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Observe, Collect, Draw is a journal to help you learn more about yourself (by collecting data) in order that you may become more connected to who you are. Doing this will enable you to be the creative, talented person that you are. So if you are an artist, or writer, or sculptor, you can bring forth your talents more easily. 🙂 This is my review.
From the back cover:
A guided journal with a fresh approach to the trend of journal-as-tool-for-self-examination. The journal is delightfully illustrated in the authors’ trademark style-accessible, whimsical, detailed. Blending inspiring examples with engaging instruction, this journal asks: What do we learn about ourselves when we measure our gratitude, confidence, and distraction levels? What do our collections say about who we are: our books, music, the clothes we wear? Observe, Collect, Draw! functions as a mini-course in information design, as accessible to beginners as it is engaging to seasoned info designers.
The Nitty Gritty
Three main Sections to this journal
Part one: learning to see. This is where you overcome your fear of the blank page while learning more about using the data you have as material.
Part two: Observing, Collecting, Drawing. Immersing yourself in the world of data by following guided exercises to observe, acknowledge, count and draw.
Part three: Crafting your visual language. You’ll find open ended ideas for drawing with the data you have collected, following your own rules and using your own style. Your work, done your way, using your own style and rules.
Throughout the pages you will find whimsical drawings starting with learning what Data is. Data is simply getting the math about the things that are in your life: plants, people, food, events, interactions, it’s all just data. It tells us who we are and what we do. What’s important to us is shown to us in the data we collect about our lives.
You can then take that data and turn it into a useful form.
Like when a person enjoys a beautiful sunset and takes those colours and turns into a painting, necklace or rug.
The goal of this journal is to help you figure out what the data is in your life, so that you can in turn take that data and be the artist you are meant to be. To that end, guided exercises are given to help you collect data.
For instance, grab up your camera/phone. Take a look at the pictures that are on it. Now map out what’s on it, animals could be blue, people red, houses orange… Whatever. Just map it out. Colour code and use dots and shadings to show connections. This gives you data.
You not only look at the good things of your life, but you also get into the harder things in life, like figuring out what makes you complain. What you complain about? Who do you complain to? It’s all data.
The more you document your life, the more data you can mine, which gives you more information you can turn into artistic endeavors. Once you have worked your way through all 35 exercises, you are invited to then draw. First you analyze the data you have collected, find the stories of your life, then experiment with how those stories look using colour, lines, images, and before you know it you have a data image. Once you have that, you work your way through 12 additional exercises, or if you will, drawing prompts.
These drawing prompts include things like the animals you see, your holiday souvenir, your family, small talk, social media and more.
I wasn’t too sure about this book when I first got it. It’s like HUH? I’m supposed to examine my life so that it makes my art better? Who in the world has time for that?!?!?!? But as I went through it, it started to make sense. The more you know about yourself and the way you put things together, the more you can bring yourself out in the art that you produce. It’s not a bad thing that, is it?
Is it worth getting? I think so. It’s good to stop and think about the things you do sometimes, helps a body to become more aware of personal foibles, strengths, interests they perhaps weren’t aware of, and gives ideas to talk about.. for instance today I was thinking about how much I like mint tea… making MY OWN mint tea, and then wondered if I could inspire others to like mint tea. This I thought about because of a page in this book. Good yes? Indeed.