A friend of mine is applying for a place at the do lectures (read all about them here - truly inspirational) and was telling me about their application process. There are just a few questions but applicants are asked to handwrite the forms, and include a doodle of themselves. One of the questions stuck in my mind which has prompted me to scribble a few things down. Paraphrasing, the question was something like “What was the last book that inspired you?”
Now i’d struggle to name one specific book but thought i’d mention a few books here that might inspire or get people thinking.
Vivian Mayer - Street Photographer
I’ve mentioned Vivian Mayer on the blog before but it’s a story worth highlighting again - an avid photographer, shooting for pleasure, whose amazing archive of work was only discovered after her death during a clearance sale. This book is a collection of her work and a reminder of a truly inspirational approach to doing something because you love it rather than any other reason. (on amazon here)
Oliver Jeffers - How to Catch a Star
I find pretty much all of Oliver Jeffers’ work inspirational but the story behind this, his first book, meant i’d add this to the list. A book that grew out of a university art project, and then a career that grew from that book - it’s a story best told by Jeffers himself and i’d urge you to watch him brilliantly talk about his art, books and career on one of his videos on vimeo (his talk to offset is here)
Paul Smith - You Can Find Inspiration in Anything (And If You Can’t, Look Again)
With a title like that you have got to make sure that the book is pretty inspirational, and it’s safe to say that Paul Smith really delivered with this one. Part autobiography, part comic, part journal the book is as fascinating as it is beautiful. The first editions of the book were bound in various fabrics, housed in Polystyrene cases and supplied with a magnifying glass. Despite not as fancy the later paperback versions are still a stunning and well worth picking up to understand what inspires one of the world’s most stylish fashion designers.
Rinko Kawauchi - The Eyes, The Ears
Japan has a great history of photographers, classic photo books and over the last decade some of the world’s best known female photographers. Of the bunch it’s Rinko Kawauchi’s work that i love the most - her approach to photography uses great tones and composition to transform everyday life in to beautiful scenes.
& more to follow…