I added several really wonderful books and publications to my shelf in 2013. Here are some of my favorites.
WILDSAM Field Guides, San Francisco: I had the pleasure of going to the book launch at Heath Ceramics this winter and meeting the humbly talented Taylor Bruce, the editor of WILDSAM. This book is really something special. Instead of your typical city guide with a list of places to visit, these books capture moments and stories that give you a better feel of what visiting and living in those places is like, and some of the history that built this town. There’s Best-Of lists, interviews with people and resident celebrities, memoirs, poetry, and completely charming hand-drawn maps by SF illustrator Lisa Congdon.
The Gentlewoman Issue no 8: I love the Martha Stewart interview in this one. It amazes me that she began in her 20s by commissioning goods crafted by friends to sell at her table at a local farmer’s market. She is 72 now folks. And still healthy and active. It made me think of some of my favorite creatives that stay inspired in their older age, like Milton Glaser, William Kentridge or Louis Fili – some of my favorite teachers. The Gentlewoman books are rare, I got my copy at Green Apple in SF, but it’s possible to find them online.
Creative Confidence: I’ve been thinking about where our inspirations come from, why we make things, and how we grow. This book is about a human-centered design philosophy, encouraging us to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional. In the last two years I’ve been experimenting making products. Sometimes I get wrapped up in aesthetics or materials. Or I get blocked by the business of it all- the production methods, fitting in my passion on the side after my freelance schedule, and being able to still pay bills on time. But what about the human, emotional side of what we do? The reason behind what we make, the people we connect with, the experience we have… I’m still thinking this through myself. I fully believe that we are always growing, we are always students. I love that this book encourages growth. You never have to be stuck. Your capacity to imagine, your curiosity, and your courage can be practiced. “Creative confidence is like a muscle- it can be strengthened and nurtured through effort and experience.”
Brooklyn Makers: I am so excited about this book. Jennifer Causey takes a moment with each of these talented creatives and shares what they do. They are makers of all kinds – bakers, florists, ceramic artists… Her photos are beautiful, and it’s so inspiring to see what’s happening right now in the handmade movement.
WILDER Spring 2013: A sweet quarterly about botanicals, landscape, and the dirtier side of plant life. It feels like it’s a 1970s daydream. I got my copy at Steven Alan.
CEREAL Vol. 3: I love the way this journal takes a closer look – some of their photographs are macro, so close-up it’s almost meditative on the essence of something. I also love the sense of world travel with their breathtaking landscapes. Also, if you haven’t yet, check out their website, they are constantly growing and doing some pretty interesting stuff.
Need Supply Human Being Journals: I’m so excited Need Supply is making these journals. They are working with talented people, and their layouts and art direction are absolutely poetic. Just doing some really interesting things. Issue 2: Color blocking and sculptural shadows, people as collages, and rolls of paper. Makes me want to experiment with photoshoots. Issue 3: This time we are off to explore the world. Places, portraits, and gorgeous views.
Acne Paper Issue 15: Lastly, this issue of the always-gorgeous Acne Paper is dedicated to actresses and unforgettable women. All of these women are full of imagination, expressing emotion with a daring courage. And of course, Acne Paper’s design and their photoshoots… gasp. Timeless. I got my copy at Totokaelo.