Big Inspirations at the mo

There is nothing better than looking at books, I go in to Waterstones everyday, I like the smell. I spend much of my time in the library at university and at home I have big piles of books everywhere. The only thing is I cant read, That's why I look at them. My dyslexia means that while I can read I find it very difficult to read large amounts of words such as a novel, so I stick to books with lots of pictures and small chunks of information. I love books about geography, maps, music, interesting people, different cultures and that art thing too.

Some of my fave books that I have lying about (in no particular order and please excuse they awful photos)

The Calvin and Hobbes books (they're all equally fantastic) are hilarious and sweet and although its based around a child and his stuffed tiger, its really about trying to exist in a confusing and stressful adult world. Calvin's imagination is at its most vividly childlike, which allows writer and artist Bill Waterson to go on wild flights of fancy through time and space, often adapting the cartoons aesthetic style to Calvins various alter-egos (see Spaceman Spiffs comic book madness or the film noir of Detective Tracer Bullet.) 

I think "Artless" is a book about illustrators at their most arty and un-illustrative, which means its full of colourful messiness as well as some beautifully crafted visual communication. It features some of my favourites such as Marcus Oakley, Laura Carlin, Misaki Kawaii and Marion Deuchars but I also discovered a lot of new favourites with it like Tiziana Jill Beck, Maria Luque and Virginie Morgand. I always return to this one whenever im stuck or need some ideas.

The most traditionally book-like of these, it definitely contains the most words which makes it all the more impressive that I've read it, like, FIVE times or something. Its about the Post-Punk music of the early 1980s, which was one of the most interesting times for music, with bands like Public Image Limited, Throbbing Gristle and The Raincoats removing punks purist attitudes but keeping the D.I.Y attitude. What I love is the that the writer Simon Reynolds romanticizes the artists music and lives, such as portraying The Fall as a group of northern shaman.

I picked this up in Sweden (although I think its originally Norwegian) and although I don't understand a word of it, Gry Moursunds illustrations are a total inspiration. They are so scrappy and messy in the most charming and magical way, I think it is an undiscovered gem. It is just super fun and makes me so exciting to be doing illustration.

This is the story of a Native American teenager who deals with his tragic life and surroundings on the poor reservation. He decides to go to the white school outside the rez which makes him a pariah in both, if this wasn't enough, his family and friends go through a series of hardships and tragedies, all while he deals with the hormones and awkwardness of being a teenager. All the time he copes with everything with humour and brutal honesty, which make the book instantly readable, especially to teenagers (it was the only book I could read as a teen.) It means a lot to me as I read every time difficulties came up in my own teenage life, which was ,like, aaaalll the time dude.

I love maps and geography and especially maps that are coloured in ways that tell you interesting information, so I spend a lot of time pouring over this. I like to see old maps as well to see where countries where that don't exist anymore or have changed in some way, but this is a fairly new one (although not enough to feature South Sudan). Im not normally a consumer of The Times but it was the best I could find for my money, and features lots of old maps as well.

Last but obviously not least, Is this book Marimekko goodness. I don't actually own this, but repeatedly renew it from the university library, as I need to look at it at least once a day to maintain my sanity. Not only does it have some Marimekko history and patterns but also has sections on each artist, which shows their work processes and lifestyles, and if there is any lifestyle that I want in on, its that of a Marimekko designer.