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Fan Friday - Dina Wakley's Art Journal Freedom

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Welcome to Fan Friday, today's inspiration is a book!  What you didn't think every Fan Friday would be a web site did you, and trust me this one is really worth mentioning :O)

So before I begin, I must confess that I think Dina Wakley is amazing,  I see Dina's work and find myself loving the play of bold colour, I use her stamps have fun, and she also teaches online classes (they are on my 'to-do-list') and I completely admire her approach to art, creativity and life!  I also have to say a big thank you to Dina for allowing me to re-post some of her art in this post (with her permission).  I first came across Dina while watching clips from 2012 CHA,  I've saw a video of Dina where she was talking about colour and composition - I had one of those Ah-Ha moments while listening to it (clip below).

Dina Wakley CHA 2012

and here is one from CHA 2013 - this one also has a few glimpses of the new book!

Then I found her blog online - 'Ponderings' where Dina shows off her amazing pages and projects, here are a few of my favourites:


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Art work by Dina Wakley


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Art work by Dina Wakley


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Art work by Dina Wakley

When I heard Dina had released a book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it!


The publisher says....

Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively With Color and Composition
by Dina Wakley


Color is all around us and we often find ourselves drawn to particular combinations or arrangements. But how can you effectively and artistically capture those eye-catching compositions in your art journal?

It's true, art journaling has no rules" and is a safe place for free expression of your one-of-a-kind life. But knowledge is power and knowing the "rules" of color and composition gives you the freedom to use and break them willfully to create the effects you want. Dina shares these principles in a fun and approachable way with dozens upon dozens of unique journal pages to show you just some of the many possibilities.

In Art Journal Freedom You’ll Learn:

  • Tips and techniques for color and art journal compositions
  • How to create a personal & exciting art journal
  • Ways to be more creative & let your creative inhibitions go
  • Lessons and tips about composition and color including dominance and repetition, symmetry, contrast and the power of black and white.
  • 10 step-by-step technique demonstrations.
  • Dozens of color and design tips and page challenges.

Dina Wakley shares her favorite tips and tricks for creating an exciting and effective art journal in Art Journal Freedom. Don’t let fear or lack of knowledge keep you from creating as fully as possible, art journaling can help spark new ideas and bring existing ideas to the fore. What is an art journal? An art journal is what you make it. You’ll enjoy Dina’s casual and engaging voice as she shows you how to be creative with these exciting art journaling techniques.

Learn how to start an art journal and make art journaling a part of your creative life & process. Discover how to correctly use color and composition to make the most of your art journaling time. Watch your art journaling powers soar!

Now for my 2 cents worth.......

I bought my digital copy from Amazon and had it before the printed copies even landed in Australia - there are some things that have been much improved by technology, especially for impatient people like me!  The digital copy is well laid out for the iPad and unlike some other digital versions I didn't spot even one spelling mistake.  I read the book once it arrived and have since gone back 3 times to read sections again.  I LOVE this book, but it's not your usual art journal book with the same old projects and techniques! This book has quite a bit of information on art theory and explores why colour or the composition of a page works and why it doesn't.  The pages are beautifully decorated with Dina's art and the little bird that appears in the book deserves a book of it's own - I LOVE THIS little guy!  Of course there is the obligatory Tools and Materials section, which is often pretty useless, but here Dina explains why she uses these particular items and how they are useful - I actually found it interesting to read (much to my surprise), a few new items also ended up on my shopping list. 

Then there are sections discussing art theory, colour, symmetry, asymmetry, positioning and accenting with opposite colours to make your art pop.  For me this was invaluable many more 'Ah-Ha' moments, as I never took art as a subject at school and while I like what I make (most of the time) there are often moments when I look at something and 'know' it needs something else, something more or something different but I don't know why.  This book helps explain the 'why' which I know will be useful as instead of rummaging through my whole room looking for 'something' now I'll know I'm looking for an orange 'something' or a penny sized something.  But don't let my talk of art theory put you off, this book also has ideas and tutorials a-plenty with step by step info on how to create Dina-style pages for yourself.  The wonderful and exciting thing about Dina's tutorials is that they can be applied to your own art projects and ideas, you don't HAVE to re-create Dina's pages, you can take her lessons and apply them to your own art in your own style - for example you can use similar colours as Dina, darken around a mask like Dina, add cursive script like Dina - but still create a page with your own style.  I'm going to make something Dina-esque soon and will show you all what I mean here. 

As a self confessed art journal and technique book junkie - this book is now among my collection of 'keepers' and I know I will refer to this book and try out some of the fabulous ideas within its pages.  So a big thank you to Dina for producing a book with a fresh new take, with information different and unique amongst the plethora of art books on the market.

As a little bonus in conjunction with the release of Art Journal Freedom, Dina has shared this wonderful video clip over on the Artists Network Channel and it's well worth watching.