Think of Keri Smith's “Wreck This Journal” as the
anarchist's Artist's Way – the book for those who've always wanted to
draw outside the lines but were afraid to do it. For anyone who's ever wished
to, but had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook
comes “Wreck This Journal”, an illustrated book featuring a subversive
collection of suggestions, asking readers to muster up their best mistake –
and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (and destroy them).
Through a series of creatively and quirkily illustrated prompts, acclaimed
artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in ‘destructive’ acts –
poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with
coffee, colouring outside the lines, and more – in order to experience the
true creative process. With Keri Smith's unique sensibility, readers are
introduced to a new way of art and journal making, discovering novel ways to
escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.
"…You see, I made a promise to myself: Follow the instructions and wreck the
journal, no matter what my better judgment told me. It took a few days to get
started. In fact, I spent those first few days grieving over what I had to do
to the journal (yes, I started by reading through some of the instructions).
When it comes to my books and journals, I'm a perfectionist and
damaging any of them makes me uneasy. Even the sight of someone else
damaging a book makes me uneasy.
But, when I finally let loose and did one of the tasks in the book, suddenly
it didn't seem so bad. (Plus, it helped that I started with such an innocuous
task – sticking a sticker from bought fruit on a page.) Before long, I was
flinging the book at the walls, ripping pages, drawing with glue, showering with
it, and a bunch of other interesting (yet highly suspect) activities. At the end
of the day, my family members may think I'm a little nuts for buying a journal
I would eventually destroy, however, it's incredibly fun, liberating, and
therapeutic. Enough so that I enlisted the aid of a Starbucks barista for my
recent experiment (and I think he liked it too).
Truth be told, it exceeded my expectations. Usually, I'm not a guided-journal
girl, but Kerri somehow transformed what could be a boring task into something
amazing. Kudos to her for it. (Between you and me, I'm strongly contemplating
getting one just for my journal collection. It's that good.)
Bestselling author Keri Smith is a freelance illustrator by trade, and has
illustrated for the Washington Post, The New York Times, Ford Motor Company,
People, The Body Shop and Hallmark. She is the author of Wreck This Journal, How
To Be An Explorer of the World and Mess. She lives in Canada.