October 1, 2012

Events: Star Wars Reads

On October 6th, 2012, fans will come together to celebrate reading and Star Wars!  Matthew will be appearing at the NYC event along with several other Star Wars authors  – so come joint the fun!  
All events will have giveaways and a raffle. Select events will have authors and/or costumed characters on hand from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, the Mandalorian Mercs and the R2 Builders Club.

Click here for more details about other Star Wars Reads events all over the galaxy. 

Join Matthew for Star Wars Reads!
557 Broadway (Scholastic Store)
New York, NY 10012
Event Time: 2-5pm

September 30, 2012

What's Popped Up: Human Body by Steve Parker

"Human Body: An Interactive Guide to the Inner Workings of the Body" by Steve Parker (Barron's 2008) has fantastic photos, illustrations, pull-tabs, pop-ups and other interactive features (engineered by Alan Brown and Zerina White). There's a lot to discover here for kids of all ages. I liked opening the skull with the brain inside!

September 4, 2012

What's Popped Up: Miami Watercolor Society

I have some wonderful news to share with you all!  One of my watercolor paintings has been accepted into the Miami Watercolor Society's Online Exhibition!  I'm so thrilled to be able to show my work along side other amazing painters.  Check out the online exhibition here and check out my painting below!

-- Jess

August 30, 2012

Artist Watch: Tien-Min Liao

Tien-Min Liao, a graphic designer from Taipei, Taiwan, discovered a lovely alphabet hidden in plain sight Grand Central Station in New York City. You can see the full alphabet book and Tien-Min's other projects here. Her work has been featured on Colossal, Adweek, and other websites.

-- Becca

August 28, 2012

Artist Watch: Theo Jansen

One of the reasons I decided to become an engineer was because I realized that engineering and art are not exactly opposites, as the course load for each would suggest, but rather one can greatly influence the other.  One artist that I found that walks the line between the two is Theo Jansen with his Strandbeests.  The Strandbeests are mechanical animals that live on the beach and are self-propelled by the wind.  Theo Jansen is able to take the engineering principals that would make a machine like this move, and apply his artistic vision to make it move and look like a real animal.  Since discovering Theo Jansen, pop-ups have only reinforced this notion of combining paper-engineering with art to create a movable masterpiece!  You can find out more about Theo Jansen and his work at http://www.strandbeest.com/

Here's a video of one of his pieces:


August 27, 2012

Artist Watch: Gemma Correll

Gemma Correll is an illustrator from the United Kingdom.  Her style is simple, quirky, and quite comical in my opinion.  I love her line work and the one to two spots of color she uses.  Check out more of her work on her website and her blog!

-- Jess

August 20, 2012

What's Popped Up: Movable Book Society Conference

Three reasons this summer is awesome: I got to work in the studio and learn how to make pop-ups, the Olympics were amazing, and the Movable Book Society is about to have its 9th biennial conference in Salt Lake City!!

The Movable Book Society was founded in 1993 as a way for collectors, artists, curators, booksellers, book producers, and anybody who loves pop-up and movable books to get together and share their enthusiasm for the art.  This year’s conference should not disappoint with presentations from Chuck Fischer, Andrew Baron, Robert Sabuda, and a whole lot more!  There will also be workshops and demonstrations where visitors have the opportunity to get their hands dirty and make some of their own pop-ups as well as a tour of local book studios and a pop-up exhibit from the collection of Ann Montanaro Staples.

So if you want to meet a bunch of awesome people who love pop-ups as much as you, you can find all of the information you need and a registration form at the Movable Book Society conference website, but act fast because early registration for the conference ends on Wednesday, August 22nd!

-- Matt

July 25, 2012

Artist Watch: Dan McCarthy

Monday was a great day because a silkscreen print that I have been patiently waiting for finally arrived!  I have been a fan of Dan McCarthy's work for years now and I'm so excited to have his 'Silence is Golden' print hanging in the studio.  It's stunning in person, the image below does not do it justice:

His work reminds me of Eyvind Earle's work-- graphic, bright colors, and nature based images.  But McCarthy also does these amazing gradients in his prints that add atmosphere and mood to the pieces.  The bright colors against stark black images really pull you in.  Sometimes he's subtle with the color, other times he's full on rainbow!

Check out more of Dan McCarthy's work here and his most recent show here.

-- Jess

July 17, 2012

What's Popped Up: Flanimals by Ricky Gervais

This hilarious book by comedian Ricky Gervais features fantastic pop-ups by veteran paper engineer Richard Ferguson with illustrations by Rob Steen (published by Candlewick in 2009). Gervais introduces us to Mernimbler, Grob, Bletchling and many other "pointless ugly creatures" from the Flanimal kingdom. Ferguson matches Gervais' humor with clever "poppy-upness."

July 16, 2012

Weekly Beast: Nudibranch

Nudibranch is a soft mollusk that sheds its shell after their larval stage.  What is really astonishing about these creatures is their striking patterns and colors!  The Colour Lovers blog actually have a really great article on the color breakdowns of each one.

Though there are over 3,000 described species, scientists believe that is only half of the nudibranchs out there!

Here's a few of my favorites!

~ Jess

July 12, 2012

Artist Watch: Lisa Nilsson

Quilling, also known as paper filigree, is the art of rolling or coiling
thin strips of colored paper to form a pattern or design. This practice,
which can be traced back as early as the 14th century, has been elegantly
repurposed by artist Lisa Nilsson in the form of anatomical diagrams and
cross-sections. I admire her absolute dedication to the art and science in
every piece she shows, you can find more of her work on her website.


July 10, 2012

Word of the Day: Purlieu

purlieu \PUR-loo\ noun

1. A place where one may range at large; confines or bounds.
2. A person's haunt or resort.
3. An outlying district or region, as of a town or city.

Purlieu is an alteration (simulating French lieu, "place") of earlier parlewe, "of a forest".

July 9, 2012

Artist Watch: Joe Kievitt

Meticulously hand drawn and colored, one would believe that these pieces were digitally made and printed.  But if you look close enough there might be one blotch or something slightly not symmetrical that will be the sign that these were hand made.  Joe Kievitt is behind these beautiful drawings.  The mosaics are probably my favorite, but the crispness of the lines and the the even tones of color are astonishing.  Check out more of his work at his website.


July 6, 2012

What's Popped Up: The Castaway Pirates by Ray Marshall

I'm always on the lookout for a clever, fun pop-up book. The Castaway Pirates (Chronicle Books, 2008), written and engineered by Ray Marshall and illustrated by Wilson Swain, is among my favorites. The book's jaunty rhyme is very funny and ends with a lucky twist, and the pop-ups and art  have unique styles. On his website, Ray Marshall posted a great explanation of how his book was made, from the original idea to the final production. If you're curious about the process of making a pop-up book, I recommend it!

July 5, 2012

Word of the Day: Gravitas

Gravitas \GRAV-uh-tahs\ noun

High seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject)

Gravitas comes from the Latin word gravitas "heaviness, seriousness" from gravis "heavy, serious"

July 2, 2012

Artist Watch: Bovey Lee

When one mixes Chinese calligraphy, painting, and digital work you get the amazing artist Bovey Lee.  Lee uses all of these disciplines to create wonderfully intricate cut paper art that are full of life.  She has exhibited her work all over the world and has won awards as well.

Even though the pieces are usually massive, they'll so delicate and painstakingly intricate.  Check out some of her work below and definitely dive into her website!

-- Jess

June 27, 2012

Word of the Day: Flounce

Flounce \FLOUNS\

1. To go with impatient, exaggerated movements.
2. To throw the body about spasmodically
A strip of material gathered or pleated and attached at on edge, with the other edge left loose or hanging.

Flounce may have emerged from the Scandinavian flunsa, "the plunge, hurry" but the first record of these is 200 years later than the English word.  The English bounce may be in influence.

June 25, 2012

What's Popped Up: M.C. Escher Pop-ups by Courtney Watson McCarthy

Our friend Courtney Watson McCarthy brings M.C. Escher's graphic art into pop-up 3D splendor in this beautiful coffee table book from BlueRed Press Ltd (2011). The book includes descriptions of the artwork and quotes from Escher himself. 

June 21, 2012

Word of the Day: Altiloquent

Altiloquent \awl-TIL-uh-kwuhnt\ adjective

High flown or pretentious (of language)

Altiloquent comes from the Latin roots atli meaning 'high' and loquentem meaning 'speaking'.

June 20, 2012

Artist Watch: Isaiah Zagar

I recently visited Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, a mosaic wonderland on South Street created by artist Isaiah Zagar. Glass bottles, bicycle wheels, hand-painted tiles, mirrors, and sculptures cover the walls and floors, both inside the building and in the courtyard. Outside, Zagar created a maze of walkways that feel like a world away from the city outside. I was enchanted.

If you find yourself in Philly, I recommend a visit! 

June 19, 2012

Word of the Day: Mensch

Mensch \mench\ noun

A decent, upright, mature, and responsible person.

Origin: Mensch entered English from Yiddish in the 1950s.  In Yiddish, it meant "man, human being" and had the posivitve associations that carried into English.  It is related to the German word mensch.


June 18, 2012

What's Popped Up: Father's Day Card

A friend of ours created a Father's Day card this weekend using one of our pop up templates, and we just had to share it with all of you!

She used the Chewbacca DIY Pop-Up and modified it to her liking! Can you spot the resemblance?


 Happy Father's Day to you all!