Doodling Books That Disappointed Me

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November 20, 2015 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog

Rather than having separate SADFACE blog reviews for each of the following doodling books that did not meet my expectations, I decided to lump them into one post. And as always, even though I wasn’t crazy about these particular titles, what I wasn’t crazy about might end up being something that you love!

cover for the daily artistThe Daily Artist (A Creative Journal) by Marc Johns. Published by Peter Pauper Press in February 2015. Paperback sized 8.5 by 6.5 inches with an elastic band to help keep the book closed, 160 pages.

With all the adult coloring I’ve been doing, I’ve been inspired to do my own doodlings and drawings — some, of course, are more successful than others, but I always have a good time and that’s what’s important. I thought The Daily Artist would be a fun creative journal but once I got it in my hands I was disappointed. The majority of the doodling exercises focus on (1) drawing tattoos on body parts, (2) drawing only with triangles to create an object (like a table), (3) adding a face, (4) or drawing an object (like a coffee cup) via connecting the dots in a dotty grid. I also felt that the “turn this into something” activities (pretty paint blobs on paper) didn’t leave a lot of room for me to add my own lines — a lot of the paint blobs (especially the circular ones) take up most of the page. I ordered this online, without actually seeing it in person, and I returned it back to the store. You can see an inside peek of The Daily Artist on Johns’ blog.

cover for doodling for bookwormsDoodling for Bookworms: 50 inspiring doodle prompts and creative exercises for literature buffs by Gemma Correll. Published by Walter Foster Publishing in September 2015. Paperback sized 6 by 8.5 with 128 pages.

I thought for sure Doodling for Bookworms would be a perfect book love connection — I love books and I love doodling, and this book has both! But alas, this book love affair was not meant to be. Doodling for Bookworms is for sure a cute book — Gemma does have a nice artistic style — but I felt the book featured way too many of her own literary-themed doodles and that there weren’t enough prompts and space for me to do my own doodles. I ordered this online, without actually seeing it in person, and I returned it back to the store.

cover for florabunda woodlandFloraBunda Woodland: Super Simple Line Art Color, Craft & Draw: Trees, Owls, Leaves by Suzanne McNeill. Published by Design Originals in September 2015. Paperback sized 8.5 x 11 inches with 48 pages.

Part of the book’s blurb on the back cover states that I will “Learn to draw more than 300 fun nature-inspired doodles.” The first page mentions that the “simple shapes of the plants and critters of FloraBunda are easy to learn” and that “Simple steps for drawing and coloring are included in this book to get you started.”

However, most unfortunately, FloraBunda Woodland is simply a “catalog” of 300 woodland inspired doodles and there is only one double-page spread with step-by-step instructions for eight of drawing them. This was a big disappointment — I requested this book specifically because of the “learn to draw” component.

The book concludes with a 14-page “workbook” of creative prompts such as embellish quotes, fill a forest, make your own mandala, and add color. Ultimately, I don’t know what to make of this book — it doesn’t deliver on what it promises.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.

cover for change your life one doodle a a timeChange Your Life One Doodle at a Time: Creative Exploration from the Silly to the Serious by Salli S. Swindell. Published by Quarry Books in November 2015. Paperback sized 5 x 8 inches with 112 pages.

Oh how I love the concept for this book but oh how sad I am that it was not executed well. There is barely any room on the pages for me to doodle or write things down! I desperately wish this book was either  taller or wider, or both!

I haven’t tested any of my markers or pens in the book (because I plan to donate it) but I have a feeling that ink would NOT bleed through the paper — the paper most definitely has some weight to it and has a nice smooth finish. I guess the publishers opted for high quality paper (which may explain the $17.99 retail price) rather than a larger size book with not as high-quality paper. It certainly is hard to please everyone, but with three drawing and/or writing prompts per page, it certainly would be nice if the book/paper was sized larger.

Also the book is really stiff (perhaps because it is new) but it definitely does not lay flat and you would need to hold it down on the left side while you wrote and drew on the opposite side — that would be awkward.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.


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