medium /// books




studio fludd




Oh. I really love this – especially those ice cream cones {and not just because it’s perfectly coordinated with my site design}

004 GELATOLOGY – Change and Persistence

Everything melts or nothing changes?
This booklet explores visual and conceptual analogies between ice-cream and geology.
Semifreddo cakes, rocky cones and creamy desserts in vibrant colours are models of cause-effect relations and incredibly slow transformations. The mixed media technique attempts to evoke the layering of experiences and the metamorphosis of our states of mind.

The text is the result if a cut and paste operation from a milestone of Geology:
the Charles Lyell’s “Principles of Geology – Being an attempt to explain the former changes of the earth’s surface, by reference to causes now in operation”, London 1830.

Limited edition of 100 copies. Digital + risograph print / size: 19 x 28,5 cm.

This is the work of Studio Fludd – a collective based in Venice. They are Matteo BarattoCaterina Gabelli, Clara Giaquinto, Sara Maragotto, Valeria Sanguin.

{via art hound}





CREATIVE BLOCK (my book!)

I don’t even know what to write… this has been hush-hush for so long… but finally, I can tell you all of the ins & outs of my book that has just been released by Chronicle Books {available in stores all over the world?!!} Let’s start with the title. It’s called CREATIVE BLOCK, and here’s what it looks like (an instagram taken with my very old phone, but you get the idea):

*The cover was designed by Dinah Fried at Chronicle, and then painted by Toronto based artist Amanda Happé. I love it so much and am proud to have had such talented people working on this project.

SO, WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:

I came up with the idea for CREATIVE BLOCK for myself, just as much as for all of you. I wanted to make something beautiful – a contemporary art book filled not only with inspiring images, but also inspiring words, advice, and tips to help amateurs and professionals alike, find their way through those days when the ideas just won’t come. Because everyone who dabbles in something creative feels that way at some point – right? Right. I wanted to write this book to show you that if you’re feeling this way you’re not alone either. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts about successful, working artists who seem to have this whole “creative thing” figured out. But surely they have blocks from time to time? How do they get through them? Where do they find fresh inspiration? How do they handle negative feedback? Does it stop them in their tracks? Now, these full time artists don’t have the luxury of not finishing, or giving up on a project – not when they’ve got a gallery or art buyer waiting on them! So how do they push themselves through those moments when the ideas just aren’t there? Or when the ideas are there, but their hands or materials will not cooperate.

THE ARTISTS:

Finally! I’m thrilled to reveal the list of 50 amazingly open, honest, witty, thoughtful, funny, talented artists that allowed me to interview them about their own creative blocks, insecurities, and inner-critics. Not only did they give us a candid view into their creative process, but each of them wrote a “creative unblock exercise” to help shake us out of our own blocks. Amazing? YES!

Gah! Almost 300 pages of stunning contemporary artwork, insightful advice, and creative-unblocking tips. It’s soooo good, all thanks to that amazing list of people who have been such a huge inspiration to me. I’ll hope, actually I know, they’ll inspire you too!

WHEN & WHERE:

The book is now on shelves, all over the world, as of March 2014, and online via GREAT.LY, Chronicle Books, and all of the other usual suspects. Check the side bar for upcoming book signing events! See you there!

ps. Thank you so much to Jerry Saltz, Brené Brown, and Faythe Levine for writing endorsements that will appear on the back cover - I love that you love it!




i’m jealous of hannah stephenson

Ah, poetry & art… a perfect combination! This is a beautiful book of poetry, written by American poet Hannah Stephenson. She is an amazing writer/editor/teacher, with a great love for visual art. In fact, a lot of her poems are inspired by art… sometimes even work that she finds here! For example, after seeing the ceramics of Caroline Slotte, Hannah wrote this:

Great Migration

Patterns on china have begun

to show evidence of a great migration.

Waves roll out to a plate’s edges,

drop off, are absorbed into carpet.

In the stock-still water, feeling no wind,

cranes panic and launch, beat their wings

with such force that nearby villagers

mistake them for dragons.

Smaller birds leave their nests in the trees,

head for the dark, unporcelain woods.

Lovers no longer come here

to sit on the grass together,

discovering speechless ways to speak.

They stay away from this place.

The land here isn’t fed by any source.

Parents shield their children’s eyes,

pull them close when passing the pond.

Someone should do something, they mutter

and leave the land to its calm disintegration.

Whoa. Her newly released book, In the Kettle, The Shriek, is filled with beautiful poem after beautiful poem… but I also wanted to share something that isn’t in this book. Now, you know I realllllly don’t like showing my own work, but… last year I had a show at Seattle’s Assemble Gallery. Hannah saw one of the pieces, wrote a poem, and sent it to me. I almost cried. I could not be more honored… and I love the poem so, so, so much… I love it so much in fact, that I’ll even show you my work that went with it, titled “Jeremy Brown jumped over this at a bush party.”

Living Daylights

To find that part of me
still flickering,

to chew and exhale flames,
a dragon with a mouth
crammed with Bazooka Joe,

to use my heart
as a flashlight,

to meet my ghost
as a dance partner,
spinning away from me,
and back toward me,

to sift out the glowing shards
with unshaking hands
and swallow them back down,

to greet my fiery shadow,
saying, here is our bed,
our mirror, we can learn
one another again.

LOVE! Thank you so much to Hannah for this amazingly creative gift. Ok, now let’s all go buy this book : )

{cover art by Aron Wiesenfeld}





finally! a little…

Ok, there is soooo much I want to tell you … but I’m only allowed to give you a few little tidbits today. So, let me catch you up on what’s going on at the moment. The book is set to be released in the Spring of 2014. All of the writing/editing is completely finished, and the final manuscript is now in the hands of the lovely folks at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Pretty much everything is ready to go to print… except the cover. The amazing design team is working with one of my favorite artists {who happens to be featured in the book}, Toronto based painter/designer Amanda Happé:

Gratitude? Yes. My world is filled with gratitude right now! Note: Just to be clear, this painting is NOT the cover… but it’s similar in it’s Amanda Happé-ness. I just saw her preliminary sketches a few days ago, and they ROCK! I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such a talented artist doing a custom piece for this project. When this is over, I’m totally going to buy that painting and hang it in my living room. I will then sit underneath it while I hold my book. Yes. That is exactly what I will do.

Ok. This info about the front cover was the first little tidbit. Now, flip it over… you will never believe the amazing group of people who reviewed the book, and then wrote endorsement blurbs that will appear on the back. Ready?

Holy SHIT. I’m sorry for the cursing, but I feel it’s necessary. I still cannot believe these people took time out of their busy lives to read the book, let alone sit down to write the nicest reviews EVER. I was really nervous to reach out to all of them, but I fueled up on caffeine, gave myself a pep talk, and sent out the emails. And they all said yes, immediately. CRAZY.

Jerry frickin’ Saltz? {Yes, that is now how I refer to him at all times, because am still in disbelief that he said ‘yes’!}. I have to tell you, writing to the Senior Art Critic at New York Magazine is terrifying. What if he wrote me back and criticized me!? Um, hello, art school nightmare! Well he didn’t, thank goodness. He was hilarious, open, and generous {ok, he dished it out a tiny bit, but I totally handled it. Must have been the caffeine.}

Brené Brown. For real. Have you seen her TED Talk on shame and vulnerability? So, so good. And maybe you’d like to see what she and Oprah chatted about. Yes. Oprah. Without giving away too much, this book talks a lot about the insecurities that artists face every day – so who better to review the book than someone with a PhD in vulnerability, right?

And then there’s Faythe Levine. She is sort of a creative hero of mine. She owns an art gallery, is an artist herself, and she directs amazing documentaries that take a beautiful look at art in America {If you haven’t seen Handmade Nation, or Sign Painters… well, you should!}. I am thrilled to have an amazing working artist review a book about amazing working artists. It just makes sense.

Now, the final bit for the back cover. My bio photo. Ugh. I tried to use my Polaroid over the face shot that I use for most things, but my editor {the amazing Kate Woodrow}, wouldn’t let me do that. So, I called this guy:

Jeff Topham is an amazing photographer, writer, and film maker. I actually wrote about one of his film projects, Liberia ‘77, in 2010. If you ever have a chance to watch it, please do. It’s ah-mazing. Anywho, not only is Jeff all of these things, he’s also one of my childhood friends, so when I had to do the dreaded “head shot” I knew he was my man. I call the photo above “You better not make me look like an idiot, or I’ll tell your mom what you did at that party in 10th grade.” Well, we had a few stops and starts, but he got the shot:

Yes! Done. I will now use this shot forever. Thanks Jeff! xo {ps. I won’t tell your mom anything!}

Ok, so that’s all I can tell you so far… basically now you know what’s happening on the front and back, and as Spring 2014 approaches I’ll let you know what’s going on the inside of this fantastic cover! Thank you again to Amanda, Jerry, Brené, Faythe, Jeff, Kate and all of the other crazy amazing people at Chronicle… not to mention the 50 contemporary artists featured in the book! You’ve all made my dream a reality.

{If you’re still reading, thanks for paying attention all the way through this very long post. This book has been a huge part of my life for the past year and a half and I just have to tell you about it, whether you want to know or not! Ok. I’m done now. Happy weekend!}





i’m jealous of becky cooper … & manhattan

I love this. I love it so much, that instead of me fumbling to describe it, I’m going to copy and paste the description of this lovely project, titled Mapping Manhattan, by native New Yorker, Becky Cooper. Ready?

“Armed with hundreds of blank maps she had painstakingly printed by hand, Becky Cooper walked Manhattan from end to end. Along her journey she met police officers, homeless people, fashion models, and senior citizens who had lived in Manhattan all their lives. She asked the strangers to “map their Manhattan” and to mail the personalized maps back to her. Soon, her P.O. box was filled with a cartography of intimate narratives: past loves, lost homes, childhood memories, comical moments, and surprising confessions. A beautifully illustrated, PostSecret-style tribute to New York, Mapping Manhattan includes 75 maps from both anonymous mapmakers and notable New Yorkers, including Man on Wire aerialist Philippe Petit, New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov, Tony award-winning actor Harvey Fierstein, and many more.”

So, so, so good! Here are a few of my favorites:

Awww! Isn’t that last one so sweet? ♥  You want to make one now, don’t you? No problem! You can download the map right here! Now all you have to do is draw/paint/write your love {or hate} story with Manhattan, and send it to mapyourmemories@gmail.com. Happy mapping, and happy weekend to you :)

{ps. If you want to buy this book, you can find it in bookstores everywhere, or online at: ABRAMS, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. Oh, and there’s a great article about it in The New York Times}





i’m jealous of faythe levine & sam macon

First, the multi-talented Faythe Levine {of Handmade Nation fame… among countless other things!} got together with photographer/film maker Sam Macon, and wrote this book. Can you guess what it’s about?

You guessed it! Sign Painters, and the lost art that is sign painting {um, with a foreword by Ed Ruscha!}. The book profiles, and celebrates, classic sign painters – the artists who actually use a brush, and paint, and old-school techniques to create some of the most beautiful typographic art in the world. But Faythe and Sam didn’t stop with a book … nope … they just made a documentary too!

So good! Here’s the overview:

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.

Ooooh, it looks amazing! The first screening was just a couple of weeks ago in Washington DC. It’s starting it’s tour of indie theatres right now, so if you want to see if your city is on the list, click here. And for a preview of the film, you can watch the trailer right here.





i’m jealous of YOUR instagrams!

This really is happening, and YOU could be part of it! Yep, if you’re slightly addicted to documenting your life with Instagram, your photos could be included in this new book by Chronicle Books! Seriously!!! For more information on this super-duper fun project click here, and to upload your super-duper amazing images click here… oh, and since I’m totally lame, and don’t actually have a phone worthy of Instagram, please find inspiration in a few people that make me jealous with their lovely, day-in-the-life, Instagram shots:

Victoria Smith {sfgirlbybay}

Lisa Congdon… and her feet {lisacongdon}

Tif Fussell {dottie angel}

Ok, now it’s over to you! Good luck… let me know if your shots get in – happy weekend!





i’m jealous of hollie chastain… again





Yes, I need someone to massage my head too… I am totally overwhelmed by how much I love these book cover collages by American artist Hollie Chastain. I wrote about her ages ago, but when I came across a few of these new pieces, clearly I had no choice but to write another post! LOVE

{ps. I am so thrilled to say that Hollie is one of the artists that will be featured in my book, and you better believe that these book covers will be in there… YAY!}





i’m still insanely jealous of wes anderson

Sigh. Oh Wes, you’re a creative genius with insane attention to detail… and that is why I love you.

In Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, one of the main characters {Suzy}, loves books… and stole a half a dozen of them from the library. Of course, what Wes Anderson film would be complete without every single little thing being designed/thought about… so yes, here are the covers of Suzy’s books that he commissioned six illustrators to design {Oh, and if the cover designs weren’t enough, he also created a short film and animations to go along with each of them. Swoon!}

That last screengrab is my favorite one in the bunch! ♥

{There is a really good article, here, that gives a bunch of background on this part of Moonrise Kingdom.}





jealous at chronicle

When I was in San Francisco, for GIRL CRUSH with Lisa Congdon, I also had a chance to visit with the crew at Chronicle Books. I’d met one of their editors {the lovely Kate Woodrow to be exact!} in January at Alt Summit. She came to my panel on the first day, and the next day I went to hear her speak… on a panel that just happened to be called, From Blog to Book. Can you guess where I’m going with this?

Yep, it’s true… The Jealous Curator is going from blog to book! Seriously. I am working on a book that will be published by Chronicle?! I have to tell you, this is at the very top of my life list, and I am beyond thrilled that I get to cross it off! I can’t believe that I’m going to be along side all of these gorgeous art books on Chronicle’s shelves – I own half of them, and have written about the others. I can’t tell you exactly what my book is about just yet, but as we move the process, I’ll tell you as much as I can {ooh, mysterious!}

I just wanted to take a second to say thank you to Chronicle for believing in me, and even more so… thanks to all of you for actually reading every day. If someone had told me this was going to happen, three years ago when I started my blog, I wouldn’t have believed it. I feel very, very blessed.

Ok… I guess I better start writing! Wish me luck!

{1. Little Paper Planes 2. Obsessive Consumption 3. Stencil 201 4. The Exquisite Book 5. Paper Cutting 6. 100 GIRLS ON CHEAP PAPER}