Friday, August 27, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Ever since I laid eyes on acclaimed illustrator and artist Lou Beach's virtual book 420 Characters, I've been taxed with trying to put into words how much I love this book. I first met Lou back in the late 70s when I was an Assistant Art Director at New West magazine. Lou's illustrations are original, very smart and reek of a wicked sense of dark humor. I decided to turn to my dear friend Michael Kellner, a brilliant book designer and artist, to write a guest review of 420 Characters for Design Nomad. Michael is the most well-read and literate person I know, so I thought it was a perfect time to defer to a master of words for his take on the book. Thank you Michael for this thoughtful post!
Lou Beach's online story collection, 420 Characters, is so elegantly conceived and realized as to delight or assuage anyone afflicted with terminal bibliomania. From front cover to back, this simulacrum of a late-19th century octavo--red boards, a small gold-leaf embossed design, the epitome of that condition booksellers generously quote as 'shows some shelf-wear'—collects the famed collage artist's impressive march on the written word. Each story, as we're informed in an Author's Note, is composed of 420 characters, including word spaces and punctuation, and first posted on a social networking site.
As one navigates through the book, the Title Page makes clever use of an early incarnation of publisher Little, Brown's colophon (L.B. now equals Lou Beach) while the stories that follow deliver the narrative goods with commensurate aplomb. Concise, varied, and evocative, Beach's stories are finely crafted miniatures worthy of an expanding readership. The site includes 16 embedded audio excerpts read by actors Jeff Bridges, Ian McShane, and Dave Alvin.
The whole farking thing is brilliant if you ask me, but you don't have to. Authors and artists from Jonathan Lethem to Gary Panter and Terry Gilliam have eagerly enlisted to say as much on the End Credits page. To be coveted, not missed. — Michael Kellner
Friday, August 20, 2010
Sharpening a pencil always puts me in a nostalgic mood. The scent of the wood dust takes me back to the days sitting at my Dad's drafting table while he drew up plans for his landscape architecture business clients. As it turns out, that wood dust smell now just reminds me of the 4 billion trees cut down worldwide for paper industries and massive deforestation. Not a good thing. A much more earth-friendly alternative are these beautiful pencils from TreeSmart made out of recycled newspapers. Go green whenever you can!
Friday, August 13, 2010
These ultra cool Coco pendant lights by Coco Flip Design look as if my Danish mid-century furniture had a party during the night and hatched these fixtures! Coco Flip is a design studio established by Kate Stokes based in Melbourne, Australia and is one to keep on your radar for fresh, clean and very modern furniture solutions. Love!
After procrastinating for what seemed like forever, I have almost finally completed setting up a little on-line vintage shop, Vintage Nomad. Over the years I've collected/acquired a notable amount of mid-century homewares, California pottery, vintage books and some very interesting paper ephemera that will be stocked in my shop. So until then, stay tuned for the link … :)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
If you are in the market for affordable art, Leah Giberson's serene paintings of suburban scenes and mid-century architecture are definitely worth considering. I fell in love with her work instantly finding a comforting familiarity in the paintings as if I had been there before. She begins her pieces with photographs, painting directly on them with a clarity that is visually stunning. You can find her paintings through Sebastian Foster Gallery, Rare Device, and she also sells prints on her Etsy shop.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I so do wish my father and mother were still alive to see our house he designed and lovingly built for us in the late 50s showcased in this month's (August issue) of In-Style magazine. I have spoken at length with Robin Tunney and it makes me so happy that she treasures this house and is carefully and slowly restoring it to it's original vision. Finally someone who is removing all the prior owners renovating mistakes like blond floors and marble in the kitchen. My father is turning over in his grave at the mere mention of such things:) We had slate floors and there was nothing blond about this house. I am ever so grateful to have grown up in this beautiful home and under the shadow of my talented Dad and loving Mother. (click on photos to see at a larger size)
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
We are well into summer now and I have been living in shorts for the most part, while working at home far away from in-person client meetings. Comfortable shorts that fit well, are edgy and modern are usually hard to find, and then I stumbled upon Shortomatic, 100% custom board shorts. A brilliant concept where you can design your own print design they print for you or choose from a vast gallery of great designs and order them up based on a custom fit chart. I prefer the longer boys style board short but they also now are offering a short board short for women as well. Here's your chance to express yourself with custom designs and a fantastic fit. Brought to you by the folks who created Yogamatic, custom printed yoga mats, another inspired idea!