3 out of 4 stars
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Artist’s Journal is a collection of the various artworks and musings of Sveta Alenina. This compilation of works ranges from Sveta’s simple sketches to her short bursts of poetry. Consisting mostly of her various illustrations, this book is exactly what the title describes – the journal of an artist. If artworks could talk – this is how they would do it.
Sveta’s art is intriguing. The variety of forms and colour that she incorporates into the various illustrations is immense. There are no two works alike, and none of them gave me the feeling of repetitiveness. In the Amazon blurb, Sveta states that the images are more doodles than artworks. I have to disagree on this notion. Doodling implies that the illustration is like a stream of consciousness. I feel like this art is deliberate. There are intense feelings associated with the images portrayed, and, every so often, the illustrations come with epigrams to back them up. I don’t think that doodles can invoke emotional sensations. This art does.
There are a few darker sketches in the journal that represent deeper feelings of depression. This is a big contrast to the other images that show colour palettes of brighter, ‘happier’ hues. It also shows the depth of these artworks and how nothing stops at the surface.
As mentioned, there is some poetry in the book. These poems go slightly over my head. They are very open to interpretation, and, as much as I liked them, I didn’t really understand them. For instance:
It complements the idea of free association, and it bolsters the artworks. There were a few (more straight-forward) poems, however, which I really enjoyed. These aspects all add nicely to the diary-like feel of the book.It was a very strange day.
It was. It was. It was.
Do not dare to diminut it
To some explainable consequences.
The editing of the limited text in the book is not very good. There is a three-page foreword written by an art historian and psychology expert. The grammatical errors in this introduction are extensive. Unfortunately, the errors don’t stop there. Mistakes such as ‘The horses head’ and ‘boy friend’ litter the fleeting text. Two artworks are also repeated in the journal, and without explanation, I can only assume that it was accidental. Finally, there are a few blank pages, sometimes spanning a two-page spread. For an artist’s journal, I think this should be avoided.
Artist’s Journal should not be mistaken for something it’s not. It is a work created solely out of the personal contemplations of the artist. Without being straightforward, it is a reflection of Sveta Alenina’s life told through her various creative flairs. With the errors, I am unable to give this journal more than 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to anyone who has an open mind when it comes to artistic musings. I enjoyed taking a walk through Sveta’s life as depicted by her art – it was definitely a refreshing way to read a book!
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