I fell hard for zines and zine-swapping because it was clear that zines were a vehicle for unadulterated, uncensored creativity. At the same time, having a scheduled meetup gave us a deadline and forced us to produce something, no matter how slapdash and last-minute it was. In fact, a slapdash, messy aesthetic was well-suited to this DIY medium that celebrates all things handmade and imperfect (I once made a zine of just lines written in Sharpie about why it was so hard to make a zine).
Over the years I’ve gathered a small collection of books about maps. I bought a few of them, a few were gifts from people who recognized my fascination for all things cartographic, and a few I’ve borrowed from the library but are still on my wishlist. To help get inspired for my upcoming workshop, Mixed-Media Map-Making, I’m revisiting my collection and remembering why maps are so inspiring. If you could use some artistic inspiration, check your local library or bookstore for these titles!
I've developed a bit of a collection of books with creative prompts - some of which I've worked through from start to finish, and some of which I dip into when I'm feeling stuck. They can help get projects going, but they also encourage the practice of creative play, which is super important. Creative play is anything that gets you energised and feeling good about making stuff. Something that requires some effort but isn't too challenging, and that stretches your perceived creative capacity. It can be a warm-up to other activities, a springboard to starting something new, or the purpose itself.
Magic. What do you think of when you hear the word? Men in tuxedos waving silk scarves? A boy with a zigzag scar on his forehead? A card game played in the corners of comic book shops?To me magic is what creativity feels like when it’s working properly. It feels like a tiny tear in the shiny gloss of everyday life where something not of this world can sneak in. And it’s something I have spent my whole life seeking.
I'm stepping away from the heavy stuff this week to bring you a list of books! Fun, inspiring, beautiful, and possibly magical books. Since this post is a month overdue, and since I spent most of the Christmas holidays reading, I had a huge list of books and though I narrowed them down to my absolute favourites the list is still super long. Buckle up! And maybe take a couple of weeks off work ;) Enjoy!
It was a bit of a slow season for reading: I started plenty of books but these are the only ones I finished and liked enough to tell you about. That should change, though, now that the temperature has dropped and I'll be taking the bus instead of riding my bike. I have at least an hour and a half of extra reading time each day. Can't wait!
A friend of mine introduced me to her comics and at first, I really didn't get it. Her drawing style is not pretty or tidy—it seems to flail across the page a bit—and her stories are heartbreaking. But after spending more time with her work, and especially after discovering her workbooks, I fell hard for her imagination and deep commitment to exploring the impact of images on people.
My love affair with walking actually started with cycling. Several years ago, I started riding my bike to work and discovered how good it felt to feel the air on my skin and to see the world going by so much more closely than it did when I was in a car. I felt more connected to my surroundings and more engaged with the process of getting between two points, rather than being solely focused on the destination.Soon I discovered that walking was like cycling, only better because it was slower and I could connect even more deeply. I could see, vividly, all the details of my path and especially how they changed from day to day. I was mesmerized.
I first discovered Brady's work when someone mentioned the @seriouscreatures account in a webinar about Instagram. I followed it because it seemed like he was having so much fun and engaging so much with his community. His drawing prompts have been a huge inspiration in my own drawing journey and I love his playful style.