Monday, December 7, 2009

gift idea: illustrated diaries

These books aren't that new, but I've been picking them up and flipping though them for the last 2 years, so they at least have some staying power for me. I think I also find myself attracted to them because I would love to be able to sketch and journal together, but I can't really draw all that well. That's why I take photographs instead - to spare the world from my putting pen to paper.

1. Everyday Matters, by Danny Gregory.

Everyday Matters is, according to Gregory, "a memoir about my wife’s accident and how I learned to draw." After his wife was paralyzed from the waist down, Gregory began to illustrate his life in New York. Interspersed among musings of being a bike messenger and the Bowery are these really intimate, contemplative moments musing on the unexpected path on which he finds his family.

2. A Year In Japan, by Kate T. Williamson.

God, what I wouldn't have given to have had strong photography skills when I did live in Japan. Williamson's drawings are meticulous and neat, reflecting her subject matter. And flipping through her book reminds me of how new and exciting Japan was for me when I first arrived (now I look at it through a cynical, graduate-school-research lens). I also love how close her illustrations are to the actual thing, but not in that creepy photo-realism way. Beautiful.


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