It’s been a few years since we’ve explored Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets, but this gorgeous book illustrated by Caitlin Keegan is beckoning us to dive back in. Composed of 29 out of the beloved writer’s 154-piece collection — which Keegan diligently picked — the book is full of hand-drawn touches with typography highlighting the first letter of every poem, alongside lush, full-page patterns and illustrations that encompass each sonnet’s spirit. It’s a beautiful and romantic page-turner, full of rich colors and whimsical, modern depictions of the poem’s sentiments, visuals and metaphors. Spy a few of Shakespeare’s love-adorned, iambic pentameter lines coupled with Keegan’s inspiring illustrations below, and pick-up a copy over here.
After reading Office Girl — whose pages are embellished with little doodles and photographs pertaining to the story — it’s become somewhat of a mission to discover other books with hand drawn flourishes. While these illustrations weren’t for a novel, we recently stumbled upon Katie Turner’s drawings for How To Win Her Love, Rudolph Delson’s quirky how-to guide for men looking to woo women. While we don’t plan on diving into the book for its content, it’s illustrations are adorable and feature guys and gals in various situations — from lying in bed together to breaking up to crushing from across the room. Spy a few of Ms. Turner’s black-and-white illustrations below, and visit her website for more.
I read a quote once that said “Reading is dreaming with your eyes open,” and I couldn’t agree more. There’s few things in life that are as wonderful as getting lost in a good book. You can travel back in time to 1970s Greenwich Village with Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, join Sylvia Plath as she scrawls in her journals, learn how to create new things, get inspired by quirky art projects, ride the train with Anna Karenina, swoon over e.e. cummings’ poems, and so much more. In books, there are no boundaries or limitations to where your imagination can take you. Summer has always been my favorite time to escape into novels, poems, short stories, and how-to books, so I’ve rounded-up a dozen picks for this July and August that are inspiring and fun, after the jump.
If you couldn’t already tell, Sylvia Plath is one of our favorite artists around here. Her novel, The Bell Jar, is a must-read and a fascinating piece of literature (parts of protagonist Esther Greenwood’s life resemble that of Plath’s), along with her poems — we continuously loose ourselves in “Mad Girl’s Love Song.” Not only was Ms. Plath an amazing and inspiring author and poet, but a talented sketch artist, whose pen and ink illustrations were unveiled last November at The Mayor Gallery in London. The Paris Review reminded us that while we weren’t able to visit the gallery — although we totally wish we could’ve — The Telegraph featured 30 of the illustrations. Plath took up drawing as a personal side-project, cataloging gorgeous scenery with imagery from France, the UK and America-peppering the collection, portraits, shoes that reference her novel, flowers, and animals (curiously there’s a few bull and cow illustrations), as well as nautical-tinged drawings, which you can gawk at below.
From the minds of Swedish artists Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker — who created art under the handle Studio Violet up until last October — comes The Life Of Mr. Mustache. The 30-page book throws its readers into the realm of our protagonist, a 2-dimentional mustached little man made out of paper, who is struck with insomnia. The art book (written in both Swedish and English) comes complete with a rhyming story and whimsical, rustic photographs of Mr. Mustache’s home and surroundings in diorama form. You can head on over to Fine Little Day to purchase the adorable little story in all of its DIY-glory, and have a peak inside below.
Sad news everyone: Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the children’s book Where The Wild Things Are, passed away this morning. It’s a great loss, not only felt in the literary and art worlds — he was a self-taught artist, illustrating many children’s books — but across the globe, as kids of all ages have been reaching for his beloved works since the 1940s. Over the decades, his colorful characters and drawings have served as a whimsical escape from real life and as source of inspiration — influencing ink, art, music, crafts and film. We’ve rounded up a few quotes, projects, and art in memory of Mr. Sendak, so come celebrate his life with us after the jump.
My grandmother is a long time crocheter and her collection of craft books — spanning from the ’60s and onwards — are magical. One book in particular, which I’ve sort of claimed as my own, Mon Tricot 250 Patterns To Knit & Crochet has stolen a part of my book/craft-adoring heart. Beautiful patterns for lace edging, loomed daisies, and granny squares galore are painted throughout the 1977-published book, along with photographs of the work and cropped-haired models showing off their designs. It’s too amazing not to share, so geek-out over a few photos of vintage crafts below.
While I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Bukowski’s work — having only read his novel, Women, with mixed feelings — it’s always interesting to hear lauded writers’ takes on matters of the heart. The infamous author, known for his boozing and womanizing, probably wouldn’t be the best subject to ask about romantic feelings, but nevertheless, an interviewer asked and Bukowski delivered, explaining what love is the only way he knew how — in a bleak, poetic manner. The author opined that “Love is kind of like when you see a fog in the morning, when you wake up before the sun comes out. It’s just a little while, and then it burns away. Love is a fog that burns with the first daylight of reality.” Watch the clip below, in which the author lights-up a smoke before expressing his belief of love’s rapid fade.