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Things I Look At



Last night I dreamt about making a collage. Before bed I had been reading Altered Art, and unlike my usual dreams (inspiring in a dark, what the frick is wrong with me way), this dream simply inspired a good mood. In celebration of a night of sweet dreams, I thought I would share things that lend themselves to inspiring me to daydream and sometimes even make stuff.

  • The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams is a beautifully illustrated tale. My description will do it no justice – but you can get a sample peek of it at google books. As it says on the back of the book, “Frederick Knick-Knack, the merchant of matches and peddler of dreams, has a dilemma. He must find the perfect gift. Will it be the pea, perhaps a little squished, from the princess and the pea? Perhaps a small round bell, formerly owned by a ravishing cherub? Or will it be a troop of elephants, as small as specks of sand? Or the Mona Lisa’s beauty spot?”
  • Editorial Fashion Spreads and period dramas often capture my imagination through costume and set design. The film adaptation of Atonement was the most recent period flick to get my gears turning.
  • Many of the books in the graphic design section of a bookstore, especially books of clipart. Most recently I have been working with Graphic Ornaments and Fancy
  • My typewriter. It does not work. It just sits around and just looks pretty – hmmm… wouldn’t that be nice. When I first brought it home, I made the print pictured below. Now the typewriter sits in my bedroom , usually with an old photo or postcard I just received stuck in the paper feed. I like to look at it and press the keys.
  • Old photos of people I know and people I don’t know. There is a photo hanging on the wall of the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC that I dream and dream and dream about owning. I need to at least go take a picture of it. It is a turn of the century (that would be the twentieth century) class photo of a life-drawing class. There are all these serious young men in artist smocks standing in a group and in the middle is this female nude model posing. I really want this picture!
  • Art supply stores. Not websites. I like to go into the stores and walk up and down every aisle. I like the smells and the packaging.
  • The work of Richard Avedon.

I could probably keep going, but I am going to stop here. Thinking about all this stuff makes me want to go play with matches. (My next big project involves contending with a large collection of matches – I am no pyro.)

Please feel free to share any of your inspirations with me – I am always looking for new pretty things to capture my fancy.

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