When I was searching for information about the book, I found a lot of positive reviews. And I really mean A LOT. It's one thing that a book is well liked. It's another when it's so well liked people are actually talking about it.
An Illustrated Life is a compilation of sketchbook pages from 50 illustrators all over the world. Each journal is packed with sketches, captions and a narrative as the artist talks about his sketchbook. At 266 pages, some of the scans are a little small if you want to read the writings. One reader I found bought a magnifying glass just to make sure every detail isn't missed.
Every page is a surprise, every page is a discovery, a glimpse of what the artists is thinking, seeing and feeling. It's the perfect book to go to when you're looking inspiration and motivation.
Most artists have their websites listed. It's another avenue for exploration. Jjust to name some, they are R. Crumb, Christoph Niemann, James Jean, Peter Ankle, Cathy Johnson, James Kochalka, Brody Neuenschwander, Chris Ware, Stefan Sagmeister etc.
Danny Gregory has published a truly wonderful book. I really love it. It's well worth every single cent.
Here's the introduction on the book, which I think is very accurate:
It's the closest one can get to being inside an artist's head, to feeling the raw creativity flow: a book bulging with drawings and scrawled captions, some pages experimental, some pages carefully observed. The pages are buckled from layers of watercolor. The margins are filled with shopping lists and phone numbers. The cover is battered from traveling about, stuffed in a bag or a pocket and yanked out in the rain or thrown down in the grass.
This is not an art form that can be displayed in a gallery or museum, and throngs of viewers can't flock around it hanging in a golden frame. No, this is an art form that must be experienced as it was created, one on one, just as you are doing now, your head bent over the pages, absorbing each sketch and note, then turning to the next. With each turn, a fresh surprise, a new juxtaposition. That pages unfold like a story, a journey, a life. Each of the books is a slender slice of a life, a slice that could be weeks long or months or years, depending on the habits of the artists and the thickness of the volume. As you turn the pages, you feel the time pass. You see moments being recorded in sequence. You see ideas unfold and deepen. You see ideas unfold and deepen. You see risks, mistakes, regrets, thoughts, lessons, dreams, all set down in ink for posterity, for an audience of one.
Whether you are an artist, a designer, a writer, a musician or a CPA, I hope you'll discover the richness, the adventure, and the endless horizons of your own illustrated life.
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