Dawn DeVries Sokol


Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Today is the beginning of a celebration here for the birth of a book called Doodle Diary: Art Journaling for Girls. (This “par-tay” will run through August with giveaways, activities, and fun.) I’m pleased to be the author, designer, and illustrator of this fun little journal that will get girls of all ages journaling, collaging, and doodling.

I am a book designer-turned-author. I have been designing books for my publisher for 10 years. Two years ago, I started pestering them to allow me to write a how-to art journaling book for kids. When you propose a book idea to a publisher, you need to remain open-minded. For one, the publisher, if they decide to publish your book, is investing in YOU. You need to be flexible and accepting of suggestions. So, with that, this book evolved and grew into Doodle Diary. And I’m SO glad it did. There is a little how-to at the beginning of the book, but it is mostly filled with prompts to encourage girls to art journal through doodling.

Growing up, I never thought I’d be an artist. This is a book I wish I had had around when I was younger. It’s a book for all girls, but especially for girls—like I was—who don’t think they can draw, don’t think they are capable of creativity. We tend to push kids away from arts if they don’t display what we think is “talent” or “skill”. And that attitude has to stop. Art is subjective. EVERYONE is creative. It just depends on how much we are drawn to creativity. If we deeply desire it to be a part of our lives, it will. Unfortunately, it took me quite some time to realize just that. If your art is “different” or doesn’t look like someone else’s, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. It means it’s incredible—it’s YOU.

A personal mantra that transpired last year at Journalfest: “If your art journal is YOU, then it is GORGEOUS.” I said this to one of the artists there, someone who didn’t think her art was “good enough”. That thinking was such bunk. And it’s true for ALL of us.

So let’s celebrate our creativity. Let’s celebrate everyone’s visions of the world around them. Encourage the kids in your life to draw, to doodle, to CREATE. I know most of you reading this probably do that with your own kids already. But if you can have a creative influence on children other than your own, DO SO. Tell them their creations are BEAUTIFUL. Because those creations came from THEM.