book to be cheap for its size, nor especially for the amount of content. Out of 128 pages, fewer than 20 contain formal type-written prose, and at least 30 are self-indulgently illustrative and could have been condensed into far less space. Five pages illustrate journal page borders and so are completely blank in the middle. The rest are a combination of illustrations and hand-written notes, suggestions and instructions.

But criticisms of wasted paper aside,
Journal Bliss is a bright, funky, feel-good feast for the eyes and the soul. Smile at the illustrations, empathise with the autobiographical snippets, and then get out your own journal and start unleashing your inner eccentric!

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