October 26, 2009


I'll be honest-- I don't really read a lot of books without pictures. And same goes for blogs. I like pictures, it's as simple as that. One of the blogs that I constantly read is Doodlers Anonymous. It's such a great blog filled with all sorts of artists and their sketches, doodles, and zines. Doodlers Anonymous gives me a bit of motivation to get the sketch book out and doodle.

Right now I'm all about Jolby. A collaboration between two friends, Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols who are separated by miles. Check out their website:


and check out doodlers anonymous:


Paper Toys from Korea

Last month, I announced my initiation into the world of paper toys when two of my models were included in Papercuts. Around that time I received a cool gift from my sister that she brought back from a quick trip to Korea.

According to the information on the back of the postcard:

“guan jian shou was two generals endangering the world but were intimidated by Dizang Wang’s Buddhism and Dizang Wang’s guards. These two observed good and evil in the world and in turn they prolong good people’s life and shorten bad people’s life.”

These little guys came from the Answer Ideas Studio, which is based out of Taiwan.
The Studio has developed dozens of paper toys ranging from figures to everyday objects with varying degrees of difficulty. Each model is cut from a single card and does not require any glue, and constructing my tiny guards took little more than an hour.

Now as they guard my messy table I catch myself glancing over at them and hoping they are prolonging my life. If I stay good I may have more time to make a few more paper models.


October 8, 2009

Creature Chart

I recently came across this cool chart showing the intersections of species that create mythical creatures.
I never knew the Australian Echidna was named after a part-snake, part-human monster! Creepy...


Out Wolfed

This is a great story about legalizing hunting of the newly reintroduced wolf population in Idaho and Montana.  It's controversial as these wolves have just been moved off the endangered species list.  The video is really great because it takes the point of view of the hunters, the animal rights activists, the lawmakers and the people who have to deal with the wolves in there yards and daily lives.

Not to mention the wolves, who no one can seem to catch anyway.


- Simon

One Fat Frog

A few weeks ago I had a chance to meet famous book creator/funny man, Mo Willems.  I literally cornered him at a signing and asked about his latest book.  After developing successful picture book series involving pigeons, piggies and pachyderms, Mo has set his sights on the humble frog.  Not just any frog but a frog SO big she can’t fit inside the book.

Mo teamed up with Bruce Foster to create the first ever “Pop Out” book.  Big Frog Can’t Fit In was released this week by Hyperion and I was fortunate enough to get a copy for myself.  The nine-inch by nine inch book comes in a tall resealable bag with an additional orange box that protects the dangling froggie toes from getting smashed on the bookshelf.  The six spreads feature oversized pop-ups and playful pull tabs designed out of sturdy heavyweight paper.  (This book has the potential to stand up to some very curious little hands.)  I am also very impressed with how the positive storyline is integrated with the pop-ups.  You can tell Mo and Bruce really had fun making this book.

In fact when I asked Bruce about his experience with the book and the collaboration he had this to say. “Mo was great to work with. Very funny guy.  When they called me with his idea I had to slap my head like in the V-8 commercials, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!!’ Ha.”

One of my favorite details of the book involves Big Frog flashing a gold tooth as she shrinks on the page.  It’s the little things like this that make the book worthy of reading over and over at bedtime. (or playtime, or anytime!)

Now that the pop-out book is out Mo and Bruce are had at work in a variety of different projects.  Keep an eye on Mo’s blog to get a taste of what’s to come out of his studio. As for Bruce Foster, well he is the most prolific paper engineer I have ever met. This month FOUR new titles he paper engineered are coming out: Big Frog Can’t Fit In, The Sound of Music, Angels and the Sports Illustrated Kid's Wow! The Pop Up Book of Sports.  I’m looking forward to seeing them all!


October 2, 2009

The Legend of Zela

It’s October. That means I can’t pretend that summer is still here. To reinforce this reality the temperature dropped and I had to break out the sweaters. I miss the warmth. I miss the summer. It makes me wish I was in sunny Florida right now instead of leaning against the cold winds. If I was in Florida I would be able to stop by the Scissors: Pop-up exhibition at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery. You may remember some of the details from my Call for Entries post in June. I made a small contribution to this show, possibly the smallest in the world.

The Legend of Zela portrays the epic tale of a battle between Julius Caesar and Pharnaces II that took place in 47 B.C. Quoting from his now famous decree- “I came, I saw, I conquered” the book carries the reader from Caesar entering northern Turkey, sizing up his main rival from Pontus, and defeating him at the hilltop town of Zela. This miniature pop-up book, measuring a half inch tall by a quarter inch wide, is the result of my pursuit to share big personalities, events or monuments in a small format. To my knowledge, The Legend of Zela is the smallest pop-up book ever created. This title was created in July of 2009 using inkjet printing on heavyweight photo paper, and is an edition of five for each day of the one-sided battle.

This little guy is in good company as I recognized works from Maria Winkler, Shawn Sheehy and Matthew Shlian (that’s a detail of his work on the postcard above!) The exhibition is on display until Halloween and if anyone visits the gallery be sure to snap a few photos and send them to me and I will upload them on the blog.


Where's the cake?

I have a very severe tree nut allergy, so it can be troublesome when we want to get baked goods for the studio - most bakeries will not guarantee that their products are nut free. It is usually a gamble whether I should try those amazing cupcakes someone sent us or not. (Jess and Simon know this firsthand - last year at Jess's after-work birthday party, I accidentally had a bite of nutella cake and ended up in the emergency room! It was pretty scary for all of us.)
Anyway, we like to get a cake when someone in the studio has a birthday, so today for my birthday Robert and Matthew went several extra miles and MADE me my cake! Check it out:

Wow! It's incredible! And it tasted as good as it looks - Robert made it from scratch (it was chocolate), and he and Matthew decorated it (Matthew did those cool flowers, the lettering and some of the edging). This is probably the most beautiful cake (and one of the yummiest) I've ever had. Thank you so much R & M!!


Paper Flowers

"Everything begins on paper.  Without paper I would be lost!"  And Karl Lagerfeld is right.  Chanel's 2009 Spring-Summer 2009 Haute Couture line begins on paper and ends in paper.  I found a couple pictures within some of the workshops that have 'Trail' the all white pop up book open for inspiration!  Not only the clothing pieces were inspired by paper, but also elaborate headpieces and wonderful 3D paper sets!  It's such an amazing thing to see other people use paper in 3 dimensional ways other than just books.


September 24, 2009

The Collector

So over the past few years, I've started to collect small plastic figures called Dunny (insert joyous squeal here).  Actually, the truth is I'm infatuated with Dunnies.  The choosing of the box, the excitement of not knowing-- Is it one I have?  Is it a secret one?  Will it be awesome?  Aaaah.  Dunnies.  My collection has started to spill off of a shelf and onto my desk.  Below is a photo of my newest acquisitions.  The pizza delivery one is probably my favorite right now.

Kidrobot puts these amazing limited edition blind box series out.  The blind box concept is just like Cracker Jacks but better-- a surprise toy is in the box and I don't have to eat all the Cracker Jacks to get to the toy.  Many artists have jumped on board to design their own Dunny-- Gary Baseman, Amanda Visell, Huck Gee, and many many more!

Check out Kidrobot's site here:


Happy Collecting!

My new favorite club

I recently discovered a "hacker collective" called NYC Resistor. They are a group of people that are passionate about the DIY movement, and every week they host a craft night. Every Thursday night, people come from all over the New York city area to work on their projects together. I must say, it's pretty exciting! Everyone is working on different things, from robots to knitting and everything in between, and they are all happy to share about their projects or help you with your own.

One of my favorite sights the last time I went was this sign someone had tacked up:


I got a Papercut

I recently received a pleasant surprise in the mail.  One of my favorite paper artists, Matthew Shlian, has just released his latest self-published title, Papercuts.  This cool papercraft book has over 15 models that you can copy, cut and create.  The templates are well laid out and include some instructions and smaller diagrams to identify all those little cuts and folds.  The designs range in complexity but should not take more than an hour to build.  The characters are quirky and make a welcome addition to a few of the other papercraft collections that have hit the shelves this year.

I was able to get a sneak peek of some of these critters a few months ago when Matthew asked me and a select group of designers to adapt and design some additional papercraft figures that are included in the accompanying bonus disc.  Drawing inspiration from his Chef and Sasquatch designs, I developed my first two papercraft designs.

Radiohead is a classic cathedral radio from the 1930s.  Twist his nose dial to change the frequency and watch his eyes roll around in his head.

Pinhead comes with adjustable arms and four different moods allowing you to customize and build ten pins before knocking them over in a few frames of desktop bowling.

If you are interested in these little guys and many more fun papercraft projects, the signed Papercuts books can be purchased directly from Matthew’s excellent website.



August 13, 2009

Jessica Plummer

I was recently re-admiring some artwork by a friend of mine from school and I thought I would share some of her work.

Jessica Plummer loves dinosaurs, hence her nickname: the Blue Raptor! Ever since our first class together in freshman year (it was a 6 hour long drawing class: pretty much bootcamp for artists) I've been blown away by her excellent understanding of anatomy, beautiful sketching style, and fun subject matter in her illustrations. Check out her website and her blog (the blog is updated often)!


Design A Go-Go

So this week finds me with 10 freshly hand printed tote bags that will be in a new store called Design-to-Go!

Design-to-Go is a pop-up shop near Port Authority in NYC.  The concept behind pop-up shops is that they literally pop-up out of nowhere and are not permanent.  There have been many successful pop-up shops around the nation such as Target, Suave, and Havainas pop-up shops.

Design-to-Go is a pop-up shop dedicated to the theme of travel and will be carrying items from mainly local artists (like yours truly).

So if you're in the New York area, stop by and support local designers!  And check out the article New York Times published: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/ 08/13/garden/13open.html?_r=2& ref=garden


Wrigley Zoo Pop-Up Ads

I was recently reading an article in the L.A. Times from 2002.  Yeah, that’s right 2002 – I’m catching up on the backlist.  A Career That’s Still Unfolding by BettiJane Levine chronicles the work of Waldo Hunt, the legendary pop-up entrepreneur that by many accounts single-handedly ushered in the Second Golden Age of Pop-ups starting in the late 1960’s.  Wally Hunt is the man responsible for creating Intervisual Books Inc., which was the premier novelty and pop-up packager for decades in the United States.  Almost every major paper engineer has either works for or with Intervisual on creating some of the most outstanding examples of pop-ups.  (I almost landed a job with them in 2000, but was unable to make the transcontinental relocation.)

I’m a total nerd about pop-up history so when I learned from the article that the first promotionals created by Wally Hunt’s earlier company, Graphics International, was a series of pop-up ads for Wrigley’s gum in the mid-1960’s, I had to do some digging.  There were a total of 14 separate pop-up ads in the series focusing on a different animal in the “Wrigley Zoo”, which appeared to be an animated television series.  There is virtually no information on the program but it may have been linked to the Captain Kangaroo series.  Like many cartoons of today, this show was a thinly veiled attempt to sell products.  I was able to come across a transcript of a Wrigley Zoo TV advertisement from the 1960’s on UK television.   Check out the catchy lyrics below:

Clap hands, one, two,

Let’s take a trip to the Wrigley zoo,

Chitter chatter, yakety yak.

When you talk to the animals they talk back.


We’ll talk to Melvin Monkey today,

let’s hear what Melvin has to say:


“My mummy says I should realize

That monkeys all need exercise,

But teeth need exercising too

And my mum makes it fun to do,

For when I swing she gives me some


It helps to keep teeth clean and bright

And never spoils my appetite.

My mum’s my favourite swinging chum,

We both like Wrigley’s spearmint gum. “

Mr. Hunt claims that each ad was a run of 1 million making this a huge campaign.  The single spread pop-ups were attached to national magazines like Jack and Jill via a small flap that was removed from the binding in order to remove and open the advertisement.  Due to such a high volume of ads printed these pop-ups are not too uncommon and I have been able to collect seven of the series.  “Melvin Monkey” is good but my favorite of the bunch is “Karol Kangaroo”.  Despite the fact that I’m a big Aussiephile, this pop-up stands out from the rest of the series since it does not use any glue tabs to create the pop-up scene but instead uses fold-overs and slotted tabs into the basepage.  The rock behind the boy’s head is one example of these slotted tabs.  It’s an interesting solution to manufacturing a high volume of movable spreads and it’s curious that this is the only one I have that uses this technique.  Hopefully I can collect the remaining seven pop-up ads to compare the full series to this one.  And that is where you, dear readers, come in.  Can you help identify the missing three animals?

Animals showcased in the Wrigley Zoo pop-up ads:
















*Missing from collection.

Drop me a comment if you can fill in the blanks on the pop-up ads or TV shoe and be sure to savor this monster blog post like a delicious stick of Wrigley’s gum as I will be out of commission for a bit while I enjoy the last gasps of summer. 



July 31, 2009

Fan of Japan

I went to Japan a few months ago for some pop up related business.  It is a beautiful place.  They have a great sense of design and type there. I thought for this blog entry I would show some images of signs and graphics I encountered there.

More to come, enjoy.


The other day I found a little mini Etch-a-Sketch at a Duane Reade and brought it in to work. Jess, Simon and I all did a little collaboration on it and I thought I would share:

Simon definitely wins with the airplane!


The Emperor and His New Phone

I had to share this great article of news with the rest of you.  Hopefully you're a loyal consumer of Apple products!



Phillip Bell

Shawn Sheehy was in town recently to give some pop-up book workshops and told me about one of his former students, Phillip Bell.  Phil recently graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art where he worked on various paper engineering projects.   I love the two cute kids books he designed for Flying Frog Publishing, along with a pop-up guide to Baltimore. Additionally, Phil was able to explore the potential of pop-up package design.  Whether it is collapsible paper speakers that are built out of the backing card or making a mini fan more fun with the addition of a pop-up farm and flying cows, we can see Phil is having a lot of fun with pop-ups.  Let’s hope we see more of his work in the future, until then I’ll have to be distracted from this current heatwave with my old tabletop fan and some homemade origami cranes.


July 20, 2009

One man's trash is…. still trash

Here at the studio we do cool stuff and make pretty things. That’s what we do. Sometimes the byproduct of those pretty things is beautiful trash. So, risking looking like a complete weirdo, I combed the depths of our studio, digging through trash bins in search of a cross section of all the cool stuff we end up chucking at the end of the day.

I am starting a tri-monthly blog section called:

Here are 3 samples from trash cans that chose to remain anonymous:

What could they be?
Hidden messages? Leavings of some strange animal we keep locked in the library? Or the cut-outs of new projects that have yet to see the light of day?

Who knows?


July 16, 2009

Yet Another...

This week I bring you another Chanel commercial.  Yes Chanel is French, but the director is Australian.  Baz Luhrmann directed this Chanel commercial when Nicole Kidman was one of the main faces of the advertising for Chanel.  Baz Luhrmann is mainly known for his Red Curtain Trilogy:  Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge.

This commercial is reminiscent of Luhrmann's Red Curtain movies, but mainly Moulin Rouge.  But instead of Paris, this commercial seems to be set in NYC-- the Chanel sign they sit in looks like the Watchtower sign in Brooklyn.  It's utterly romantic and exquisitely done.

I'd also add that between this commercial and last week's Jeunet commercial, is shows how versatile Chanel is in advertising and really design.  If you read about Coco Chanel, she was pretty genius in designs and in style.  Some of her jewelery pieces she designed herself still look modern and timeless today.

here's the commercial:

and the making of the commercial, narrated by Baz Luhrmann:


Baby Signs Pop-up Book Tour

Do you have a baby?  Do you know of someone with a baby?  Do you plan to reproduce in the near future?  Would you like to communicate with a child who has not grasped the complex rules of English grammar?  Do you live near Lake Michigan?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions you might be interested to know that Kyle Olmon will be participating in his Biennial Book Tour 2009 on Saturday, July 18th.  Kyle will be in the Chicagoland area to promote his newest pop-up book Baby Signs at two book events in one day.  Join him for storytime at the Deer Park Barnes & Noble in the morning, or stop by the Rena Sternberg Gallery in Glencoe for an afternoon of three-dimensional delight.  Please find the information for both venues below:

Baby Signs presentation and book signing

Saturday, July 18th from 11:00 am to Noon.

Barnes & Noble

Deer Park Town Center

20600 North Rand Road

Deer Park, IL 60010


For more store details and map, please click here.

Baby Signs reading, pop-up demonstration and book signing

Saturday, July 18th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Rena Sternberg Gallery

378 Park Avenue

Glencoe, IL 60022


Click here for a map.  Event listing can be found here.

Come on out and stock up on baby shower gifts and support a young author.  Please feel free to share this announcement of a truly rare event with your friends, family and even strangers carrying babies on the street.  Thank you.

you better believe it!

Recently I visited the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium in Times Square, a place New Yorkers usually only visit when they're accompanying their visiting friends or family. Part of the reason I went was one attraction called the “Black Hole” – I was told “it makes you feel like you’re floating in space!”

This reminded me of an art installation my mom told me about after she visited the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona. She described it as a dark room with mirrors with lights hanging from the ceiling – disorienting you and making you feel like you are suspended in nothingness with lights all around:

 You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies, by Yayoi Kusama, 2006


Here’s a video of Fireflies on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgreene/2554869071/

I really want to see it in person!


So anyway, back to the Black Hole at Ripley’s. Basically, it’s a darkened walkway with a huge drum rotating around it. Small lights are set into the drum, and as they rotate around you, your brain switches its perception of its surroundings – suddenly the drum seems to be standing still, and the walkway starts to spin around beneath your feet!

It’s a good thing the railings are there because the illusion is so effective that you quickly start falling and leaning to one side to keep your balance.

I went through the tunnel three times but I had to stop there because I started getting motion sickness. It took several minutes for the dizziness to go away, but I’d say it was worth it for the experience.

The following is a time-lapse photo, showing the paths of the lights as they swirl around the walkway. Otherwise the tunnel is too dark to photograph (or videotape!) What a beautiful picture!

(photo by Mary Altaffer, Associated Press / June 21, 2007)


July 10, 2009

Train De Nuit

What do Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Audrey Tautou, and Chanel have in common?  Well, one they're all respectively French.  Second, they've been mashed up into one commercial.  That's right, last May (5/5/2008) Jean-Pierre Jeunet's short film/commercial for Chanel aired starring Audrey Tautou!  And it's simply stunning.  If you've enjoyed Jeunet's other films (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie PoulainDelicatessen) you'll defintely enjoy this short romantic commercial.  Check it out here:



Probably the best Swiss souvenir books

Ellen Rubin aka the Popuplady recently brought my attention to a new series of pop-up books promoting Switzerland and its many cultural, natural and architectural wonders. There are six books in the series created by Stand-Up –Switzerland, and the publisher boasts of being “the original” as well as “the no. 1 3D-Book of Switzerland.” I had the opportunity to review two titles in the series and opted to focus on the major cities of Zurich and Bern. Looks like I chose well as the copy of “Best of Bern” displayed a sticker plainly stating “probably the best Swiss Souvenir-Book”.

The designers cram almost 40 pages of information in the 12” x 9” format that features a pop-up map of the host region on the first spread as well as a large complex paper engineered structure with accompanying pop-up side flap in the center of the book. In Bern, the Bundeshaus (Parliament building) unfolds to a satisfyingly solid structure. For Zurich, the Grossmunster cathedral takes center stage to St. Peter’s clock tower. The good people at Refeka really did a nice job with the paper engineering.

Since this is a promotion catering to the tourism trade, all the books are printed in German, French, English, Chinese and Japanese. Additionally, pop-up cards are available for purchase at the online store. With the aid of Google translation and helpful English email correspondence I had no trouble ordering these welcome editions. If you are interested in a unique souvenir of your time abroad or wish to supplement your pop-up collection, I recommend you consider picking some up.


Not Aesop's Fables

(Image copyright James Jean)

One of my favorite graphic novel series is Fables, created by Bill Willingham. The novels take familiar characters from fairy tales and fiction and put them all together in original stories with crazy twists and turns. And the art is usually pretty good, too!

Many times with retellings of classic stories I have been sadly disappointed, but not so with these books. Willingham skillfully sprinkles fun discoveries and new depths for the characters' backstories even as the main plot develops. The more you read, the more everything intertwines together in surprising ways.

I also love spotting cameos of little-known characters. I once even saw Churchy LaFemme (see Pogo)! 


(note: the novels are intended for adult audiences only.)

July 2, 2009

Toothpick art

In paper engineering you have to have plenty of finger dexterity and patience. The same thing goes for this art form I've been recently looking into: toothpick modeling!

Check out this model of San Francisco built by a grocery store produce manager, Scott Weaver.

Or these toothpick versions of famous buildings and towers built by Stan Munro:



AZ Pride

This was my first Pop up book, ‘Creatures of the desert world’. It shows all sorts of plants and animals of the Sonoran desert, where I'm from.

This is what it looks like:

And here is what it looks like at night:

The last page of the pop-up book is the best; it shows all the animals that come out at night. I don’t have a picture of it so you will just have to buy it on Amazon.com or something.
It’s a National Geographic book. The Illustrator and paper engineer are not named - this happens sometimes, because life is not fair and neither is publishing. Anyway, I think the paper engineer did a first rate job.


French Rock Rocks!

If your ear has been near the radio lately, you've probably heard Phoenix's new album 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix'. Or you've heard some of the many mixes and mash ups that are floating around the internet. Really, Phoenix has created an incredible album (dare I say, yet again) and if you haven't checked them out already click here to their website-->


Keep rocking, internet world.


A Castle on the Ocean

A friend of mine came across this while surfing the Web and thought I’d like it. He knows I like paper craft (as anyone one the blog has figured out) and he knows I like castles (as my first pop-up book can attest) – so the combination of these is a sure fire favorite. I was stunned at the level of complexity and sophistication achieved in this tour de force of paper craft. Check out some of the amazing photos at Tokyobling’s blog as well as get some info on the exhibition. A young art student named Wataru Itou spent FOUR years working on this project to complete a degree at a Tokyo art university.

A few more images can be found at the main Japanese website for the Uminohotaru gallery.

Also, I was able to find an article on the paper craft castle here. Since I don’t read Japanese, I had to rely on Google translate to get the gist of the story but it looks like the sprawling town (complete with a castle, construction cranes and moving train) was displayed in a student exhibition earlier this year. At the end of the show, this labor of love was to be burned to the ground! At the last minute, the owner of the gallery rescued it from the flames and found an exhibition space in the underwater Uminohotaru gallery off the coast of Tokyo.

So glad to see this work of art survive to enchant future audiences. Including me.

- Kyle

June 26, 2009


I was picking up the pieces of today’s headlines on the New York Times.com when I came across an article about Thomas Jefferson, the late great inventor, statesman and renaissance man from the time of our country’s founding. 

It’s a cool article in an interesting format - you should read it if you get a chance.
It got me thinking....we have had a lot of important Thomases in American history.  But which Thomas is the greatest?
Talk amongst yourselves.

(while I couldn’t find a good preexisting debate on the subject I did find one about T2 and Tesla.) 


You Do, We Do, Who Do, Yudu?

Kyle-- I too have gone pro.

Pro silk screen printing that is! I'm counting down the days till my Yudu arrives! Yes, a Yudu. It's like the Easy Bake Oven for silk screen printing. The next Gocco. It's going to be AWESOME! I came across it over a printing website I frequent, watched the video and fell in love. Soon my days (when I'm not at work of course) will be filled with printing mini posters, clothing, bags, notebooks, you name it! And soon you all can find those master pieces at my etsy store: http://www.jesstice.etsy.com

To learn more about Yudu:

Till then I'm going to keep checking the tracking number!


Cowboys and Musketeers

To follow Kyle’s “animation in a book” theme, this week I have two stop-motion animations using books to show. The first one is a fun cowboy/western themed animation by a student at the Glasgow School of Art.

That video reminded my of a short clip a friend of mine (Alisa Stern) once made: a stop-motion animation using an old copy of the Three Musketeers. Even though it’s short, it’s sweet!

- Shelby

One Lucky Duckie

Just by chance, I came across the trailer for a wonderful animated short that is making waves in the film festival circuit. The Happy Duckling is an eight minute animated adventure set in a pop-up book world.  It follows a young boy as he navigates his way through a pop-up book world as he evades a curious duck.

It is reported that the film was produced by a talented and dedicated team of students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Arts and Design and Abertay University in England. The Happy Duckling was written and directed by Gili Dolev in 2008 and features original music by Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian fame.

This is some of the slickest computer representation of pop-ups that I have seen, and I hope to one day get to see the entire feature.  Looks like my best chance would be to view it at SIGGRAPH in August.  Fellow paper engineer, Matthew Shlian, took part in this conference last year and spoke very highly of its ability to showcase cutting edge collaborations of art and technology.

Even if I don’t make it to New Orleans for the film festival, I hope that these young animators will continue to dazzle us with their fun, inventive storytelling and computer craft.  Maybe one day we will be able to see a whole pop-up world unfold on the big screen.

- Kyle

June 19, 2009

Above and beyondWORDS

The book artist/curator/indefatigable promoter, Ed Hutchins sent me a catalog to his latest book arts exhibition.  “beyondWORDS:BookFest 2009” will run June 11-29 at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences Gallery with an opening reception slated for Sunday, June 14, from 5-7pm.  According to the press kit, the show features 55 handmade books that “illustrate how words can be presented in re-imagined and re-created ways, and how, in some cases, the message can be delivered without words at all.”  Ed Hutchins and his co-curator Carolyn Chadwick assembled an international group of book artists that approach dimensional books from very different directions.  A quick scan of the full color catalog revealed a few familiar names to this site.  Emily Martin, Shawn Sheehy and Rand Huebsch all have interesting pieces on display.


There are many other beautiful and unorthodox book forms in this exhibit and I hope to make it out to see them in person. (Besides, how could I possibly pass up a visit to the gallery’s hometown of Loveladies, NJ?)

- Kyle

June 12, 2009

Calling all Craftsmen

The wonderful Carol Barton just shared news of an upcoming pop-up exhibit in the ‘Sunshine State’ this Fall. Florida Craftsmen is a non-profit organization that has been supporting Florida’s fine craft artists for the past fifty-three years. Elizabeth Kozlowski, of the Florida Craftsmen Gallery, was kind enough to provide a call for entries form and the information is reproduced below.

Call to Artists

Exhibition: Scissors: Pop-Up
A national juried and invitational exhibition of original movable books. Curated in collaboration with: Margaret Miller, Director, USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphic Studio

Dates: September 18 – October 31, 2009

Submission requirements and fees: Artists must submit a minimum of 3 digital images of the book for review including 1 detail in jpeg format on a CD. Files should be no larger than 8 x 12 inches at 300 dpi resolution.

If selected, the actual book will be on exhibit at Florida Craftsmen, Inc.

The entry may be one-of-a-kind, or created and published in an edition but cannot be a trade edition (i.e. produced commercially by a publishing house for sale nationally or internationally).

The submission fee is $10.00.

Digital File Samples on a CD due to FC August 10, 2009
Acceptance Letters out August 21, 2009
Books due to FC September 8, 2009
Work available for pick up November 2, 2009

Shipping: At the artists expense
Insurance: In-house insurance provided by Florida Craftsmen, Inc.

Additionally, on September 12, 2009, from 10 am to noon, there is a free panel discussion that is open to the public called: “History Of Pop-Ups” moderated by Jennifer Sheehan, Ph.D, University of North Texas

Looks like this exhibition is open to everyone (not just Florida residents) so get cutting and submit some pop-up wonders to be showcased in St. Petersburg!

- Kyle

Stings Away

I think the photo says most of it. I'm pretty afraid of jellyfish, and after reading an article about jellyfish taking over the oceans... well... I'm not too happy about that. Gotta get my swim time in now while they're still planning the Take Over the World scheme.

Read more if you dare:

And I wouldn't google 'giant jellyfish' if I were you!

Awkward? more like Awesome!

I recently came across a great blog titled "Awkward Family Photos" and thought I'd pass it along. People send in strange and awkward (obviously) photos of (their own?) families and the blog's writers post several new pictures every day. The results: hilarious!

The captions really enhance the experience. You'll have to go to the site to find the caption for the photo above!


June 4, 2009

Going Pro

After years of wringing my hands and saving pennies I finally took the plunge and bought myself a CraftRobo Pro cutting plotter from Graphtec. The CraftRobo Pro is like a large printer but instead of an ink cartridge there is a small swiveling blade that will contour cut the die lines I create in Adobe Illustrator. Goodbye scissors and broken X-acto blades. I was suspicious when Shawn Sheehy began using one a few years ago. Later, I was jealous to learn that Sam Ita has been using the Pro to create his latest book. I finally gave in and bought my own.

Now that “Baby Signs” is in bookstores I have been working on a new pop-up idea. This new design requires such precise and complex cutting that I was ruining my eyes and wrists trying to create the multiple versions of each pop-up! It was time to embrace technology. I have played around with the small desktop CraftRobo before but found that it would only cut a few small pieces at a time. I needed something a little more heavy duty. I needed to go Pro.

- Kyle

I Can't Eat Those?

Jonathan Ro-Schofield aka Jonny Cardboard, does really incredible sculptures out of cardboard! Some have been in window displays for Tiffanys, Guggenheim Museum, and Hermes (to name a few).

Even these cakes are mouth watering! Man, I'd totally eat them!

Check out more of his work here: