Kinokinuya. For those of you who have been to one of their US locations, the name is enough to conjure visions of book heaven and washi-tape wishes. I go to their San Francisco store anytime I'm in that city and I've been to the Seattle location, too... but NYC is now top on my list... why? Because I got to see UPPERCASE magazine amongst all the amazing books that I admire and covet. A dream come true.
Guest Post by Manita Brug-Chmielenska
Have you ever tried to photograph sequins? Let me assure you .. it is HARD! Hard to capture the richness and colour spectrum.. hard to avoid glare.. like shooting into window panes! And hard to shoot over 50 items all the while documenting their every irregularity and still making them look good! But that is what you do when photographing for an Etsy shop.
My friend Dina Knapp, an artist featured in UPPERCASE issue # 18 and her late husband, a poet, were inveterate collectors, amassing an amazing array of outsider and Haitian art.
When Jeffery died in 2010, Dina set about making sense of life and their collections. She decided to say goodbye to the Haitian Voodoo Flags and Spirit Bottles they had collected and hello to Visionary Voodoo, her new Etsy shop.
Dina and Jeffery were first introduced to Haitian art through a show at Brooklyn Museum in 1978. It was a major exhibition that included paintings and sculpture by all the contemporary Haitian masters. Jeffrey, a poet and educator, connected to the pure authentic, primitive quality of the works. Dina, on the other hand, connected to the simple scenes of everyday life depicted in the paintings, and the materials the artists used to express themselves. The sewn pieces in particular resonated for her.
This show changed their life.
Read Vanda Vilela submitted her response to our earlier creative challenge. Thank you to all who submitted over the past couple of months. I guess it is time I issued a new challenge! I will be posting all the open calls for participation very soon.
I'm enjoying seeing the many submissions for issue 18's creative challenge! Above are some instagrams by Heide Murray of her fun collection of coloured trinkets and treasures. Below, Mirthe Blussé sent in a collage of shapes. (I had the pleasure of meeting Mirthe in her Amsterdam studio and she is featured in this issue as well!)
I've admired Martin O'Neill's collage illustrations for years so it was wonderful to feature his studio and great work in issue 18. Photojournalist Jas Tang made the trip to Martin's studio to shoot the feature. A few more photos that weren't published in print are included here. Pick up the latest issue to read the feature!
Our current issue's collage theme is resulting in even more submissions from other collage artists who want to be involved in the magazine. Keep them coming—I'll share my favourites on the blog and archive them all in my idea file for future reference. These particular images are by illustrator Michelle Eismann.
It's Collage Day in our shop! Use the code "collageday" for a surprise discount added upon checkout for orders over $50.
I've always had a fondness for collage. It's a democratizing form of illustration, yet it requires great skill to be really good at it. I had planned "collage" as a theme for an issue of UPPERCASE magazine for quite some time, but the topic is so large and there is so much inspiration that I didn't know how to handle it. A few years ago, with less experience as an editor, it was too challenging to tackle the topic. I'm glad I waited... I'm really proud of the current issue; it strikes the right balance between great written content and interesting articles and has just enough gallery pages that simply show off great collage work.
On the blog today, I'll share some more collage portfolios and content. And in honour of "collage day", I'd like to revisit The Elegant Cockroach—it is a hardcover storybook for sophisticated children and whimsical adults that I published in 2011. The story is written by Deidre Anne Martin and collage illustrations are by Stefanie Augustine. It tells the story of a lonely bachelor who eventually finds love in a bookstore. Deidre's words are poetic and precise while Stefanie's illustrations are playful and sophisticated. With the book design and typography, I balance the poetic and the playful by choosing a classic typeface and using the position, size and pacing of the words to enhance the mood of the story.
The Elegant Cockroach is available in our online shop at a special price today. Use the code "collageday" for a surprise discount added upon checkout for orders over $50.
A number of people have recommended Castle in the Air, a paper shop located in Berkeley, California. I haven't had the pleasure of roaming through their aisles in person, but a shop that "specializes in hard to find and European art supplies and treasures" sounds visually delicious. I was actually perusing their online shop while I was working on issue #18 and researching Victorian scraps.
Castle in the Air recently started offering Victorian paper toys as giclee prints and wrote in to share the news: "Owner Karima Cammell collects them (she has over 1,000!), and over the years has become recognized as a guardian of ephemera traditions. By celebrating the models and toys in her art, workshops and store, Karima helps to keep them alive. She has reproduced them for the masses as giclee prints that are similar in weight, size and colour of the originals for $15 each."
Karima has also kindly offered a free download to UPPERCASE readers. Click here for the file.
In our current issue, we provided a page with an image of an empty typecase. Since this is our collage and assemblage-themed issue, we encourage you to glue and modify this page, take a picture or scan of it and send it to us!
UPPERCASE subscriber Cornelis vanSpronsen writes:
"I received my copy of UPPERCASE today and was immediately inspired to respond to the creative challenge on page 75. For many years my wife and I have collected special mementos that were both of great importance as well as those that were memorable for just a small moment in time. This is some of that collection. Going through these is like leafing through a photo album but only better because there are memories attached to these things that photos could never capture."
Emeli Reiart sent us this Instagram of a collection of sea shells: