The Pikaland Gift Guide for All Seasons: part 7

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The Pikaland gift guide for all season has come to the end – and to cap this year’s edition, I wanted to do a bit of recap of the books that I’ve featured here on the blog, which has been some of my favourites. They’ve opened up new horizons for me, inspired me and to a certain extent, changed my life. I still flip through them from time to time, and I do think that the ones here have stood the test of time. (P/s: this list is done in no particular order!)

Enjoy!

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

 

Lighter Than My Shadow (Amazon UK) is Katie Green’s first graphic novel – a tale of struggle and recovery; of abuse, betrayal and awakening. I’ve known Katie online for several years now and while I knew she was working on her first graphic novel about her eating disorder – I didn’t anticipate the range of emotions that bore into me as I turned each page. All 500 of it. I was curious, confused, shocked, angry – some of them all coming together in a flurry of emotions that caught me off guard as I devoured it in one sitting. It was beautiful, uplifting, and most importantly – incredibly brave of her to put her story out into the world.

Read my review here.

Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists by Marion Deuchars

 

Marion Deuchars has done it again. In 2011 I reviewed her book Let’s Make Some Great Art (reviewed here) and it was a unique book which made me squeal with delight when I peeled open its pages back then. In her latest book, Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists, she reprises the original concept of inviting the reader (or in this case, the artist) to dabble their fingers into some paint and let loose in between the pages of her book.

You can read my review here.

Birch field Close by Jon McNaught

 

The brilliant work of Jon McNaught is captured beautifully in Birchfield Close – a book that describes frame-by-frame of the suburbs in all its mundane glory. Each scene seems to blend into one another effortlessly, much as the day turns into night in places such as these – behind the subtle chatter of neighbours to the quiet unsymbolic passing of days. Throughout the book there’s no conversation; just sounds and noises against backdrops and textures of subtle color. Jon’s a genius.

Read my review here.

An A-Z of Visual Ideas by John Ingledew

 

If you’ve been stumped for ideas on how to push the envelope in your work or to add context by twisting thing ups a notch, then you must, absolutely, get The A-Z of Visual Ideas:How to Solve Any Creative Brief. What this book does is to link, connect and inspire new ways of thinking and creative solving. From A to Z and start to finish, the book not only outlines how to breathe new life into your ideas, but show you many examples of how others have done them.

Read my review here.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

 

Malcolm’s mind is like a giant repository of ideas, questions, answers, and the magic lies in how he tells and links all of them together. Facts that I never thought of learning are brought to life so vividly; facts that never crossed my mind and facts which seemed insignificant at the time — all of them were carefully dissected and presented in simple, layman terms. And in Outliers, he talks about success and the makings of it.

You can read my review here.

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon

 

Thought provoking and written in a conversational style, you’ll feel as though you’re sitting down with Youngme herself for a chat about the topic of how to differentiate yourself from the crowd in Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd. While the title sounds like a business how-to, she mentioned that this was precisely why she set out to write a book that eschewed the norm of dishing out one-liners and pep talk. Instead, she manages to maintain the interest of the reader to delve into the subject matter further to decipher for themselves the points she puts across so eloquently in her book.

Read my review here.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it for Life

 

First, a little background. Twyla Tharp is a choreographer who has created 130 dances for her company and many others like Joffrey Ballet and London’s Royal Ballet. What shines throughout The Creative Habit, is how Twyla talks about creativity in the way she knows. Although choreography is a different way of expressing one’s ideas through art, the formula to achieve creativity in all levels of your life is a common thread that binds all creative types together. Drawing, writing, performing, singing and even business — she doesn’t discriminate what field you’re in. Rather, she offers learning through her eyes and opens up the reader’s mind via her experiences.

Read my review here.

How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees

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I first reviewed this book  in 2010, and a second updated edition was just released this year which contains updated information about the field of illustrations. The past 4 years has seen big changes in how artists market themselves (which is reflected in updated interviews), and they’ve added in sections on social media presence as well. \

You can read my review of the first edition here.

Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine? by Mark Todd & Esther Pearl Watson

 

As a simple start off point for wannabe publishers, making a zine is surprisingly simple, yet effective. Staple together (or fold) a stack of papers with your idea in it and you can get your message across to any audience you wish! As one who came from the glossy publishing world of magazines, I loved the smell of paper hot off the press. I loved flipping through pages of my hard work and seeing the eyes of others lit up as they consumed each page. As I struck out on my own however, I thought that would mean the end of publishing for me as I knew it. Boy was I wrong.

Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine opened my eyes to a world of zines and you can read my review of it here. It’s easily one of my most favourite books ever.

How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith

 

How to be an Explorer of the World is Keri’s fourth book after so many other inspiring creativity-inducing books such as Living Out Loud, Wreck This Journal and The Guerilla Art Kit. I was always interested in the topic of creativity, and its many manifestations throughout my daily life, but Keri brought clarity to my thoughts and inspired me with one of the articles from her blog that first caught my eye: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love.

Read my review here.

And that brings an end to The Pikaland Gift Guide for All Seasons 2014! Thanks so much for sending your recommendations – you guys are amazing!

The Pikaland Gift Guide for All Seasons: part 6

giftguide Howdy folks! For part 6 of the gift guide, I’m taking a bit of break from books (although you can see it’s not a 100%) to show you what other fun stuff that’s perfect as gifts for all seasons. This list is a little off-beat, quirky and it’s made up of things I know a creative would love. While I know that Christmas may be the biggest gift season ever, but a surprise gift anytime of the year makes the heart grow fonder (this is definitely from my own experience!) Enjoy!

Dita Series Pocket Notebooks by Mossery

mossery From their description:

These special edition Pocket Notebooks was illustrated by Avinindita Nura from Bandung Indonesia, sold in a set of 3: School Kids, Daily Life and Dance Floor.

Available here.

The Best People Love Cats & Dogs print by Dick Vincent

dick Need I say more? Printed on 300gsm evolution stock, available here.

The Fantastic Fox backpack by littleoddforest

lof This backpack is fabulous for guys and girls, and was inspired by the Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. It’s made to order though, but perfect for the foxy someone in your life. Available here.

Make your own stag/reindeer full mask by Wintercroft

wintercroft The instant PDF download for this mask is great for last minute gifts – although assembly on your own will take approximately 3-4 hours. Time to get out your rulers, cardboard and scissors for a gift that’s truly handmade. More animal masks available too from Wintercroft, and this set is available here.

To-do notepad by boygirlparty

boygirlparty Writing things down never gets old – and my books are usually filled with to-do lists. If you like yours neat and organised, get this fun notepad by Susie Ghahremani to keep your list in check. Available here.

Living Things Series by Little Otsu combo pack

littleotsu I’ve been crushing on these art zines made by Little Otsu, and they have a combo pack available! Great for satisfying your illustration munchies and to get your juices flowing as each book has different artists each explore one idea based around the theme of living things. Get yours here.

Paints short shirt by Masha Reva x SNDCT

sndct I love clothes that are fun and bright. These collections – as a result of Ukranian brand’s SNDCT ongoing collaborations with artists and designers – will surely make you stand out in style. Available here.

3D Girls vase by Leah Goren

leah Hand built white stoneware vase with allover 3D girl heads by Leah Goren. Conversation starters? You bet. Available here.

Paper Mobile Kit by Faye Moorhouse

faye These funny looking people (and animals) are prints are from original gouache illustrations – seven in all – printed on heavy stock paper, punched and ready to hang. Some assembly is required, but that’s all part of the fun! Available here.

Pocket manfriends by Nicola Rowlands

manfriends My husband always mentions to me that he’d like to carry me in his pocket. Not because I’m little or anything, but because I’m entertaining (I think). I bet he’s never heard of Nicola’s pocket manfriends though – they’re really much more pocketable, and I bet they won’t keep asking him for food. Available here.

We’re almost coming to the end of the 2014 gift guide – so stay tuned for our final instalments! For the entire gift guide, check out this link!

The Pikaland Gift Guide for All Seasons: part 5

giftguide

In this edition of our gift guide, I turn to a mixed bag of books – while most of them are mainly for kids, I think we can all agree we’re all basically kids at heart; so it’s a double win for everyone! I hope you enjoy the picks of these books by indie publishers! For the rest of the gift guide, click here to see the rest!

The Monsters of Tasmania by Rachel Tribout

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From the book’s description:

Captain Blueberry is a mighty adventurer who sails the oceans searching for the unknown and unseen things of the world. People think she is crazy because she believes in monsters.

Can Captain Blueberry and First Mate Albert prove to all that monsters do exist?

The Monsters of Tasmania brings folk tales and sea creatures to life and looks at the landscape in a whole new, monstrous way.

The 72-page book is available here.

Let Your Fish Swim Away by Ella Goodwin

Ella

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From the book’s description:

“Let your fish swim away” houses illustration based on the idea of letting go of your anxieties. (and strongly influenced by Ruth Ozeki’s book “A Tale for the Time Being.

Available to purchase here.

Journal Doodles “The Works” by Marloes De Vries

journal

Marloes has been keeping a doodle journal and this is the complete collection of all her drawings – all 115 of them, bounded together in a hardcover book.

Available to purchase here.

 Ghost Pirate: The Legend of Juana La Loca by Juliana Coles

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juliana

From the description:

Ghost Pirate: the Legend of Juana La Loca, is the first published collection of the avant garde visual journal pages, paintings and figure drawings of Juliana Coles. Each intricate page is layered with journal writings, narrative and provocative imagery.

This non-traditional non-linear visual narrative of the perils of piracy begins with the burial at sea of the legendary free spirited Juana La Loca. But death is never final, as the Black Swan Pirate returns from the depths with a message for our illustrious hero, Captain Morgan La Fey…

Available from Juliana’s Etsy shop.

Hand/Made: Lisa Solomon, published by MIEL

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From the publisher:

Hand/Made, a monograph of Bay-area artist Lisa Solomon’s mixed-media work, showcases Solomon’s attention to the detail and texture of the everyday, and to the feminine as it erupts into that dailyness. Invoking histories both personal and wider, Solomon demonstrates the effect that the smallest things can have. Solomon incorporates thread (alone and as crochet) into drawings and installations, materially bridging craft and fine art, and bringing concerns with domesticity and women’s stories to the fore.

70 pages in an edition 0f 300, available at MIEL Books.

Bill Bear’s Peloton by Wijtze Valkema

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From the book’s description:

Meet Bill Bear, the manager of a small group of animal cyclists. Among the peloton you’ll find Elly Fant, who is a very strong elephant, but unfortunately too heavy for her bike. Wally Nut, who brings food from the manager’s car to the animals up front. King Of the Mountain Maus, Super sprinter Chiita, Chick Ann, they all share life on the road.

The 8-panel booklet is available at BlueOn.

Soundimals by James Chapman

soundimals

From the book’s description:

In English, dogs go woof, cats go meow and mice go squeak. But what about in Hungarian? Or Japanese?
There’s a wide variety of animal sounds you may not have known, and this is a bright and fun way to learn about them all! 

32 pages and available at James’ Etsy shop.

The Colourblind Chameleon by Laura Kantor & Sarah Ray

chameleon

From the book’s description:

The Colourblind Chameleon is the debut title from up and coming author/illustrator duo Laura Kantor and Sarah Ray.

This is a colourful and imaginative tale of a chameleon who doesn’t fit in with the rest. He realises that it’s not just good to be different… it’s a lot more fun!

Delight in the rhyming verses, vibrant colours and hilarious drawings as you are taken on a wonderful journey with a special little chameleon (wearing fabulous pants).

Available here.

Brockley Foxtrot by Katriona Chapman

fox

From the description:

Brockley Foxtrot is a 24-page book, illustrated and designed by me, and saddle-stitched by hand. It’s an account of my love affair with the urban foxes that shared my garden in London for many years! The illustrations are in pencil with some watercolour elements, and 75% of them are actually recreated from my own photographs of the foxes. It’s beautifully printed on textured creamy paper, with a colour cover and end-papers.

“For about six years I lived in an area of London called Brockley. For most of those years I shared my back garden with several generations of a family of foxes. When I moved house I decided to make this book to mark the end of this phase of my life… it’s a chronicle of my observations of the Brockley foxes, and what they meant to me.”

Available here.

We’re almost done with the gift guide – stay tuned for a few more of our recommendations!

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