One more time, as she said.

Back in Grade 5 or 6 when I lived in Abu Dhabi, we had a section of English class called Comprehensive Literature where we had this thick hard-back book filled with excerpts from books that were brilliant but perhaps too advanced for my age group to read in totality. It is then that we had read an excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and though I don’t remember much about the story itself, I oddly remember it made me feel very strong. Perhaps it was the illustrative element accompanying the story that I can still recall quite vividly or perhaps it was this quote that my teacher Ms Fitzpatrick explained to us in words that would be relevant to our own 11 year old existence then, but that excerpt, these words and its author have stayed with me through the years.

“Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well, with so much heart, that people can’t take their eyes off you.” 

I eventually did read the entire book and then physically collected her quotes in my journal and when the digital age arrived, signed up for her online newsletters and then of course liked her Facebook page as well where she would frequently post herself, or so it seemed. Her loss to the world is an immense one, because very few people have this magic with words, and words that resonate across borders, colour, race, diversity to sound equally important and real to anyone who reads them. So here is to a life well lived, one that inspires and will continue to do so, because this was one woman, you really couldn’t take your eyes off in how well she lived the life she got.

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RIP Maya Angelou.

image credit: Maya Angelou by rocketrictic on Flickr

 

Life in Pop-up.

Last year, when my sister went to Bangkok she bought Nadi a brillaint pop up version of Jungle Book. We have all grown up on this story and he had only recently seen it, so there was much excitement. Needless to say, that what Nadi likes, Lily also manages to get extremely excited about and so this book became one of those placed-high-on-the-shelf-only-mama-can-read-it-with-you type coveted ones. Its is absolutely amazing in its detail and how its made, and much later after this, when I saw another book by the same artist Matthew Reinhart at a school book fair, I grabbed it without even checking out the title, and Cinderella, the pop up version came into our lives.

I don’t know why I took so long to google him, probably something in the theory that you take people  ( or skill in this case) you see every day four times a day for granted.Today however, when I was requested by my 5 year old boy to make the Treasure Map for the Magic Beans (from Puss in Boots) in true pop up style like in the movie, I was stumped. I remember basic craft classes from way back and I know how to do the most basic stuff but this…this needed to be researched. Of course because I have spent so much time with Matthew Reinhart’s books, his name was the first and as I read his blog, I knew it was something I had to put down in my blog for posterity or reference, whichever comes first.

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And if you like pop up, you should also check out some of the wonderful work by Ray Marshall. Since pirates are big in our house currently after Captain Hook (Peter Pan, of course)  and Captain Gutt (from Ice Age 4), I am esepcially in love with The Castway Pirates.

Friday Feel-Good Find: simple love

Complicated, detailed, life-like illustrations enthrall me. I am awed by the talent and skill that goes into producing something real-looking and so very tangible but every time I come across an illustrator like this, with work that takes you back to the very first stroke I am reminded again, why simplicity has my heart and soul.

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And of course with The Dark Knight releasing today, how could I miss out this print?Image

 

Check out her love for pattern and some inspiration here.

The Toledos: where Fashion and Illustration fell in love.

While on the subject of lusting after fashion illustration, I should probably also mention Ruben Toledo whose work I only got to know of when I picked up Nina Garcia’s  The One Hundred, for its illustrations more than the content. Cuban born Rubens work has a magical whimsical quality, so stylish yet so fun at the same time. The more I read up on him and his wife Isobel Toledo (his muse and a fashion designer) the more I have been crushing on their work.

Read their wonderful film-like story here.

Loving this Fashion Wheel.

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Silhouettes will never fade. And also don’t you love the period look of the Jane Austen book cover? Modern yet totally retaining the essence of the time. Reminded me of the cover of Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern.

While all these illustrations make my heart beat slightly faster, the communication designer in me is especially kicked to see his illustrations take Nordstrom by storm. Absolutely loving the collaboration of big name gowns with this own personal style of work.

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Do check out pictures of their beautiful work space in Manhattan.

Monday Find: Fashion illo love.

When we were little, on long hot afternoons in AbuDhabi, my sister and I would sit at our dining table and have fashion design competitions. We would take our stick figures and dress them up according to genre and then gave ratings. While neither of us grew up to be particularly fashion inclined, we enjoy the design aspect of life madly, both in our work and daily lives. Fashion has always been an elusive love. I love quirky beautiful trendy things, but somehow my personal style stays afffixed on the casual.

Recently I have seen more and more of Izak Zenou‘s work and I love his whimsical style, the free flowing strokes and the personalities his women seem to take. They are hip and young and have an agenda- they are not only doing something but looking great doing it. He has recently launched his own brand and his gorgeous illos are now on scarves handbags laptops and phones, to name a few. His work with some of the top brands retains his personal style and yet embodies the brands look as well. Perfect Monday browsing.

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