Book Review: Visual Chronicles

Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered BooksVisual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books by Linda Woods

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amy posted a great and enthusiastic review of this book in episode 32 of the Creative Mom podcast. It spurred me on to finally get this out of the library and read it. After reading several pages, I realized that I may have read this book before. It seemed very familiar, but I kept on. The tone of the book is good and I like the idea of two people working together to write the book. It is too project oriented for me, however. I would have liked more inspiration, whys and wherefores of what they do, what they are thinking and more guidance rather than step by step direction. As you know, I don’t need projects. What I really need is a way to be inspired and have no fear on my own journals. I didn’t find that they gave tips for moving on from their book. For art or visual journaling the adage to “Just Do It” doesn’t seem to be working for me.

I asked myself if this was one of the first visual journaling books and found it to be strange that I really needed to know the context of this book.

One of the projects that I thought was interesting was the Personal Palette (pg.13). I like the idea of using shipping tags and making this to use in later work. I found, though, that I was unable to assign colors to people. I talked to my mom about this and asked her what color she associated with herself. She enthusiastically gushed “daffodil yellow.” Then I asked her if she wanted to decorate her house and receive gifts in that color. She was adamant that she did not. Therein lies my dilemma. I really can’t even think of what color I would assign myself.

The authors included a prompt page (pg.35), which did generate an idea for a Creative Prompt response. I ended up not using it (forgot, oops!), but think I may go back and use it again for a second response.

One of the projects is called “My Buttons” (pg.36) and explores the flaws in the maker’s personality. My reaction to that is why? What would this type of project achieve outside of a therapy session?

The end of the book was more my speed. One section (starting on pg.92) talks about changing your routine. I call this “greeting the bus driver.” I have found that small changes do make a difference in my outlook and, as a result, my creativity.

There are a number of things I like about this book. I like the supply lists, the project step outs as well as the design and layout of the book.

I don’t know what I am looking for in these types of books, but I haven’t found it yet.

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