Monday, January 16, 2012

This Moment's Inspiration: Well-Read

Happy 2012 everybody! We are hoping that this year is going to be a great one for everyone! It’s going to be an extremely well read one for Guin and I as we hauled quite a few good reads from friends and family. Books are a terrible addiction, as we are surrounded by bookcases in every room. Not to mention books on the floor, books on the table, books on every horizontal surface... But the one who dies with the most books wins! (More books, I’m guessing).

So among the books we got were: two graphic novels (Palookaville, and the Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Artists, both by Seth), two books on paper cutting and paper art (gee, I wonder who was the recipient of those books), a knitting book entitled: "Not Tonight Darling, I'm Knitting" (ditto with the wondering), two hockey books on Kerry Frasier and the Preston Rivulettes, an all-woman hockey team (I feel so Canadian), a retrospective on Saul Bass, and three other art books including the Art of Pixar and the Art of Up and the Disney Animation archive book.

Quite the haul. Except that somehow, we had to drag about 60 pounds of book with our carry-on baggage (since a mere 50 pound check-in limit is completely unfair for bibliophiles). But we couldn't leave a book behind.

So this got us thinking: What is the single art book that we cannot live without? We have many books that we treasure: First editions of adventure books illustrated by Howard Pyle, Rockwell Kent and NC Wyeth, first editions of drawing books including Andrew Loomis and the Famous Artists School, inscribed books by Scott Hampton, George Pratt, Paul Rand and Walt Reed, and on and on and on. But if there was a fire in the studio, Guin and I agree that the book we would salvage would be our Art of Disney catalogue book published by the The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

Though this book is almost completely written in Japanese, this is the book that introduced us to Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle (art, after all, is universal). It was like hearing music for the first time. I mean, SURE we are surrounded by sounds, but after this book, we were surrounded by music. I remember when Stuart Ng showed me this book at San Diego ComiCon. The book hit me so hard in the eyes that I simply sighed and handed him my credit card.

Stuart is an evil man. I love him, but I'm pretty sure he takes great joy in opening artist's eyes (and artist's wallets!).

So if you see this book in a bargain bin or thrift pile (good luck with that), buy a couple of them. You won't be sorry.

What is the art book you can't live without?

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