Silver Crow Project

Drawn in by Julia Rothman

Blurb - Drawn In presents an alluring and amusing collection of sketchbooks from this diverse, fascinating pool of contemporary working artists and designers. The book features large, full-colour photographs as well as profiles and interviews with each contributor.

Sketchbooks often feel fresh and alive because they are first thoughts and often not reworked. Catch a glimpse of these usually very private pages where artists brainstorm, doodle, develop and work on ideas, and keep track of these musings. You will see how they use their journals to document their daily lives, produce their initial ideas for bigger projects and practice their skills. Using a variety of media from paint to pencil to collage, these pages can become works of art themselves. See how these pages capture the artists' personalities along with glimpses of their process of working and inspirations.

This book is literally pages and pages of sketchbook glimpses. The book appears to be a spin-off of the authors blog Book By It's Cover, a place where she shares her love of art books and started a 'little' feature showcasing the inside of artists sketchbooks... I will put my hands up now and admit I had never heard of Book By It's Cover... but then I have never heard of a lot of the people that write craft and art books. I know what I like just not usually who made/painted it.

This book is quite simply gorgeous. A real feast for the eyes. I am a real people watcher, I love to sit on benches in shopping centres and watch, making up stories about the passers by. I love to read blog posts sneaky peeking inside people's studios. My guilty afternoon pleasure used to be Through The Keyhole before they started staging it a bit to much. So to be able to see inside so many sketchbooks at one time is just, well, like handing over the key to the secret chocolate stash. It's such an intimate thing for the people involved to show, accompanied with short interview questions, it gives a real insight into each particular persons thought process.

What I particularly like is that it's not just one type of creative person showing their books. There are artists, cartoonists, typographers (is that the right word?) so much diversity. I also liked the inclusion of people across the globe - usually I've found craft books are mainly people from the USA which, granted, this book did still have a lot of but I was pleasantly surprised to see people from England, Scotland, Singapore etc. represented.

I took this book away with me on holiday and read it from cover to cover in the evenings while we were away. Since we've been back I've read it again. It's sparked something, I'm trying now to work in a sketchbook every day - whether it be just sticking something in that's inspired or actually drawing.

I'm including a few sneaky peeks of my favourites - there were loads I could've included but you really need to see them up close. I was surprised at which ones intrigued me the most...

Jenny Volvovski, her pages are very clinical and analytical, I found them fascinating.

Jessica Hische - the beautiful typography and her tips on how to get started has me wanting to explore this further.

Laura Park, this is the one that I loved the most, her autobiographical cartoons are just amazing and so funny. I will definitely be taking the time to check out her website.

The only downside to Drawn In was that it left me wanting more - you can see images showing through the sketchbook pages and it's so tantalisingly out of reach. I envy Julia Rothman getting her mitts on all those books and seeing them in ALL their glory.

This is not a "how-to" book, it's a snoop-fest. And I loved it!

Thank you to Quarry Books for sending my copy for review :)

Julia Rothman

I've ummed and ahhhed about whether to offer this one up as a giveaway, it's already quite well thumbed ;) I've decided I'd love to share the absolute huge smile and fizz of excitement this book gave so if you fancy my copy, drop me a line below. Aren't I good? Self sacrificing or what? *Polishes halo*

Thank you as always for stopping by!

Apologies for the weird spacing between my lines, blogger is annoying me. I can't work out how to get single line spacing back.


  1. Your halo really is shining to offer up this book - it looks fantastic! I don't care if your grubby little mitts have been all over it, it'd still be brilliant to win!


  2. A newish book and your thumbprints?! Yeah! Jot down some notes in it and dog ear a few pages...and I'll be in Heaven!

    Count me in, Please ;D

  3. It sounds fabulous - I am surprised you can bear to part with it... but count me in too!

  4. Oh that sounds like an interesting book - thanks for the review Carmen - I too am a watcher of people so this does certainly appeal hun! Good to see you blogging again!

  5. Funnily enough I was looking at a different version of the same idea (it is on my amazon wishlist ;). I love people watching too, it is one of my favourite holiday activities especially when we were lucky enough to get abroad. Thanks for the reply :)

  6. Sounds a fabulous book, I don't know how you can part with it, but I could give it a good home:)

  7. I think I would struggle to part with it too, but if that is how you feel I would be a willing recipient lol x

  8. Looks like a fantastic book, what a kind and generous heart you have to offer it up, please count me in! I was lucky enough to get 1000 artist journal pages by Dawn DeVries Sokol for xmas and I love looking through that. To be able to nosey through other peoples art is amazing. I do get really frustrated if I can't read the words on the journal page though as I NEED to know what their thoughts and feelings were when they did the page!!!

  9. Great review - that book sounds fascinating
    Helen S

  10. Wow a Generous offer ... i'ld love the book it might inspire me to get arty :)

  11. That sounds like a fantastic book. Looks like a great mojo booster. Thanks for the chance to win.
    PS your halo is super shiny.

  12. ooo looks like a fabby book, I wouldn't mind snooping through it lol


  13. oh my gosh, how generous with such an interesting book, I'd love a copy, well your copy! count me in !


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