All in Art Books
I'm very excited to share my finished book, and the process of creating it. The Birdcage Soprano follows Operetta Violetta on her journey to write the Most Beautiful Song in the World. She learns she can't make progress without having experiences to inspire her art. Befriended by several songbirds, a librarian, and a gardener, Operetta joins a mission to reclaim a stolen book that could help her write the perfect song. I infused it with magic, nature, and the ability of art to change lives.
"It's the story about the adventures of a woman who lived among monsters and gods but refused all her life to be devoured or beautified."
Pablo Neruda Poet of the People tells the story of a man who loved the world and wrote about it in a way that brought beauty and hope in his reader's lives in prose that is simple for children but with a poetry of its own: "He wrote about scissors and thimbles and chairs and rings. He wrote about buttons and feathers and shoes and hats. He wrote about velvet cloth and the color of the sea."
Gasoline is a fantastical romp through the imagination of the one and only Dame Darcy - author, illustrator, animator, musical entertainer, and a self-proclaimed mermaid. Darcy is most widely known for her Fantagraphics published comic series Meat Cake. Gasoline is a 190 page illustrated novel that I have to admit I have not fully read, but find totally inspiring due to its sheer enthusiasm and unapologetic gusto for gothic magic. Darcy loves what she loves, and her vision feels uncompromised.
Johnson is a mystical enigmatic figure who's history is swirled in myth. In this volume we see the bargain he supposedly made with the devil at a crossroads of Mississippi highways - selling his soul in order to play guitar with supernatural talent.
How To Be Happy is a collection of emotionally complex stories centered around the search for happiness. It is the impressive work of the cartoonist and illustrator Eleanor Davis. It is not, however, a book about how to find happiness - rather more the bewildering pursuit of that elusive state.
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima are MinaLima, the award-winning design studio behind the graphics for the Harry Potter films. They've created this delightfully illustrated version of J.M Barrie's classic story with plenty of fun interactive features: fold-out maps, paper spinning wheels and pop-up fairy wings. With a beautiful foil embossed cloth cover, I will be gifting this book for Christmas!
Maurice Sendak's posthumously published My Brother's Book is a poetic send off from a profound artist. It feels like a final love letter to the world, to a beloved brother, and also to his partner of fifty years. It pulls together all the themes that populate his vast body of work in a slender volume of prose and stunning illustrations that bring William Blake to mind.
Grace Bonney, the founder of Design Sponge, is responsible for this inspiring collection of interviews and photographs of women of all kinds who have carved their own paths to successful creative living. They have overcome adversity to run their own businesses, create their own art, speak their own messages in clear proud voices. What is so important about this book is that Bonney has made them visible for other women to see proof of what can be done - evidence that women can lead. If we cannot see ourselves reflected in positions of power and respect we may not ponder what is possible.
This biographical picture book introduces the reader to the life of Louise Bourgeois, a French-American artist whose work ranged from sculpture, installation, weaving, painting and printmaking. In a narrative crafted for children, it focuses on the childhood of a young girl who grows into an artist. Though appropriate for children I feel this book will resonate more deeply with adults, especially for those with a background in - or appreciation of - visual arts.
Here's some spooky October fun! Charles Altamont Doyle, father of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, was living at the Montrose Royal Lunatic Asylum in Scotland when he created this diary of musings and sketches. He draws sinister birds, plants and flowers, fairies and peculiar ladies.
In this tiny book of photography a miniature “opera” is enacted by staged objects - a teapot, a toy horse, bits of sculpture, billiard balls, a glass eye. The narrative follows the birth of an idea as it travels to full completion. The teapot emerges form the sea, breaks apart to reveal a white stallion, who then transforms into the sun and plants.
It's nice to have a book you can doodle and paint in with out worrying about the end results. It's ok if the drawing fails, or the color choice was wrong, it's a disposable experiment - a safe place to explore.