Inspiring Reads for Creatives

Script Fonts - Geum-Hee Hong - My Creative Notebook

Here we will share sources of inspiration which we have found useful, both offline, online and some that we have created based on our own experience. Some will be just released and others will be older, but nonetheless useful and inspiring.

Script Fonts - Geum-Hee Hong - My Creative Notebook

Script Fonts – Geum-Hee Hong

Synopsis: Fonts based on handwritten scripts are some of the bestselling typefaces of the font foundries. They bring personality and authenticity to graphic design – whether on business cards and flyers, or in packaging and advertising.Script Fonts is a visual encyclopedia of over 300 fonts that includes complete alphabets and numerals for each font and a piece of sample text that shows how each typeface works in the context of a paragraph. It is richly illustrated with over 100 examples of the typefaces as used in manuscripts, on posters, in advertising and other graphic design. The book includes elegant Italian and French cursive scripts, English script fonts, expressive marker fonts, brush and swash fonts, deko and freestyle fonts – all illustrated with historical and contemporary examples.The accompanying CD contains 122 free fonts.

Why we like it

Beautifully presented this is a fascinating collection of Script Fonts, including Handwriting,Italian and French Italics, English Copperplate, Brush and Swash, Marker Scripts, School Scripts, Decorative and Freestyle. As well as examples of the script, some are set in the context of an historical example. Some you will recognise, others may be more unusual, but all serve as a wonderful illustration of the many ways that fonts can be used to create wonderful imagery.

How to be an Illustrator, Second Edition - Darrel Rees

How to be an Illustrator, Second Edition – Darrel Rees

Synopsis: This book offers practical help and guidance to aspiring illustrators. All areas of the job are covered – creating a portfolio; approaching potential clients; preparing for meetings and negotiating contracts; setting up a studio; maintaining a flow of work and managing one’s time and cash. Self-promotion, creating websites, self-publishing and the pros and cons of agents are all explored.International illustrators are interviewed, discussing how they got their break in the industry, their experiences with clients, their methods of promoting work and more. In addition, leading art directors describe their approach to commissioning illustration, how they spot new talent, their thoughts on promotional material and their advice to up-and-coming illustrators.

Packed with useful tips gleaned from the author’s own career as an illustrator, and his work as an agent handling some of the best new talent, the book is an essential read for anyone looking to succeed in illustration.

Why we like it

Now in a second edition, and updated to take account the development of social media, this book is absolutely packed with fascinating and useful information. As mentioned in the Foreword by Nicholas Blechman ‘This handbook has invaluable information on how to survive in the publishing jungle. It contains the do’s and don’ts that never got covered in art school.’

Not just art school, but we suggest is also not covered in schools or colleges either, young people in particular rarely are given an in-depth insight into creative careers. Anyone of any age wanting to develop their talent as an illustrator will find so much of value here. As well as the really helpful structure of the book examining How to get Started, Preparing your Portfolio, Job-Hunting and Interviews, Producing your first job, Billing, and Promoting Yourself; we particularly liked the Interviews with the Illustrators and Art Directors and the pros and cons of having your own studio and working with agents. Whether you want to be an illustrator, or pursue any form of creative career, there is much to be gained by reading this book. We loved it!

The Little Book of Typographic Ornament - David Jury

The Little Book of Typographic Ornament – David Jury

Synopsis: This little book contains a beautiful and varied collection of typographic ornaments sourced from specimen books of type foundries, dating from 1700.David Jury explains how the need for typographic ornaments arose and developed, and sets them in their historical context. The chapters cover natural forms; geometric forms; rules and borders; wreaths, borders and scrolls; and pictorial ornaments. The last chapter charts the rise of the graphic designer over the last century, and how modern designers are now reinterpreting these typographic ornaments into new forms of art.The Little Book of Typographic Ornament is an invaluable reference for graphic designers:

Why we like it

This is a delightful little book, full of inspiring examples of how typographical ornaments have been used throughout history. As well as the illustrations of the ornaments each chapter contains a narrative from David giving the background followed by pages and pages of exquisite examples. A beautiful book to add to your collection.

How To Draw – Jake Spicer

Sketch and draw anything, anywhere with this inspiring and practical handbook

Synopsis: Jake Spicer wants you to learn how to draw. 

This is his complete course in drawing, suitable for complete beginners as well as experienced artists, and designed to help you fit drawing into your lifestyle. 

Tried-and-tested exercises, ranging from five-minute sketches to dedicated sessions of an hour or longer, cover every subject and location you could wish for, while accessibly written drawing theory helps you relate the technical concepts to your practice, helping you to hone your craft. 

Whatever your goals are, expert art tutor Jake Spicer gives you the inspiration and encouragement to draw more – and keep improving.

You Will be Able to Draw Faces by the End of This Book – Jake Spicer

Synopsis: Pick up a pencil and discover the joy of drawing the people you love.

This  Book is for anybody who wants to become confident in drawing faces.
Whether you are a complete novice or a more experienced artist. From basic facial structures to finer details, the book teaches you the fundamentals of portraiture, and also allows you space to practise on the page. Learn how to:

· Understand anatomy and form
· Use light and shade
· Sketch in profile and front on
· Draw details such as hair and wrinkles
· Capture likeness and expression

The book lays flat to allow you to draw comfortably and has an elastic band to keep your drawings safe. It is also small and compact enough to fit inside your bag and each exercise has an estimated competition time, so it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll always be able to find time and inspiration to practice.

Why we like it
Jake Spicer’s books are very accessible, not just for adults but for young people too. What we love about these books are the opportunities to learn in a way that is reassuring, practical and down to earth. 

In How to Draw there is so much detail from encouraging the beginner artist to ‘Just Draw’ through to suggesting practice at home, out and about, in Art Museums and Galleries, at Work, In a Life Class, at The Drawing Board. This is followed by Drawing Skills, Core Skills and Composition.

In You Will be Able to Draw Faces by the End of This Book Jake takes a more in-depth approach going into the detail involved in drawing a face,.also there are very helpful spaces for you to practise your sketching. We particularly liked the section with his description of the head as a landscape.Every part of the face is analysed from the basic shape of the head into the detail of each feature, as well as proportion.
Both books are a delightful addition to any aspiring artist’s bookshelf.
Highly Recommended!

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The view from my window

The View from my Window - My Creative Notebook

All my life I have been easily distracted by the view through a window, starting from my years in a sixth form art block gazing at the cathedral in the distance. This distraction eventually became the inspiration for my final fabric printing submission. I love the sense of calm that a beautiful view can bring, it may be the sky, but it can often be the way the window forms a natural picture frame.

Whenever I am fortunate to be living, or staying near the coast with a sea view l often rush from inside the house to photograph endless spectacular sunsets that I have seen from behind the glass. When going out for a meal by the sea, my preference is always to have the table with a view, gazing out over water lifts the soul. Constantly changing, the sea and sky compete for my attention.

Now living more inland, my view is more restricted, our garden is tiny, but even with the most microscopic of gardens, little miracles can occur. It is December and yet there are tomatoes ripening on the window-sill, no greenhouse beauties these, but grown and nurtured by my daughter. Carefully picked from our still flourishing tomato plant purchased for 50p from our local garden centre at the end of the season.

I love colours and textures and for me every part of this view tells a story.

The View from my Window - My Creative NotebookThe blue bottles have been in my collection for many years, each one added over time, and carefully wrapped for each house move. When the children were little they became part of a story of good fairies and naughty fairies that lived inside. Only one has a cork and that kept the naughty fairy safely tucked away! Now I smile at the memory and love the way that the light shines through them.

Behind the bottles an olive tree grows, it came with the house, but it serves as a reminder of the matching one that we have in a pot at the front, it brings comfort and stability and reminds me of beautiful olive groves growing in Tuscany. Beyond the olive tree we have two contrasting trees, the beautiful bay tree, still flourishing and growing despite the chill, and the apple tree, branches now bare but reminding me of the delicious fruit that it gave us during the summer.

Next to the apple tree are the striking colours of the geranium, still in flower and protected by the warmth of the wall behind. Finally in the distance the beautiful reds of the leaves in the tree next door, glowing in the remains of the winter sunshine. This garden may be petite, but I love the ever-changing view, as the sun makes its way across the sky and when we are rewarded with a full moon at night.

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