w.i.p.s wednesday: Eva Franco on the design process

In Issue #13, I shared my experience about visiting the Eva Franco studio in Los Angeles last summer. It was an amazing experience to meet with Eva and see the full scope of her fashion enterprise: from the inspirations and sketches to the samples, manufacture and warehousing. I'll be posting more about Eva throughout the day—let's start with her design process!

type tuesday: Tien-Min Liao

Tien-Min Liao has taken a popular idea (forming letters with configurations of a body or body parts) and executed it so flawlessly and completely that ownership is rightfully hers.

"In this experiment, I drew shapes with ink on one or both of my hands, manipulating my gestures into the corresponding shape to signify an upper-case letter. Then, using the same shape on my hands, I manipulated mygesture or changed the perspective through which the shape is viewed in order to transform the upper-case letter to a lower-case of the same letter. Removing or redrawing the darkened shape on my hands is not allowed in the experiment. The only way to make the model transform from an upper-case to a lower-case (orvice versa) is changing the gestures or the perspectives."

Another pretty project is a photographic portrait of found lettershapes in Grand Central Station:

And last, but not least, is a beautiful animation ode to Baskerville (the italic is always a favourite typeface of mine—you can't find a more beautiful ampersand).

Dispatch from London: Donna Wilson studio visit!

I had the privilege of visiting Donna Wilson's studio Tuesday morning to interview her for the magazine. We did our interview on-camera, so I have lots of interesting footage to edit when I get home. More to come later! (Issue #15, fall)

Thank you to Siew, Grace, Erin, Eva and Donna for welcoming me (and my camera and tripod!) into the studio. Donna was soon off to the Milan Furniture Fair, so I appreciate her taking the time on a very busy day.

This guy will be taking a suitcase back to Canada:

Visit the Donna Wilson online shop.

Girl Crush tea party with Tif Fussell (dottie angel)

The Jealous Curator has a great series of Girl Crush tea parties planned. We have crushes on the same amazing ladies such as Tif Fussell and Lisa Congdon and Shauna Alterio. (The Jealous Curator has even more crushes than me!) Tif's tea party will be held at Seattle's Assemble Gallery & Studio—the same lovely gallery where Tif and I had the book launch for The Suitcase Series: Dottie Angel

w.i.p.s wednesday: Andrea D'Aquino

final illustration by Andrea D'Aquino

When you work with illustrator Andrea D'Aquino, be prepared for her enthusiasm, generosity and amazing talent! Andrea illustrated the cover of issue #9 (which is one of my favourite covers) and so I asked her to illustrate an article in the current issue about quilting and community. She outdid herself with so many great images to choose from. She called these "roughs" but they're all publishable quality, that's for sure! Look at this abundance of riches:

Thank you, Andrea. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

You can read more about Andrea in Work/Life 2: the UPPERCASE directory of illustration, international edition.

Eva Franco

Last summer I had the pleasure of visiting Eva Franco in her amazing studio in Los Angeles. Eva has been an UPPERCASE subscriber for quite a while and she came to visit our booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles. Eva and her studio will be featured in the spring issue of UPPERCASE that is currently in progress. (A primary themes I'm exploring in the next issue is indie fashion as well as luck/superstition and how weather influences creativity). 

Eva's just posted this video on her blog. It offers a glimpse at her creative process and will whet your appetite for more!


Source: modcloth.com via Janine on Pinterest



A selection of Eva's clothes are available through ModCloth. More of my favourites on Pinterest.

type tuesday: Paperweights

Dana Tanamachi's paperweights for West ElmI have a lettering crush on Dana Tanamachi. Have you seen her work in the February issue of Oprah's magazine? I purchased the issue (first time, ever!) to read on my epic journey to Salt Lake City for the Alt Summit. {rediscovered via Papertastebuds} Click here to purchase the paperweights from West Elm.

blogshop NYC

photo by Angela Kohler

I was happy to have UPPERCASE magazine as part of the swag for the latest blogshop recently held in New York. I'm so impressed by their fashionably fun marketing savvy! Thanks, Bri, for the invitation. Check out the video:

I want to go paint my nails now. It makes typing a blog post much more exciting.

TCC: Wendy Addison

My photo of Wendy at The Creative Connection

I had ready about Wendy Addison's business some years ago, I think it was perhaps in a Country Living women entrepreneurs issue... her work, combining letters, vintage imagery, embellishments and some glitter, really stuck with me. I used to stock her gift items by Chronicle Books back when UPPERCASE did retail of other companies' products.

Peruse her iconic glass glitter letters and other products at Tinsel Trading's website:

Yes, just googled... it was indeed this feature in Country Living! Check out her studio space and details. I think the article was from 2006. I remember being so inspired by that particular issue; it came out just a few months after I had started UPPERCASE.

Photos from Country Living

Thanks, Wendy, for the letter F—it will decorate Finley's Christmas tree this year and be a year-long reminder of that spark of inspiration and encouragement I felt many years ago.


TCC: Vintage Notions

It was really nice to meet Amy Barickman, the author of Vintage Notions (a book I had heard lots about and am enjoying reading at last). Amy and I were on the self-publishing panel along with another fabulous Amy: Amy Powers plus Terry Walters and moderator Nancy Soriano. Here's a picture of all of us over on Amy Barickman's blog.


Live the Language

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Renegade LA: my biggest fan!

Beebee and me

For me, the highlight of Renegade LA was meeting Beebee, a very talented fan of UPPERCASE. I was humbled by how excited she was to see the UPPERCASE booth. It is so nice to meet readers in person, but I admit to being surprised at how young she is! Though not in our usual age demographic, in all other respects she is like our typical reader: talented, enthusiastic and generous.

Though in her early teens, Beebee is already a publisher! Her zine, Workshop, is 16 pages of exuberant appreciation of tape, confetti, pretty packaging and things kawaii. Thanks for giving me a copy, Beebee! I think you should be our tape correspondent for an upcoming issue.

Please visit Beebee's blog, Walk on the Wild Side, for excellent photos of her Renegade experience and enviable purchases. She has lots of interesting links about MT washi tape, heart-shaped bubble wrap and a preview of the cover of Workshop 2.

I've bookmarked Walk on the Wild Side and look forward to her perspective and posts.


Renegade SF: my fellow Canadians

My highlight was meeting fellow Canadian Heather Braun-Dahl. I've admired her work from afar in her Etsy and in UPPERCASE stockist Room 6. I really enjoyed chatting with Heather and hope to feature her in a future issue of the magazine. Thank you, Heather, for your generosity!

Two other Canadian ceramicists who bravely brought their wares all the way to San Francisco are Grace Lee of Eikcam Design...

...and Claire Madill of Heyday Design. The logistics of transporting magazines is enough of a challenge—I can't imagine the stress of shipping or travelling with breakables.

Lovely work all round. So much to covet.

Other magazines: Flow

Flow magazine is a Dutch magazine that is extraordinary and always inspirational — even if you can't read the language, its visual exuberance, production values and paper feasts offer quite a lot. As a magazine publisher, this video is very inspiring to me. {via Pugly Pixel}

Their latest cover is by fellow Canadian, Cafe Cartolina! Flow has featured Lisa Congdon, dottie angel and even little ol' me in past issues. They have also generously offered UPPERCASE free ad space in previous issues, which has been instrumental in my books and magazine being so successful in shops such as Amsterdam's Athenaeum.

Flow also releases special papergoods, such an their annual agenda. Take a look at this amazing little item:


More book beauties

Coralie Bickford-Smith: imagine if she designed an entire library of books, how gorgeous that would be. I'm pleased to report that Coralie accepted my invitation to be part of our recent call "Feeling Bookish" and we can look forward to her design in issue 7!

Nathalie Lété

I was honoured to receive an email from Parisian artist Nathalie Lété recently. I had seen her work on various design blogs and was taken with its unabashed exuberance. Through her website and photos of her studio, I immediately fell in love with her lush, feminine, eclectic style. It is an aesthetic so different from my usual design sensibility and just looking at these images and her paintings gives me a boost of creative energy. I'd love to do a profile and studio tour for a future issue of the magazine. Shall we all go to Paris and pay her a visit?

Nathalie Lété was born in 1964. She lives and works in Paris. She works in many ways, mixing different techniques and mediums, illustration, ceramics, textile and painting… She is inspired by her travels, but also by the mixing of vintage toys and old engravings of flowers and animals. Her work is colourful, naive and poetic, sometimes strange, to the point of tending towards art brut. Her world is nurtured by popular and folk art. She produces children’s and graphics books, knitted and stuffed toys, glass pictures, patterned dishes, but also postcards, ceramic sculptures, silkscreen printed t-shirts, rugs and jewels in limited edition… both for herself and for commissions.

Nathalie has collaborated extensively with Anthropologie. To view her collection of rugs, ceramics and even painted dresses, visit an Anthropologie store.

Crush: Jason Schwartzman

I suspect that this celebrity endorsement is probably just a fan impersonating Jason Schwartzman, but I like to think that if he did pick up a copy of UPPERCASE that he'd rather enjoy it! We certainly think he's a creative and curious fellow.

Coconut Records

For the release of one his records, Schwartzman sent original polaroid pictures to those who ordered the cd.

Wild Things

In my lovefest for Spike Jonze's filmic adaptation of Maurice Sendak's beautifully macabre children's story, Where The Wild Things Are,' I came across a lovely and inspiring website devoted to the years and years of creative collaboration, blood, sweat, tears and sewing on burlap! that went into the making of the film.

It's called We Love You So and it's well worth a visit if you are a fan of the book, the movie, Spike, or simply creativity in all its mad, determined, triumphant glory! This site celebrates the many, many people behind the scenes and the quieter moments of bringing the project to life.

It's also got an amazing set of Links to tap you into music, fine art, books and other scenes related to and inspired by the people behind WTWTA. Cool!

The Sweet Tweeds

Kevin Tweed is a talented potter and Kirstie Tweed is an amazing photographer. In the current issue, we feature Kevin's ceramics and creative process as photographed by his wife, Kirstie. It's one of my favourite articles. (Kirstie and I have a bit of a mutual admiration society going on, I think!)

Star of 'Moon'

I would line up to watch the so, so, so great American actor Sam Rockwell eat breakfast cereal. Lucky for me he is currently starring on the big screen as a lonely astronaut riding out his last two weeks of lunar solitude in Moon, (2009) the new science fiction film directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son).

Nods to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) are obvious in the trailer, but one can expect a fresh spin on the genre from these two.

To hear more about the creative collaboration between Rockwell & Jones and the making of the movie, click here.

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