During my blog reading this week I found a great feature on Illustrator Abner Graboff. For those of you who dig children’s book illustration, especially stuff from the 50’s and 60’s, this is a great read. Portland, Oregon Illustrator Ward Jenkins did some research on Graboff and even did an interview with Graboff’s son Jon. Over three posts, Jenkins show off a lot of great images from Graboff’s books from the 50’s and 60’s.
Check it out: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Jenkins himself has recently released his first childrens book, “How to train with a T Rex and win 8 gold medals” about olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Great stuff.
Last year Graphic Designer Jessica Helfand released a “Scrapbooks, An American History“. National Scrapbooking day was back in May (5.03) and we didn’t have a blog at the time so I had no place to point this out. She wrote a short essay on the subject at her blog Design Observer. In the clip above she describes her book and the process of her work. The book is available at Amazon and on that page you will also find some other short clips that walk the viewer through some of her favorites she examined during her research.
I personally find it interesting, as part of the art industry and one that supplies scrapbooking enthusiasts, how much has changed and how much is similar. Motives for making them remain, but the execution largely has been affected by the industry that has developed around them. There are those that love the latest tools and embellishments and create a polished look and those who want the aesthetic qualities of old journals and scrapbooks and strive to achieve the same weathered affect.
Hopefully the history of these books can shed some light on the contemporary activity itself, personally and artistically.
If you haven’t heard about the 1000 Journals Project then you really should check out their site. I’ve had this book sitting on my desk for months and pick it up all the time for inspiration or just a quick visual break. It is a great reminder of the flexible nature of visual communication. Everyone has their own approach to mark making, drawing or doodling. There is a great deal of mixed media/ collage work in here as well. Makes me want to get up from the computer and go to my drawing table with nothing but a pile of old magazines, a glue stick and my favorite drawing tool.
From their about page;
The 1000 Journals Project is an ongoing collaborative experiment attempting to follow 1000 journals throughout their travels. The goal is to provide a method for interaction and shared creativity among friends and strangers.
How it Works:
Those who find the journals add something to them. A story, drawing, photograph, anything really. Then they pass the journal along, to a friend or stranger, and the adventure continues.
It has become pretty popular and so it may be difficult to get a hold of a journal to add to. Nevertheless, their FAQ page provides insight on how to be a part of it. Or you can get involved in the 1001 project, an extention which aims to provide more people with a chance to make art with others.