Monday, January 3, 2011

Some Great Sites for Book Artists

Readers, this has been a wonderful week or so for serendipity in my life. I have stumbled upon a lot of great resources (some recent, some that I've rediscovered while transferring my tags to Google) that made me realize my blog posts have been a bit neglectful of the book arts side of my work (and of my book arts friends around the world!) In an attempt to remedy this, let me share with you some of what I've been getting excited about in book arts land recently:

Graphic novels: I love them (who doesn't?) and there are some exciting folks both who are creating art and exploiting digital content (there's a whole section of them in the Kindle bookstore, for example, including V for Vendetta, one of my all time favorites. Fair warning: if you search graphic novels in the Kindle store some adults-only Manga comes up). I've been thinking about jumping into the graphic novel world after feeling inspired making conference zines, but haven't made definitive plans yet. I was excited though when a friend directed me to this site because she thought I would like the art. The art (and the name) are reminiscent of a *hugely* inspiring high school teacher I had (small world, eh?), and if you click on the goodies under 'graphic novel concepts' you will find some really fun concepts that make my artist self dance with excitement. I'm excited to see where these go in the future, especially as developers create both content and programs tailored to reading on digital platforms.

Book Artists: Some folks I'm excited about right now: I got to meet Alycia at Library History Seminar XII this year, but the reason I am directing book arts friends in her direction is because she makes an *awesome* zine (about her experiences as an NYC library worker!) and blogs about issues relevant to book lovers and creators. Other people to keep an eye on: the Center for the Book (we just added a new MA program, plus the website has gotten a major facelift making it all the more pleasurable to browse), and the Miniature Book Society (the tiny books I wish I could make!).

Digital content: I've mentioned before how excited digital forms make me because of their potential for artists (see my post on circular texts for more), and one artist I've run across who's really embracing the medium can be found at Ocotillo Arts. This site inspires me because the artist creates tangible versions of the works before posting images of his work online (which he allows you to copy, although not for commercial purposes--a way of approaching licensing that is very similar to my own!) I also am curious to know if any of my book arts friends are using Prezi as a platform for creating art--I think there's a lot of potential there, but I haven't had a flash of inspiration yet on how to harness it.

Ok, and I need to put this in here too: I know you have probably read my Modernizing Markham project blog, and I wouldn't think to include it in this list except that some exciting changes are taking place--I'm almost done with the recipe recreation portion of the project, and am moving toward fleshing out the 17th century cookery/book history portion before moving on to calligraphy and binding. So for those looking to learn more about the context surrounding Markham, get excited, because more historical posts are coming your way!
Artist/historian friends: what sites are you recommending right now? I have many more great sites for calligraphy, etc that I want to post, but I'll save them to keep this post from reaching epic proportions. I want to start compiling some great lists both for library research and for book arts (and research), so definitely feel free to post any suggestions in the comments!

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