Camille Chew / Witch Series

 

Let’s start this Friday the 13th – in October, no less – with these kooky spooky fun illustrations from Camille Chew‘s Witch Series! If you look closely you’ll notice that each piece includes that particular witch’s familiar (familiar spirits are believed to be supernatural entities that assist witches in their practice of magic). I love the dark darks and electric neons she uses so much.

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Christopher Burk

 

Daylight savings time is rolling up on us fast, and these nocturnal paintings by Christopher Burk are helping me get ready for it. What catches my attention most are the negative spaces captured by the darkness and the windows lit from within that call out like safe spaces.

The quest for something new, distinctive forms and compositions, found in our exterior environments are the themes that are consistently sought after as the major components to my work. The main emphasis focuses on transforming the often overlooked elements, for example, the poetry that happens in the sweeping utility lines along the backdrop of a morning or evening sky with the pinnacles of structures, treetops, telephone poles, and how each interacts with one another within the composition. Taking something so utilitarian for example, like that of a telephone pole with all of its components, on average would be, and usually are, looked upon as something that is less than visually desirable, yet when presented in a unique way this provides one with the tools needed to visually tune into not only their personal environments but also that of the world, therefore, giving viewers the capabilities to find beauty in the simplest of things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

via The Jealous Curator

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Fall ’17 Book Recommendations

 

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson  The followup to Life After Life tells the dramatic story of the 20th Century through Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.

Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz  From the creative mind and heart of designer Adam J. Kurtz comes this upbeat rallying cry for creators of all stripes. Expanding on a series of popular essays, this handwritten and heartfelt book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. Perforated tear-and-share pages make it easy to display the most crucial reminders or to pass a bit of advice on to someone who needs it.

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova  Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving she helps an elderly couple into a taxi – and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name, an urn filled with human ashes. As she sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by political oppression and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger.

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton  The year is 1876, warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving, and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars. Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.

Listening to Type: Making Language Visible by Alex W. White  Designers will develop the skills and vision to produce truly innovative, eye-catching type design. All the basics of type design are covered, and in-depth information is provided on more advanced topics such as the differences between type applications, how typography creates identity, and what best inspires readers. Designer Alex W. White packs the pages with fifteen hundred images—modern and ancient, specially created and found—that illustrate typographic concepts and continue to yield more complexity and connectivity.

The Rules Do Not Apple: A Memoir by Ariel Levy  When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware  A journalist who writes for a travel magazine has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the North Sea. At first Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant, but as the week wears on Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for, and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone wrong.

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan  The Orchires fight to keep the old ways alive, practicing half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby  Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette, detailing a disastrous pilgrimage/romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms, Samantha is as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

 

 

Teaching Graphic Design, Second Edition by Stephen Heller  Teaching is a special skill requiring talent, instinct, passion, and organization. This book ontains syllabi that are for all practicing designers and design educators who want to enhance their teaching skills and learn how experienced instructors and professors teach varied tools and impart the knowledge needed to be a designer in the current environment. It includes 30+ new syllabi by professional teachers and teaching professionals who address the most current concerns of the graphic design industry, including product, strategic, entrepreneurial, and data design as well as the classic image, type, and layout disciplines.

Perennials by Mandy Berman  Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin used to treasure their summers together as campers at Camp Marigold. Now, reunited as counselors after their first year of college, their relationship is more complicated. Through them, as well as from the perspectives of their fellow counselors, their campers, and their mothers, we witness the tensions of the turbulent summer build to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their pasts – and the adults they’re becoming.

Gràfica de les Rambles: The Signs of Barcelona by Louse Fili  From the labyrinthine paths and serene squares of the Gothic Quarter to the stunning art nouveau architecture of the Eixample, Barcelona is a place of irresistible charm. Throughout this beloved Catalan city by the sea, dazzling signage is everywhere: glowing mosaics and stained glass, intricately carved stonework and brilliantly gilded placards that herald the city’s eclectic mix of commerce, all documented with affection and a dash of obsession by celebrated graphic designer Louise Fili.

Commonwealth by Anne Patchett  Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how a chance encounter reverberates through the lives of four parents and six children. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. Their childhood becomes the basis for a wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault  The author explores his Acadian roots by scouring old family recipes, ladies’ auxiliary cookbooks, and folk wisdom for 50 of the best-loved recipes of Acadians past and present. Recipes run the gamut, from the art of pickling beets to old-fashioned foodways such as rendering lard and cooking with head cheese, to Acadian staples like Classic French Canadian Tourtière and Seafood Chowder, and a delicious roster of desserts from Rhubarb Custard Pie to Acadian Panna Cotta.

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?  This ambitious book examines the varied and vital relationship between graphic design and health, focusing on work that demonstrates how communication strategies and visual languages are employed to persuade, inform, prevent, and ultimately protect.

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Kate MacDowell

 

Each of Kate MacDowell‘s pieces is sculpted out of porcelain, bit by bit, allowing for an otherworldly luminosity, plenty of strength, and the ability to show fine texture. Each work of art immediately takes on the appearance of a specimen being preserved and studied after passing away from the effects of environmental issues.

In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment. These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops. They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones. In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world. In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats. In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adam Pitchett

 

Adam Pitchett – aka The Old Needle – is a 26-year-old textile artist and sewing enthusiast who really has a way with thread. Nearly all of his embroidered art revolves around nature, featuring things like spiders, greenery, and birds among other things. I love how Adam has taken a craft that’s so closely associated as being precious in most people’s minds and turned it into something much more interesting.

Shop The Old Needle

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zach Montoya

 

Zach Montoya‘s illustrations have a definitive theme, one of heroines who seem to be constantly looking over their shoulder in anticipation of something malicious. The events often take place outdoors, with the subjects hiding in caves, crouching in the woods, or boating on a foggy lake. Perfect fodder for mystery!

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School of Hard Blocks

 

 

The School of Hard Blocks is a tongue-in-cheek set of twelve concrete alphabet blocks depicting the hardships of life. In a spoof of the wooden alphabet blocks from your childhood, these feature the kinds of terrible, real things we all go through as adults – like divorce, dentists, hangovers, genocidal dictators, etc. Check out their Kickstarter campaign and let’s make this the real deal!

 

 

 

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Nagato Iwasaki / Torso

 

Oh my goodness – can you even begin to imagine coming upon Nagato Iwasaki‘s Torso sculptures in the middle of the forest?! Talk about an unexpected surprise. Each faceless figure is created from twisted, bleached driftwood that’s scavenged, then assembled to mimic the human form complete with musculature and organs. Iwasaki uses nothing but wooden stakes to hold his creations together.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jenna Andersen

 

I’m 100% certain that if Jenna Andersen‘s illustrations had been in any of my books growing up that they would have been my favorites. I love the way her work invites you into each story without a word, and how the faceless figures jump out from the brambly backgrounds.

Shop Jenna Andersen’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

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