Posts in the "Stuff you read" Category

November 19, 2010

Nightmare fodder: Two Centuries of Children’s book illustration

The Public Library does it again, folks. This week I found William Feaver’s When We Were Young, Two Centuries of Children’s Book Illustration and it was like seeing Gremlins for the first time in second grade. I didn’t sleep.

Regardless, the book is a fascinating collection of what kids across the universe were looking at by firelight years ago. The image above is by Heinrich Hoffman and the caption reads, “‘Ah!” said Mamma, “I knew he’d come to naughty little suck-a-thumb.”‘ Dang, Hoffman!

More illustrations after the jump.

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November 12, 2010

OPTIMISTS CLUB: The pros and cons of positive thinking

A friend of mine once bought me a thrift store t-shirt that read “Optimists Club” on the front. It was an eye doctor’s softball team jersey from the 70s. The irony being that I am neither an eye doctor nor an optimist in the sense of…perspective. In fact, I’m probably closer to having a medical diploma than seeing the bright side of things and honestly, I don’t even know what a femur is.

However, recently I’ve been “blessed” with losing my job for the second time in one year. This has forced me to take long, introspective walks. That, and figure out what the F I am doing with my life. Bravely, my husband stood along side me and said, “you know, you’re a pretty negative person. Maybe you should fix that first.” He’s so much smarter than I am. He’s also got a pretty good point. In order to make shit happen in my life, I think I need to join the club. The Optimists club!

For all of you aspiring designers, business owners, artists, magicians and straight up lost souls generally of the half empty type – this is a look into my thought process before making the very serious commitment to *positivity.* I sincerely hope it helps you on your long walk to figure shit out. More after the jump…

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September 9, 2010

The Back Side of Your Gullet is Decadent and Depraved

We all know that Frank Chimero is a pretty damn talented designer and illustrator, but did you also know that he’s a pretty brilliant writer and thinker too?  I mean, you probably did, but after re-reading his four-part series “The Back Side of Your Gullet is Decadent and Depraved”, I just want to be sure you all know.

I’d recommend you give it a read yourself – be warned though, this is not your normal internetty-bloggy attention-deficit-disorder-induced writing, it’s long.  Refreshingly long.  Like, I need to stop what I’m doing, close all my windows on my computer and turn off the music and focus long, but in a good way (and, ironically, short if you were to take it out of the context of a blog entry…).  The series is a wandering yet ultimately focused musing of a pretentious yet vulnerable graphic artist looking for nourishment in the face of a quarter-life crisis / slow-motion loss of innocence.  A first-person Socratic dialogue on the philosophy of finding the profound in a world of shit.

Check it out and may we all find more nourishment (like this series) in our lives.


September 3, 2010

Pietro Sanguineti

naked, 2009, Sanded aluminum, lacquer, 55 x 205 x 32 cm
Courtesy Galerie Nusser & Baumgart, München  Munich;  Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul, Berlin

I found Pietro’s work while browsing a few gallery websites but was disappointed to learn he didn’t have a website of his own. I generally prefer posting artists with their own sites, because then I know I’m referring readers to a collection of works curated by the artists themselves. So what did I do?? I did the unthinkable! I actually got in touch with the artist himself. Interviews aside, I hate that I rarely get in touch with the artists that I showcase here.

So I caught up with Pietro via Facebook (I finally found it’s purpose) and he was kind enough to prepare a set of his favorite pieces to share with you! He also shared his artist statement which can be found after the jump.

It’s Pietro’s installation & sculpture work that I most admire in his portfolio. His work explores the realm of semiotics and the balance between visual & language perceptions through oversize constructions of words & phrases. There’s something mesmerizing & provoking about seeing a giant word hung in a gallery. Despite the fact that it’s a word we can all visually interpret the same way, just like an abstract painting, we can also read different things into the piece.  Like any true gallery artist worth his salt, Pietro labors over the construction of the word sculptures, and they are an art form in themselves. So all of you modern art haters should at least appreciate the craftsmanship.

Statement, images, & exhibit info after the jump!

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August 12, 2010


Inksie is a Design & Culture Brand that is starting up hopefully in the next couple of weeks.  They write about cool art, design, music, & culture in their journal, not unlike some other blog I know, including a really nice series on Dieter Rams’ design principles written and illustrated by a handful of superstars.  They are also planning on opening a store with some delicious designy wares in the near future.  So far they’ve got a pretty kick-ass Ampersand letterpress print and I’m interested to see what else they come up with… Oh, and they’re giving away an iPhone, if you’re into that.

Bookmark it (do people even still do that?).


July 15, 2010


Today was a really bad day. My projects went haywire. My boss gave me shit. I spilled my entire coffee before the first sip. The worst part was that today I felt like I couldn’t do my job and I couldn’t articulate why. I felt like I somehow got funneled into an office, at a desk at eight o’clock in the morning through no power of my own-I just somehow plopped down where I was and I felt horrible. I wanted to quit. Luckily, I had some friends talk me off the ledge, a big fucking salad for lunch and…a list. Lists always make life easier, right?

Five things that made me quit being a designer/employee/machine and start being me: (warning-no pictures, just words)

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July 1, 2010

Design Is History

All students of design (and really, everyone) should probably get together and write a big thank you card to Dominic Flask, aka DangerDom, for the epic amount of work that he put into creating Design Is History.  Designed as part of a graduate thesis, DIH is a teaching tool, a reference, and basically an entire design history lesson wrapped up in a neat little site.  Ever wonder what the 1920′s Russian Suprematism movement was all about?  Feel like you need a little more Alvin Lustig in your life?  Can’t tell the difference between U&lc and UC llc?  From Gutenberg to Sagmeister, the clean type of Crouwel to the insane type of David Carson and everything else in between.

Head over to Design is History and learn something.


April 23, 2010


It’s one thing to have your work critiqued on a blog by self proclaimed experts, but it’s a whole different ball game to have your work dissected by a professional art critic. The Durham Art Council & The Durham Art Guild are offering local artists that very opportunity next month (May 6th – 8th) when they host art critic Lori Waxman for a 3 day program. The 60 wrds / min format works like this:

“Artists bring in their work and, on a first-come, first-served basis, the critic spends twenty minutes writing them a review of one to two hundred words. She guarantees a thoughtful, critical but not necessarily positive review. The text is then “published” by the receptionist and posted on an adjacent wall for everyone—critic, artist, receptionist, audience—to read.”

It’s a pretty unique idea that will probably get participants and their audience communicating on new levels about the art.


April 15, 2010


On Wednesday, April 14th, the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland erupted. It was dormant for 200 years and yes, you read that first part correctly. A glacier with a volcano underneath it. Word, Earth? If you were trying to fly anywhere besides NYC to Orlando or something, your flight was probably delayed or cancelled due to the steam and smoke wafting over and under flight paths along with the ash that has the ability to knock out jet engines. FOR REAL. This flickr set, curated by Yahoo! Editors’ Picks (who?) showcases some of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful natural disaster images I have ever seen.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.


April 12, 2010

Cesar Ojeda Hoards the Past

Sometime at the beginning of the latest surge in Afghanistan I started searching for imagery of they country & the people. I tend to get most of my news online, and from only a few sources, so I realized that if I really wanted to see more of Afghanistan I’d have to be more proactive about it. So I did what any proactive web user would do, I Googled that shit. So I did what any smart, proactive web user would do, I searched Flickr. After digging through copious amounts of low-angle-ruined-building-at-dusk photos, I found the image above in a set of 19th century illustrations of Afghan culture. How cool are the color illustrations detailing the clothing & fabric?

Yesterday I revisited this set on Flickr only to discover that the Afghan illustrations were just the tip of the iceberg. Cesar Ojeda has compiled over 7,000 photos into about 350 sets of vintage imagery from around the world. It’s a pretty staggering, but well organized compilation of images well worth checking out. I just have to wonder, though, if Cesar has ever been profiled on A&E’s Hoarders series. If this is what his internet space looks like, imagine what his damn closet is like.

I think most of the imagery probably has some sort of copyright on them – so no stealing for commercial use – but use it as a springboard for inspiration! Some more random selections after the jump!

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