Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Notecards and New Guys

Every once in awhile I get my act together enough to chip away at all of the tasks that build up and get back-burnered.

I've finally added some notecards to my shop...

There a few new mini Woolykins as well...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kooky Food Magnets

Starting on July 24th, there will be an ongoing series of Artisan Days at Local Roots Market & Cafe here in Wooster. On the fourth Saturday of every month, local artisans, artists and craftspeople will be at the market selling their hand-made wares.

I'm very excited to be a part of the action and will have something new each month to share in addition to the regular roster of fuzzy Woolykin friends and art.

Right now, I'm added a selection of kooky veggie magnets. You can check them out in person July 24, or swing by my Etsy shop today to order online.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

New things

 These little guys will soon be in the shop along with more little cuties.

Speaking of little cuties...

And then there is the real world yummy equivalent...

This amazing bottle came back with us from Europe last year. Exactly ne year later... YUM!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Jen Books - What's Inspiring Me Right Now

Every once in awhile I go through a reading drought. It's just awful because books are one of the things I love most in life. But, like many of us, I get myself involved in so many projects that some aspect of my life suffers, and that is quite often my book consumption. It usually takes a few good or interesting books to get me back on track. A book I'm in the mood for. A book that speaks to me. Cheesy? Yes. Effective? Definitely.

I recently finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This represents one end of my "Jen Book" spectrum. Speculative fiction, dystopic, science fiction, survival story, social commentary... for whatever reason this type of fiction has always strongly appealed to me. Think of it as a wonderful cocktail made up of The Running Man, Lord of the Flies1984 and a coming of age story. Or something. It had me at death match.

On the flip-side is a book I randomly happened upon while perusing the library shelves – The Cheese Monkeys, by Chip Kidd. The cover art caught my attention. I knew the book had to have some heavy graphic design involvement when I flipped through the moderately unconventional and pleasing layout.

Guess what? Not only is the layout "designy," but it is a fictional story written by a graphic artist about a college student stumbling into graphic design after beginning as an art major. Oh the parallels. From the main character's collegiate path, to his collegiate experiences and acquaintances, it is hauntingly familiar for me.

I still spend a lot of time sorting out my feelings about being both a painter and graphic artist, so the dialogue in this book about where graphic design fits in the spectrum of art is quite entertaining for me. I don't always find myself agreeing with the characters (particularly in regards to "art") but I do agree with a lot of it's take on graphic design vs. commercial art.

Here's my favorite excerpt to date, from the students' Introduction to Graphic Design instructor (pp. 108-109):
"Not that Design can't have... a look, a style – in fact it has to, even if the style is 'no style' – but by definition, Design must always be in service to solving a problem, or it's not Design. I will not, so help me, ever attempt to define what Art is. But I know what it no longer is, and that's Graphic Design."

I've still about 130 pages to go, so the final verdict on the book's overall quality is still out. However, I suspect that for me, this read isn't about it's quality as a novel, but the identification I feel for the subject matter and the wonderful little snippets that remind me what it is to be a Graphic Designer.

And I'll leave you with this thought from The Cheese Monkeys (p. 106):
"Uncle Sam... is Commercial Art. The American Flag is Graphic Design."