Reminder: 20% off Through Monday

11/29/13

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20% off in both my Etsy Shop and Big Cartel shops! Have a great Friday, friends!

CATEGORIES: For Sale
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Thanks Giving

11/28/13

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As some of you know, the last couple of months — in fact, the last six months — have been filled with many challenges and occasionally some intense sorrow in my life. It is so easy to get caught up in why is this happening? or can I just crawl in a hole? But then I remember that everything that happens, even the most difficult, heart wrenching things, are all part of this amazing life we live, and that embracing and learning from all of it — using it to become a better, stronger person, a better artist, a more loving partner, a more grateful friend, and ultimately, a happier person, is what matters most. I’ve written about this topic before, but it’s worth repeating over and over.

One thing I have understood recently (as if for the first time) is that the people in my life (even so many of you who I have never met) are pretty amazing. You are filled so much generosity and love. And for that I am so thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

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How to Hang a Picture

11/27/13

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Several months back I was contacted by my old friend Jay Sacher (he was my first editor at Chronicle Books back in the day and now lives in Brooklyn). He was writing a book on how to hang a picture, and also how to make arrangements of things in your home, and would I contribute some ideas? Since collecting and arranging are passions of mine, I said, of course. Well, that book, How to Hang a Picture, is now available. The book, written by Jay and his partner Suzanne LaGasa, is chock full of tips and even technical stuff like which hardware to use and how to find a stud on a wall or hang a picture on (gasp!) cinder block!

Here’s the publisher’s witty description of the book, which I loved, “Like tying a Windsor knot or brewing a perfect cup of coffee, knowing how to hang art on your wall is a hallmark of everyday style and nuts-and-bolts know-how. The where, what, and whys of hanging art are an overlooked, under-appreciated line of inquiry. Most of us simply wing it with a quick eyeball and a swing of the hammer. How hard can it be? we think. What can go wrong? The answer, of course, is plenty: crumbling plaster, ruined antique laths, mismatched art hung too-close together, or a poorly-mounted photograph warping in its frame. But beyond the technical mishaps, there is a more essential lesson to be learned: The skill and consideration with which you decorate your home makes an aesthetic statement about the world you inhabit—and more importantly, when it’s done right, it very clearly looks a whole lot better.”

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How to Hang a Picture: And Other Essential Lessons for a Stylish Home is a user-friendly guidebook that details everything you need to know about hanging, framing, decorating and displaying art. Elegantly illustrated by Sacher, this book is both a stylish addition to your coffee table stack and a great resource.

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My advice is in the collections section of the book (surprise, surprise), entitled (again with wit) “Shelf Life: or How Not to Hang a Picture,” which is all about using shelves and other surfaces to arrange collections and objects

I absolutely love this book. I think it’s brilliant (and a long overdue resource).  I hope you will check it out too. It might even make the perfect gift for someone in your life.

Have a great Wednesday, friends. And happy pre-holiday to my readers in the U.S.!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a Thanksgiving post.

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Words for the Day :: No. 5

11/26/13

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I’ve posted this quote before, and I’m posting it again, this time in the context of new artwork. These are words to live by and I repeat them to myself every day.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

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A Sale to Say Thank You!

11/25/13

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Friends, I am so grateful for all of you and the years of love and support you have given to me and my art practice. As a way of saying thank you, I am offering 20% off in my Etsy Shop (prints, books and originals) and my Big Cartel Shop (originals), for the next seven days (through December 2). Use Coupon Code THANKSGIVING to apply the discount at checkout in both shops.

If you are shopping for the holidays, my shops will close December 18, so be sure to get your order in before 8 a.m. PST that day to ensure delivery by the holidays (international customers should order by this week).

By popular demand, I’ve added this new print to my shop (originally drawn in my sketchbook).

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I’ve also added this “Gratitude” print (offered in both standard and large sizes)

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In case you missed it, I’ve also added these two new prints last week:

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And don’t forget that these notebooks make great stocking stuffers!

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As always, if you have any questions, want something in a different size, or are curious if I can make a special print for you, just email me or send me an Etsy convo.

Have a wonderful Monday.

CATEGORIES: For Sale | New in my Shop
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Troy Litten :: New Print Shop

11/22/13

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Way back in 2004, I became obsessed with two things: travel and film photography. And so when I stumbled on the book Wanderlust by Troy Litten, it was in love. It was the perfect combination of collecting (already a passion), colorful imagery, and worldly adventure.

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Wanderlust, published by Chronicle Books in 2004, is a book chock full of organized collections of all of the amazing things Troy saw (and photographed) while traveling the world, most organized on a grid (be still my heart). 10 years later, the book still captures me heart every time I look at it. Troy’s images were also made into postcards and address books and all kinds of other wonderful things.

I am happy to report that years later, Troy and I have become friends, good friends, and I continue to love and admire his work. So it is with great pleasure that I get to tell you about the opening of his first online print shop. He’s offering ten different 11×14 prints of ten different photo collages. Each print includes a white border on all sides for easy framing. They are printed with an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 inkjet printer using Epson UltraChrome pigment based inks on Epson hot press 330 g/m2 smooth matte paper (super high quality). Soon he’ll be adding larger sizes (I have a 16×20 print of the car collage above, and it’s stunning; you can also request a larger size by sending him a conversation through Etsy). Scroll down to the bottom to see Troy’s generous discount code for my readers.

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Use the discount code LISACONGDON1 to get 25% off anything in Troy’s shop.

Troy keeps a fantastic blog of his travel photos and ephemera, dating back to the late 1990′s. He still takes amazing photos to this day, and following him on Instagram is a visual feast. Soon I’ll be interviewing Troy for my Interviews with People I Admire series, so stay tuned for that to learn more about his fascinating life & work.

Happy Friday, friends. Have a great weekend.

 

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New Prints in my Shop!

11/21/13

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I’m excited to let you know that I’ve got two new prints in my shop! This first one (above) is called “Let’s Make Art” and it’s available here.

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I’ve also just released “Chalet” as a print, and you can get this one here.

Please note: for these prints or any in my shop (including original works), my last day of shipping before the holidays will be Thursday, December 18, so all orders must be received by 8 am PST on the 18th to ship in time for Christmas. My shop will reopen on January 2, 2014.

Thank you for your continued support!

And have a very happy Thursday!

 

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Debbie Millman :: Self-Portrait as Your Traitor

11/20/13

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In the last two years, I have had the privilege of befriending designer, Debbie Millman. Though I’d known of Debbie for years, I met her in person through my collaborator and dear friend, Maria Popova. Debbie is not only one of the most talented designers and design thinkers on the planet; she is also an exceptional artist and one of the warmest, kindest human beings I have ever encountered. I am the proud owner of one of her original pieces of typographic art, gifted to Clay and me for our wedding earlier this summer.

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So it was with great pleasure that I dove into Debbie’s latest book, Self-Portrait as Your Traitor, which was released by HOW Press last month. The (gorgeous coffee table sized) book chronicles Debbie’s life journey through illustrated essays and poems. Her deeply personal, spirited essays and poems are illustrated in beautiful hand lettered type, which change as her story evolves to match the mood of each part of her story. In the words of Paula Scher who penned her introduction, “…each piece of lettering seems to have been created to express the exact emotional subject matter at hand.” Indeed, Debbie uses type to convey mood; but this book is really not an illustrated book of typography. It is, rather, a memoir expressed in in deeply personal art. For anyone who has lived and simultaneously struggled as a creative human (and who among us hasn’t), the book is an tribute to personal strife, perseverance, and triumph.

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You can purchase Self-Portrait as Your Traitor here or at your local bookstore. I also highly recommend Debbie’s radio show Design Matters in which she has interviewed an amazing array of leading designers, artists and thinkers since 2005.

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Have a very happy Wednesday, friends.

CATEGORIES: Inspiration
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Anne Weil :: Arm Knitted Cowls

11/19/13

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A few weeks ago, I spent time with my dear friend Anne Weil in Lake Tahoe. Anne owns Flax and Twine, where she’s currently selling gorgeous arm-knit cowls. Yes, she literally knits them with her arms (as opposed to needles). They are huge and chunky and warm. Here’s I am in the one Anne gave me when we saw each other in October. I love it so much.

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Each cowl is made from either this wool blend yarn or this gorgeous 100% Merino Wool Drift yarn from Rowan. You can purchase them here or place a custom order.

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Anne is exceptionally talented and generous and keeps a wonderful blog with craft projects (knitting and beyond!) over here.

Happy, happy Tuesday. I’ll be back tomorrow with a review of this wonderful book.

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Words for the Day :: No. 4

11/18/13

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Happy, happy Monday, friends.

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MIEL Publishing

11/14/13

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{artist Lisa Solomon’s monograph, published by MIEL}

I am so excited today to introduce to you one of my favorite tiny publishers, this one out of Belgium. Their name is MIEL, and they are Jonathan Vanhaelst and Éireann Lorsung. They produce poetry chapbooks, books (see Lisa Solomon’s new monograph), stationery and a literary magazine called 1110. If you are a collector of small and beautiful small-run books & paper goods, you will love what these guys do. Here are some of my personal favorites.

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From the postcard series.

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Poetry by Larissa Dickey.

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Langoustine by George Szirtes.

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Lisa Solomon’s monograph.

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On Beauty, a lovely hand drawn 2014 calendar.

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Lovely holiday cards by Eireann.

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Poetry by Shana Youngdahl.

You can peruse everything in the MIEL shop here, and read their beautiful blog here.

Happy Thursday, friends!

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Inspiration
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Creativebug Classes Coming in January!

11/13/13

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{photo of the video screen yesterday as I shot my third class for Creativebug}

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I spent the last two days recording a series of four line drawing classes for Creativebug. My classes launch in January, and they’ll cover both basic line drawing techniques and some cool projects you can make yourself.

I want to thank the entire staff and crew at Creativebug, especially the amazing people I worked with directly over the past few days: Courtney, Eric, Matt and Brian. Special thank you also to Ava, Alexi, Fernando and Kelly. You are all some of the most enthusiastic, most kind, most patient people I have ever worked with. You made what would normally have been a really stressful experience (sitting in front of two cameras for two days) so much fun.

If you want to get a taste of Creativebug, I recommend taking a gander at their existing classes. They offer a subscription membership or you can take classes ala carte. Last month they also launched a class on building a creative brand, of which I was a part. You can learn more about that class here.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

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Digging in to Abstraction

11/11/13

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You may recall that earlier this year I announced I was going to experiment with abstract painting. I’m happy to report that (nearly a year later) my work on abstract paintings happily (albeit slowly!) continues. The painting above (not yet finished) is the largest I’ve ever worked on. This photo was taken in my studio Friday, where the light was pouring in. Here’s a close up of one section that includes some of the detail work:

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I’ll be sure to share with you the completed piece when it’s finished. Last week I signed for my first two abstract commissions, so there will be many more to come over the next two months. It’s quite an addicting practice and I can’t wait to get back to this one.

Happy Monday.

 

CATEGORIES: My Studio | Paintings
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Modern Lore Cards :: Paris Photographs

11/08/13

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I’m so excited to let you all know that the gorgeous card company Modern Lore has produced a set of beautiful note cards from four of my Paris photographs (from my honeymoon last July).

The cards are 4×6 inches and there are eight cards in the set (two of each card). They are printed on beautiful textured paper with soy based inks.

You can get them here.

Have a great weekend, friends!

CATEGORIES: For Sale
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Chronicle Books :: Give Books 2013!

11/07/13

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{2013 Give Books logo by the ever talented Gemma Correll}

Ah, so it’s THAT time of year again, or, well, almost… It’s the time when we begin to think about what we might give our loved ones for the holidays. For the second year, Chronicle Books is sponsoring a Give Books campaign. This year I’m helping them out, not only by taking the pledge myself, but by sharing with you some of my top picks for the most amazing books to give as gifts this season!

So what is the #GiveBooks campaign anyway? It’s your pledge to give books! Through this pledge you can share the love of reading, support your local bookstore, and help promote literacy. Here’s the deal: for every #GiveBooks tweet, pin, and online pledge, Chronicle Books will donate a children’s book to First Book, a non-profit organization that provides access to new books for children in need. Help Chronicle Books reach their goal of donating 10,000 books this holiday!

To get you started, I’ve chosen ten books that I’ve fallen in love with recently (and one that I illustrated!) that I’ll be giving this holiday season. All of these books can be purchased through Chronicle Books and here’s a discount code valid through December 31, 2013:

30% off + free shipping at ChronicleBooks.com (*excluding personalized products). Promo code GIVEBOOKS

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To get you started today, here’s my absolute favorite new book. It’s called FREEHAND, and it’s chock full of sketching and drawing tips from some incredible artists. The book is small in size and paperback so you can carry it with you anywhere. I learned so much from reading this book and have been trying out some of the techniques in my own work.

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Next up: MAPS by Paula Scher. I recently interviewed Paula for a book that I’m writing and I had a great time talking to her about her Map Paintings. She makes intricately detailed and very large paintings (as tall as twelve feet) that depict not-to-scale continents, countries, and cities swirling with information and colorful layers of hand-painted boundary lines, names and commentary. If you know someone who loves maps, this book of Paula’s work would make a beautiful gift.

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She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m giving this book to my very fashionable niece for Christmas. For anyone who loves fashion, this is a dream book: and includes a huge collection of original sketches by 50 of the world’s most celebrated fashion designers.

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I’ve long been a fan of illustrator Nigel Peake and have for years collected all of his books. I am loving his latest book, entitled In the City. In this book he details in his iconic graphic style the lines and shapes of the urban environment, including many major European and American cities.

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Do you know someone who loves handmade, limited edition books? This might be the most stunning collection of artists’ books I’ve ever seen. 75 Artist Books chronicles the books that Gunnar A. Kaldewey has produced in limited editions since 1985. I devoured the gorgeous photos and accompanying essays about each artist book.

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This year, after we moved to Oakland, my wife and I planted our first vegetable garden and experimented with planting our first root vegetables. Roots is a fantastic new book and has become a go-to resource. It’s both a comprehensive guide to root vegetables and a collection of 225 recipes. And since it’s nearly winter, it’s root vegetable season. I can’t wait to dive more deeply into this book.

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When Pictorial Websters was released in 2009, I was so excited, and it’s still one of my favorite books today. I am a visual junkie, and so a visual dictionary is my idea of an ice cream sundae. This fat, compact book includes 1,500 engravings that originally graced the pages of Webster’s dictionaries in the 19th century. A great book for older kids and adults alike.

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Those who know me know that I love my wine. Admittedly, though, I don’t know very much about wine, and so one goal for 2014 is to learn more about what I’m drinking. I was so excited to stumble on Hello, Wine, just released last month. I’ve already dug into this book, and I’m learning about grapes and varietals and food pairing all the essential things I need to know about wine. I highly recommend this down-to-earth, easy to read guide..

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Just after I finished my own 365 Days of Hand Lettering Project last year, I discovered Emily Gregory’s book Little Book of Lettering. People often ask me for hand lettering tips. I always refer them to this beautiful book, rich with gorgeous examples of hand lettering by some of the world’s most talented letterers.

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Last but not least, how can I do a review of books and not recommend my own illustrated version of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. Each of Steins 40+ nonsense poems is illustrated with a quirky drawing. A great gift for literary buffs this year!!

Again, to participate in the #GiveBooks campaign, simply share this post with the hashtag #GiveBooks (or write your own post or tweet and share!) and Chronicle will make a donation. You can also pledge your support here.

Happy Thursday, friends. And remember, #GiveBooks!

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Inspiration
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