Ok, this was an impulse buy. I saw the Yoshi had a sale a while back, wanted some prints, bought some prints, found there was a collection titled Foxy Fashions and well, there was a book with all the illustrations, and it was on sale, so obviously I had to have it. Come on, it says “foxy” and it is about fashion. It was utterly irresistible for me.
The book is a collection of fashions seen through Yoshis eyes per era/type and with the wearers having their face masked by fox masks. It is gorgeous and honestly if you check the store and see some of the prints youll find the joy of just flicking through this book and revelling in it.
All I can do is share my favourite page and say that I recommend it because it is stunning!
Concrete Genie is a very underrated game that is probably one of the games that own the PS4 motion sensors of the controller. I absolutely loved it, it did take me a while to get used to the controls but once I did, I was hooked and didn’t want the game to end because it was so good.
But this isn’t a review of the game, that is to come, instead, I found that there was an art of book and HAD to buy it. The whole premise of Concrete Genie is that our main hero slowly brings back the town by drawing and creating “genies” in the concrete and clearing the bad graffiti and bad stuff from the town with them. Basically, the make something ugly pretty premise with a sweet story. So a book for that, yes, please!
And the book doesn’t disappoint, it is crammed full of the concepts and explanations of the details they wanted to include for each character, the concepts for the town and different areas, and many other things. For example, you get an idea into how Luna, the main genie that starts the genie thing, developed as a concept and why they chose the version of Luna you get in-game.
Overall it is the perfect kind of Art of book, with commentary, conceptual art, discussions of it, and art that influenced the final game, alongside little extras that didn’t make it into, but that would have been fun or something and yet don’t make it any less.
Recommended for gamers, if you are interested int he game but don’t want to play it, or if you like the concpet of saving a town and remaking it with beautiful art and art genies. Or you just enjoy Art Of books.
My Neighbor Hayao by Spoke Art Gallery (Compilation)
I have a weakness for Ghibli themed books, and well, this was all about art, so it was utterly irresistible when I saw it and preordered. It is curated by the Spoke Art Gallery, featuring artwork from a huge variety of artists to celebrate Hayao Miyazaki and the impact he has had in filmmaking and animation.
The curation is beautiful and you can see that they made a huge effort to chose significant pieces there, some of my favourite ones are lantern shadow cuttings for the films, or film poster style reimaginings for each of the films but to reduce the content of the book into just those pieces would be to do it a huge injustice.
What this book does is bring the art exhibition, the gallery, into your home.
I poured over the book and kept coming back as the pieces and interpretations, the tributes left a mark on me. Some stay quite close to the source whereas others reinterpret the artwork and make a newer or very unique piece matching the artists’ style and mindset, and yet they all have a little of the magic that a Ghibli film has. The beauty of the simplicity of life infused by magic and Hayao Miyazaki’s life experience.
It is utterly fascinating how his life experiences have fueled the films in such a way that war makes an appearance or his family history, but also you can see the love for food and Japanese culture, the day to day living, in a Ghibli film, it is the little details against the huge things happening, and this collection of artwork showcases how different artists have been influenced, or have immortalised even further into their work.
If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli films and Hayao Miyazaki’s work, I would suggest adding this book to your collection and enriching it. It also has a lovely ribbon and bookmark feature that meant I could stop and come back to it or highlight my most favourite piece it is a difficult choice).
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
This was a gift from the lovely Justine on one of those wishlist shares, and I had heard a lot of good things about the book.
It was tempting me since it has a fox in it, it is ink drawings and just a positive type of book, so it felt like a book to have at hand when sadness hits and when life just feels a bit not great.
I have to say, it is an easy soothing read with heavy pages and a lot of care, so I can see a lot of care in making it. As it says, you can technically read without an order and I didn’t try it this time round but as I read I noticed it does lend to an orderly or disorderly reading.
I think what got me the most was that the art is simple and yet so emotive and there’s a lot of detail and care. I was fascinated by it and the words go along well.
For some reason it reminded me a lot of Winnie the Pooh and old artwork in the books but also that kind of timeless quotes about life and friendships and just everything. It has a poetic way to it and I just found it soothing, a bit short if anything.
If you want a book that is art, coffee table material but also will make you feel good for reading it, then this is the one for you. Plus it has cute animals, particularly a fox…
If you’ve been following Noelle Stevenson since the tumblr days and the Broship of the Ring, then this book will be like a walk through memory lane with a selection of comics/doodles/etc from those times. And the summary posts of her year that she had on her blog. Which may make this book feel a bit too familiar and maybe not that surprising/new.
However, for me, despite being one of those from way back then, I enjoyed it a lot. It was a refresher of whereshe was (and a reminder of her age and what she’s done so far), but it was also, a reminder of my own ghosts, successes and battles. Because in some ways I had similar things happen to me, grand things and then that fear of “will this be the last grand thing because I have used all the grand-thing-points alloted to me during this lifetime already?”. She is way better at wording this and even illustrating.
And it is a memoir of where she was before she realised a lot of her identity, but also, as her career in art got a massive kickstart and also what pushed her to find the way into it.
Reading it was fun and when I finished it (it was relatively fast since it’s art and short posts on how her year had gone and what was accomplished/not done/etc), I felt inspired to draw, to put some of my own experiences to paper. And at the same time I wanted to give her a hug. And maybe just sit down and talk because I have similar fears, I have had similar fears.
Afterwards, I even had a deep conversation with my husband pondering if I had done the most amazing thing I could’ve done already and how I felt I may have wasted that chance because life happened and well, I am relatively happy where I am, but I am doing less amazing stuff now than I was 5-10 years ago. I won’t go all into it but it was an interesting talk, and I can only recommend reading this book. Or if not the memoir, maybe give Nimona a go?
I call this a review because I want to talk about the whole package but it isn’t a “formal” review like I do for other books. Why? Because this is a Kickstarter project I backed and I have been following Simone for too many years, from DeviantArt to Instagram and then playing Deponia and wanting eagerly to have her draw my outfit of the day (OOTD).
So when Kickstarter and 3D Publishing sent me an email saying “you may like this” it was a no brainer. I was going to back it. And so I did. And I do not regret it.
The cardboard box it came in is gorgeous, protected well the book and other contents and is a nice keepsake. ~There were four prints included (the three with the children and animals are used as examples in the book), a set of stickers, a sketchbook (it is really nice, has a pen/pencil holding elastic loop and an elastic “ribbon” to close or select a page, a small Inktober drawings booklet, a prompt bookmark and finally the main thing, the book.
In the book Simone covers her whole story of how she got to where she is, and does so with drawings to show progress and to match style. She talks about her jobs, her studies, her life. Whcih helps give background and a view into the artist.
Then she moves onto how to do things, what she does, and how she chooses what she draws. Sometimes something from her day, sometimes a concept, something funny.
Reading through it I just wanted to start drawing (which I did afterwards) and it is very inspiring but also very normal. She doesn’t pose as the perfect drawing machine and instead talks about the truths and realities of life getting in the way and all of that.
Highly recommended book but sdefinitely have a sketchbook nearby because you’ll get to a point you just feel like you need to draw!
Another informal review because I couldn’t even add this book to my Goodreads challenge, woops.
Lydia Fenwick is an illustrator I have been following for a while, so whne she offered her Galaxy Girls as a Kickstarter, I only had one question and it was “what tier should I choose?”. [I am pro supporting artists/creators, so I try to spend in Kickstarter, Etsy, other small businesses when I can.]
I actually can’t remember what the tier I chose exactly was, but somehow I ended up with an amazing amount of goodies (I love the whole “unlock new bonuses for everyone if we go past our goal and this amount”). Amongst them, the original book with gorgeous holographic pages and a “this is how I do it, and this are the materials” plus I am in the backers page at the back :). There were was also a collection of postcards, as you can see, there are so many they have holographic stuff and foiled too, best quality (it was so hard to take a good picture because of all the shiny). There’s also a collection if gorgeous stickers, a print of the cover illustration, a bookmark (bottom center, it has gold around her head) and a pin (on top of the bookmark).
The quality fo everything is top notch and I couldn’t ask for more. And the artwork as you can already see is wonderful. I wish I could draw and paint as gorgeously as that.
Hope this small review/showcase makes you follow her as she’s an awesome artist (plus she keeps chameleons and other critters, they’re really fun too).