Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Guild - Chapter 1


Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. Nearly 150 artists have answered a list of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. Secret Sunday was the first project and the links to all the secrets can be found on the sidebar of my blog. The Book Guild is the second project and begins right now!


All artists participating in The Pulse were asked to name their favorite art books. The Book Guild will present this list, along with links, book reviews, giveaways, and interviews with many of your favorite authors. And as members of The Guild, I am hoping YOU will participate by leaving comments related to the books in each post - for example thoughts, book reviews, personal experiences, or a link back to your own blog posts that include artwork based on a project in the listed book.


To celebrate both the opening of The Guild and my 200,000 visit, I have been holding a giveaway of 5 art books. And today, 5 lucky people who were randomly picked will each add 1 art book to their personal library. Thanks to everybody who played - all 289 of you!

And the books go to:

Sheila from Halo Hill has won Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression by Diana Trout

Robert on Absolute Arts has won Printmaking + Mixed Media: simple techniques and projects for paper and fabric by Dorit Elisha

Nicole (nicowat) from My Life in Pictures has won Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista

Bill from Billzetti's World has won Cover to Cover: Creative Techniques for Making Beautiful Books, Journals & Albums by Shereen LaPlantz

Peggy from Out of Hand has won What It Is by Lynda Barry

Congratulations to all of you. Please email me with your address so that I can mail out the books to you. And for those of you who did not win, no worries...there will be more giveaways on The Guild soon.

Of the 5 books I included, Diana Trout's book Journal Spilling was the most frequently requested in the giveaway.

Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression

And I am happy to be able to announce that she is our guest author for the first meeting of The Book Guild. So gather around, pull up a chair, and let me introduce you to... Diana Trout:

Spilling My Heart Out

Fall 2007

North Light: Would you be interested in writing a book about art journaling?

Me: Hopping in my socks (after my shoes were blown across the room) YES!

The premise of Journal Spilling came about in a very organic way. That is the way I work: just by starting and letting everything spill out until I get to the heart of it, that little nugget of truth that needs to be in the high beams. The six months before the photoshoot, was spent in the process of making the art and coming up with the projects: stretching and challenging myself. I kinda did what I always do: moodle around with materials until an idea begins to emerge then jump on that galloping horse and make the art (except times 10!).

Since I work with very little planning, this was a sticky bit for me because I needed to remember to record what I was doing without interrupting the flow of ideas. My inner engineer (aka Stewie) came up with a couple of systems to help me with this part. Sticky notes really are brilliant!

I was pretty nervous going out to Ohio for the photoshoot, but it was a blast. My editor and the photographer were so professional and friendly. What a great team, full of thoughts, observations and ideas. I felt really comfortable with them and all the folks at F&W. It was definitely weird though having people watch me work and take notes. Yikes.

Our beloved Phillies won the World Series in 2008 while I was at that photoshoot. There I was in my hotel room, screaming into a pillow while everyone here at home was dancing in the streets. If you look on page 100 you’ll see the sports section from the day after the big win as table protection under my artwork. (Go Phils.)

The last step was the most challenging to me. After receiving the mock-up from the photoshoot, I was on the home stretch: the writing. I really wanted to invite the reader into my classroom. Crafting each sentence, choosing each word, asking myself the same questions over and over again:
Who are my readers? Where are they coming from? What may they need to hear?

You see, it needed to be real. It needed to be honest. My mission was to give my readers the freedom to make their own art; to use the techniques and projects in Journal Spilling as a springboard. It was pretty much a six week writing marathon.

Fall 2009

The final form of Journal Spilling was hearing from folks that they love the tone, projects and inspiration of Journal Spilling. That they needed a little push, and they got it from this book. Mission: accomplished as well as we could at that moment in time. The gallon or two of sweat along the way was worth every drop.

Thanks Diana for spilling out your heart to all of us, in both your book and in this post. Journal Spilling can be purchased here . And you can visit Diana on her website, on her blog, or at her Etsy shop.

As members of The Book Guild, I hope you will comment on this post to get the conversation going. Feel free to talk about Journal Spilling if you have a copy. And if you have created any journal pages or artwork based on Diana's book projects, please leave a link in the comments so we can all see.

Next meeting of The Book Guild - Sunday April 4th. Mark your calendars!

23 comments:

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm not a person who journals, but in perusing the preview pages on Amazon, I think this would be a great book for anyone who takes journaling seriously.

I like how Diana works, and her way of approaching her writing. Honest and down to earth writing attracts me. I would rather read something written from the heart, than something written above my head. Dissertations are fine if you're in school, but not if you're writing an art book.

It sounds like Diana's book would be a great read, especially for anyone who takes journaling seriously.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am going to order this from Amazon...I still am trying to select my favorite art books...techniques and inspirations are always fun...yet I am drawn into social narratives and poetry books to inspire visualization when I am working on mundane chores around the house. Diana has been recommended to me before so the universe is confirming this is the way to go. Have a great Sunday!!! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

BrendaJean said...

Thanks for doing this interview with Diana, Seth. I've heard about her book "Journal Spilling". I think I'm gonna have to bring it home and spend some time with it.

Debrina said...

Dear Seth - thanks for making my head swell by leaving such a nice comment on my post! Oh and I completely agreee with Elizabeth on writing style! This is going to be an exciting journey this Book Guild. I can't wait to participate next Sunday!

Marit said...

I think I have to go save money for the books you will be talking about... thanks for this interview - I'm really curious now! Yes, I art journal a lot and get my inspiration everywhere, but hoppin' over to Diana's place gave me even MORE inspo... my head's full on this Sunday morning. What a great way to start the day!!!

lyle baxter said...

dear seth, thanks once again for organizing an interesting series. I have diana's book and really enjoyed reading what she said about creating it! a very long journey! I bought it because she had watercolor techniques among all the other ideas . my watercolor knowledge is limited and I've just begun working on a journal with a watercolor background. I am enjoying learning new things and would recommend the book to anyone who wants to try some different ways to approach journaling!lyle

Shirley Ende-Saxe said...

Well. I will certainly take a peek at this book! As usual, I pick up another good idea by visiting your blog!

*jean* said...

thank you for introducing me to diana! i will have to take a look at her book! congratulations to the winners...such a great post, seth

Karen Cole said...

Great beginning Seth.

Yes, Diana's book is wonderful. She really knows how to give information in a clear and concise way.

I have had the pleasure of meeting her (she lives nearby) at my opening and she was delightful.

Danielle said...

Congratulations to the winners!!

I really admire Diana's process. It is something I can relate to. I love art journaling for it's free flow of words and ideas. I'm sure her book ROCKS!!

Deb's Artful Journey said...

This is my favorite book on journaling. Its yummy!

Jane LaFazio said...

great interview. And Diana's book is very true and heartfelt(not to mention creatively energizing.) Nice to hear how it came about.

deb said...

I like how she describes here process, because I often work that way, just moodling with stuff... thanks for a new way to spend a rainy sunday, a joy as always to visit with you

rivergardenstudio said...

This is a wonderful interview, and looks like a great book. Congratulations to the winners of your give away! roxanne

JIll Zaheer said...

So glad that your Book Guild has finally arrived. Congratulations to all the lucky winners! Everyone else take heart -for we are all winners to be here reading your post! Thanks for the wonderful interview of Diana and I look forward to nexr week's guild!

Debbie Overton said...

What a great way to start out The Book Guild! I love Journal Spilling and was very excited to read Diana's interview! Sorry I didn't make it yesterday, but I was spending time at the beach and late lunch on the island with my hubby before he headed north for a few days!

Robert said...

Thanks, Seth, for your interview with Diana Trout for The Book Guild #1! I think that it's always interesting to find out a little about the author's intentions prior to creating a book such as Journal Spilling, and then to see how those intentions "panned-out" by the time of the book's completion. It's obvious, here, that Diana could not have been more delighted in the nature of the entire process. I feel it is particularly appropriate to feature Diana's book as the first
book in The Book Guild, as the spontaneous nature of her work has so much to inform, and offer, to those of us who work with mixed media. Thanks for an inspirational start to The Book Guild. I'll be here every Sunday!

brigitte said...

Congrats to the winners. i have a growing interest in keeping a art journal. Diana's book has been on my wish list. i have heard so many wonderful things about it. i better hurry and get her book before i take her classes in Oct.
Seth thanks for this great interview.

Kim said...

I love journals and journalling but have to say I haven't read this book, although I suspect after viewing Diana's blog and getting a taste of all that energy, that will be changing soon! Anything that inspires me to be creative is a plus and I love learning what makes others tick. Great post Seth!
Congrats to all the winners in your giveaway too!
I'm fairly sure this book guild is going to leave me with a long list of books to add to my library.

Gaby Bee said...

Congrats to all the lucky winners! I have not read any of these books but they all sound great!
Thanks Seth, for doing this wonderful interview with Diana Trout.
I'm looking forward to the next Book Guild!

alteredbits said...

what a wonderful and insightful interview. thank you both. i have been very neglectful of my art journals and appreciate this "kick in the bum" to get reacquainted with my journals. i've just purchased this book from amazon.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

How interesting to read an account of an authors journey. Thanks Seth for a interesting start to the Book Guild!

Halo Hill said...

I was thrilled to discover that I had won Diana's book in your giveaway, Seth. I had been lamenting what I could do to feed my desire to journal while my arm is "out of commission"! I feel very blessed to have won this book... it is like an answered prayer!

Thank you so much,
Sheila