Do you about the Brooklyn-based artist Melanie Testa? If not, you should, and you can by reading her blog or buying her new book, Dreaming from the Journal Page. I pre-ordered this a few months back and I just love it - it is FULL of great journal ideas, not just for paper journals but there are lots of sewing techniques and ideas too - a great and different combination of ideas.
This is a great book for beginners and more experienced artists. There's lots of info on colour (a topic I cover in my book too), techniques for journals, and drawing. I think people will really appreciate this book and I might even go as far as saying that it complements my own book really well.
But here is what I love BEST about this book - and not something that is really spoken about in the book but her blog readers know about it. Melanie signed her book contract the same week she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yes, breast cancer.
She wrote and created the artwork for this book whilst having treatment. She went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. She lost her hair. She lost weight.
Now last year, I was six weeks from the finish line of my book when I was diagnised with cancer for the fourth time. The advantage this gave me was that I knew what to expect - there were not too many surprises. I didn't require treatment (thankfully) - just surgery. For Melanie, this was a new experience and, I am positive, a damned scary one. That she was able to focus enough to write a book is truly one of the gutsiest, most inspirational things I have ever heard. I am absolutely certain that had I not been so close to the finish line when my diagnosis came, there is NO WAY I would have been able to complete my book and I chose to ask and was grateful to receive help from some dear Zentangle friends to fill some gaps for me. I couldn't have done it without those women.
So not only is this book a fantastic title in its own right, cast against the backdrop of illness and uncertainty as it was - all I can say is WOW. Melanie Testa, you are AMAZING.