Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Building an Artist's Life

The other day I went and spoke on a panel about publishing for artists with two of my lovely colleagues at the California College of Arts. It was part of an all-day mini-conference put on by the school's alumni organization and career services office in tandem together with Chronicle Books, designed to help students and recent grads figure out how to make a living making art. There were also talks by my lovely pal and author Lisa Congdon and several other rad Chronicle authors including Lorena Siminovich and Meg Mateo Ilasco, all pictured below. It was fun to spend the day on campus and hear what all these smart people had to say.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On Being Able to See

Over the summer I got prescription sunglasses. I need glasses only for distance. And like many blue-eyed people I need sunglasses whenever I step outdoors. Prescription sunglasses that would let me actually see things in focus more than a handful of yards ahead of me while I'm out in the world were an entirely logical thing to acquire. And yet, life being what it is, I'd had the acquisition of them on my to-do list quite literally for years. So, at long last, I finally did get them, and it's changed my life a little bit. Not only did I find exactly the frames I wanted (which to my eye are so impossibly chic I hardly can believe it's dorky old me who gets to wear them), but, more profoundly, my experience of walking through the world has subtly changed: I can read the signs and see the leaves on the trees and the expressions on people's faces. Everything looks crisp and amazing and I find I'm more likely to register and appreciate the beauty of the world around me. It's pretty cool. So this post is really just an ode to these here sunglasses, with a bonus item at the bottom showing Mabel trying on all my old pairs of sunglasses that we found in a drawer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vikky Alexander

I really like these deceptively simple weirdo collages by Vikky Alexander. As first seen here.

Summer in San Fransicso

This is the first photo of a new era. The first photo I have taken with the polaroid emulating film from the Impossible Project, after my stock of long (long) expired real polaroid film finally ran out. I'm still learning the quirks and light-sensitivities of this new film--a learning curve made trickier by the fact that it is not really "instant" film in any true sense of the word, the images taking about half an hour to develop and reveal themselves--but so far I'm pretty happy with it. The old film had degraded so far that it was becoming more and more and more unpredictable, whereas this one, I assume, will becoming increasingly predictable as I learn it's nature better and better.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Seemingly Endless Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Continues

April 26, 2006
Today at lunch

I found myself deciding
almost-but-not-quite unconsciously
not to cross the street
in my usual efficient way

where if you’re at a corner
and your ultimate destination is across both streets
you go first in whichever direction the light is green

but instead to stay over
on the sunny side of the street
and feel the sun on me
a little longer

image source is here

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Taking the Show on the Road

The other weekend I packed up my wheelie suitcase full of books, took Bart out (way way out) to Pleasant Hill, and gave a talk to the east bay chapter of the California Writer's Club. It was funny because it was kind of a reverse-a-quake version of the talk I gave at the ICON illustration conference over the summer--both were introductions to visual publishing, just that one was for illustrators and this one was for writers. So when I talked to the illustrators I'd say something like "you might work collaboratively with a writer" when I talked to the writers I said "you might work collaboratively with an illustrator." Of course there are lots of differences between the two crafts and their respective ways of thinking about and making books, but as far as helpful info I can offer to each goes, it's kind of just two sides of the same ball of wax. And I really enjoy what I do and the kinds of books I work on, and they're a kind of book that not everyone thinks about when they imagine being an author, so it's fun to feel like I really do have something perhaps new and perhaps useful to offer people when I'm chattering away at them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Percussive Maintenance

Luddite that I am, I still haven't figured out how to embed video on this here blog. So you must instead click on this here link to enjoy "Percussive Maintenance," a short movie by Duncan Robson about people in movies banging on machinery to fix it. I do recommend you bother to click through. Luddite that I am I adore this little film. As first seen on Colossal.