Where do book covers come from?

July 28th, 2009

Here’s a fascinating site where designers talk about getting ideas, final results and everything in between. Lots of wonderful photos, drawings, and of course — book covers.



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how we think about creativity

July 25th, 2009

Here’s a brilliant talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity.

One thing she discusses is how Renaissance thinking moved the source of creativity from out there to the individual and how that changes everything. Brilliant.

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Well, well, and where have I been?

July 14th, 2009

Over a year since my last post?!?

Why did that happen?

I suppose the easiest answer to that would be: I work too much. When people get all doe-eyed at the mention of the city in which I live and say “Paris is so ro-MAN-tic!” I really, really want to answer “And ex-PEN-sive!”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s harder and harder as the years go by to imagine living anywhere else. I am up to my eyeballs in Art, History, Culture and Classical Music all of whom I love so much I feel compelled to Capitalize. But let us return to the expensive part. I have to work my — [can i say “ass” on this blog? “There are no dirty words. Ever.” Ah, yes. Thank you Leonard Cohen.]

So I have to work my ass off to pay the bills and this fills up so much of my brain and time that there is precious little left for anything else. One thing I have been getting better at this last year is stealing time for reading. I trade sleep for it. It keeps me going.

Lately, finally, I’m a wee bit ahead of the game, so I can slow down a tad until September.

One of the (many) things I want to do in this time is get back to writing about the books I read. It’s always helped me think more clearly and often more deeply about my reading. Not something you want to go without.

So I’m back. Again.

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The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn: Colour Photographs from a Lost Age by David Okuefuna

June 22nd, 2008

Drop everything and rush out to your local bookshop! Utterly gorgeous, it’s the eagerly awaited (by me) companion book for the BBC Four series on Albert Kahn’s Archives of the Planet project.

Photographs (autochromes being a particular favorite) are a passion of mine, and these are stunning.

Inventing a process to create stable colour photographs was no small thing. Black and white photography had existed for over fifty years before the Lumière brothers finally came up with the autochrome process around the turn of the century. The mystery ingredient: potato starch! Another reason to love the lowly tuber… Autochromes continued as the standard until well into the 1930s. Don’t miss the lovely selection of photos on the website for the book.

If you’re in Paris, the Musée Albert-Kahn has a new exhibit on India (with photos taken between 1913 and 1928).

Musée Albert-Kahn : 14 rue du Port in Boulogne-Billancourt 92100
Métro stop: Boulogne Pont de Saint Cloud (on the #10 line) just 2 stops beyond the official city limits…

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