The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn is a great book for both scrapbookers and journalers who are interested in making the move to personalized art journaling.
I picked up this book out of an interest in making travel sketchbooks. I know that wasn’t the title, but the look of the cover and the back of the book intrigued me. As a mixed media artist who also has a history in scrapbooking, I’m always intersted in pulling the two together to make the lines between the two less firm. And Gwen Diehn, it seems, is also interested in softening some of those lines.
What makes this book good for someone who wants to move from scrapbooking into a more artistic format? Gwen spends a good amount of time discussing materials. Which materials she uses, those she prefers, and where you should spend your money, versus where you should save it. If only I had this in the beginning, I don’t think I’d have spent as much money on inexpensive low-pigment art supplies that didn’t get me where I wanted when I started. Live and learn!
For someone who is already involved in art journaling, this could be a good resource, as well. I found it a good way to hone some skills in how to use some of my supplies. I also found her discussions of different types of pages – starting with images or starting with text, for example, inspiring and I wanted to try them.
Often I’ll spend time skimming the book before a purchase and then it sits on my shelf until I get a chance to really focus on it. Often, that takes me several sittings. In this case, however, I was continuously interested in seeing what the author had to share with me. I sat and read it in one sitting. I came back with many ideas for my next journaling session.
Since I read this book, I have returned to it many times to see what else I could learn. This book is well worth the investment!
PROS: Gives information on everything from art materials to actual processes for creating pages. Good for everyone from beginner to advanced.
CONS: This book’s text is very dense. For some who have a lot of art supplies, you might question what you’ve bought and whether it will work. Gwen rmeinds you to experiment with what is best for you. Also, If you’re not prepared to sit down and read the text, you will end up missing a lot of good information.
Overall, this book as a great investment for anyone who wants to keep some sort of journal of their lives that includes some decorative or visual element, whether a scrapbook or a visual journal, this book is an excellent reference.
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