Interviews

Charley Harper

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My friend Davina worked on these incredible films about one of my favorite artists/designers Charley Harper.

My favorite quote about Harper’s work was uttered by designer Todd Oldham who championed the resurgence of interest in Harper’s incredible breadth of work. Oldham says that Harper’s work is “reductive but never diminished”. Harper was a total master at conveying information with an economy of line and form but with such depth and beauty.

Designtex, is launching a Charley Harper collection at the end of the month. I can’t wait to see it. For now, check out these wonderfully touching and inspiring films.


Todd Oldham talks about Charley Harper’s work.


An interview with Charley Harper filmed in 2006, recut into a mini-biography using contemporary footage of his house.

E.B White: “A book is a sneeze”

Charlotte and Fern
E.B White is one of my favorite authors. Who also happens to have been a writer under the notable editor Ursula Nordstom. Here’s his incredible letter to her/his publisher’s PR people explaining why he wrote Charlotte’s Web (frankly I feel that this explanation could apply to any author or artist’s work when asked why they created it). I love this so much!:

Dear Ursula:

Thanks for your dandy letter and for the book. If I ever get time I’m going to read the book. I think it looks very nice and I agree with you that the endpaper is too bright. But on the other hand, I’m not sure that anybody thinks about endpaper except publishers, and probably not more than 1800 people in the United States have ever heard the word “endpaper”, and they are all Stevenson people. 

Enclosed are some remarks that I hope will satisfy your Publicity Department. 

Sorry to learn that Dr. Canby is revolted by spiders. Probably doesn’t meet the right spiders. Did you know that Dr. Canby has a wife named “Lady”?

Yrs,

Andy

——————

I have been asked to tell how I came to write “Charlotte’s Web.” Well, I like animals, and it would be odd if I failed to write about them. Animals are a weakness with me, and when I got a place in the country I was quite sure animals would appear, and they did. 

A farm is a peculiar problem for a man who likes animals, because the fate of most livestock is that they are murdered by their benefactors. The creatures may live serenely but they end violently, and the odor of doom hangs about them always. I have kept several pigs, starting them in spring as weanlings and carrying trays to them all through summer and fall. The relationship bothered me. Day by day I became better acquainted with my pig, and he with me, and the fact that the whole adventure pointed toward an eventual piece of double-dealing on my part lent an eerie quality to the thing. I do not like to betray a person or a creature, and I tend to agree with Mr. E.M. Forster that in these times the duty of a man, above all else, is to be reliable. It used to be clear to me, slopping a pig, that as far as the pig was concerned I could not be counted on, and this, as I say, troubled me. Anyway, the theme of “Charlotte’s Web” is that a pig shall be saved, and I have an idea that somewhere deep inside me there was a wish to that effect. 
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Anthology Magazine feature

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A little while back I shared the recent cover I did for Anthology Magazine‘s sartorial issue. Today I thought I’d give you a closer look at the really lovely feature they did on me/my work and home. You should definitely pick up the issue. Here’s the issue trailer to give you an overview. This issue is packed with great stuff from a stylish dinner party with Erin Fetherston to Rubi Jones‘s Parisian flat to beautiful photos by my friends Tara Donne and Alpha Smoot there’s so much to see. I kind of want to move to Heidi Merrick‘s house…just saying.

Clementine Daily Feature: Everyday Icons

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Some super cool girls I know started an amazing site called Clementine Daily. I was honored when Erin Loechner, one of said cool girls asked to interview me for Everyday Icons.

Here’s an excerpt. Click over to see the rest of Erin’s thoughtful questions and my answers:

What is your personal motto or mantra?
Choose happiness.

Any advice for budding artists/illustrators/designers?
My advice to any artist starting out is: Work hard, make lots of work, become comfortable with failure, look for places where you can get feedback, submit work to places where you can see your work fitting in, collaborate with friends, build a portfolio of work that looks like it’s done by the same person with the same hand, look at the work of artists you admire and think about why you like it and what makes it special, look at that artist’s client list and aim to work for them, ask to work for them, make your work good enough that you’d hire yourself, take your work from being pretty good to excellent, carve out your niche in the market and don’t give up, mistakes are par for the course. If this is your passion you can make it happen with diligence and willingness to learn from your mistakes. The cream rises to the top.

Books