Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison

Spilling Open: the Art of Becoming Yourself by Sabrina Ward Harrison is the personal art journal she made between 18-21 years old. This is NOT a how-to book, it’s a personal mixed media art journal.

Looking at her pages feels really personal. She includes photos and a lot of writing.

The following photo is my favourite page in the book. I love the centered text and photo.

Spilling Open book review

Sabrina Ward Harrison’s Art Style

She combines a lot of types of material in these art journal pages including:

  • Paint
  • Black pen
  • Pencil
  • Photos
  • Paper
  • Masking tape
  • Paper clips
  • Teabag wrapper
  • Maps
  • Translucent vellum
  • Key
  • Mail
  • Stamps
  • Tickets

Some of the specific details of her work that I like are how she:

  • mixes uppercase and lower case letters,
  • colours in some of the letters,
  • draws lines under the journaling.

Spilling Open book review

My Favourite Quote

We are all facing choices that define us. No choice, however messy, is without importance in the overall picture of our lives. We all at our own age have to claim something, even if it is only our own confusion. I am in the middle of growing up and into myself. This book is my life in progress.

Related Books

I’d love to look inside both of these books, which show pages from many different art journalists (I haven’t seen these books yet):

  • An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory.
  • 1,000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations by Dawn DeVries Sokol

Sabrina has other books:

  • The True and the Questions: A Journal
  • And the Story Is Happening
  • Messy Thrilling Life: The Art of Figuring Out How to Live

Sabrina’s website: http://sabrinawharrison.tumblr.com/


I give Spilling Open a 4/5 rating because I find the overall style messier than I mine, (though I really like her style and find it inspiring). I have signed it out multiple times from the library.

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