For the month of June I plan to feature different artists who contributed illustrations to DIY Magic. The artwork adds so much to the book and I know that fans of DIY Magic will enjoy seeing what else these artists are up to— so click on some links and find out about some amazing art, books, comics, and blogs!
For starters let’s begin with the work the fellow who designed the cover of DIY Magic, which I love (but of course I’m a bit biased here): Allen Crawford.
This cover pulls of a quite few difficult things at once. First of all it is beautiful, strong, and eye-catching, secondly it manages to look psychedelic, to hint at the strange & arcane knowledge that awaits between the book’s covers, without seeming garish or crazy. It achieves a wonderful balance. The filigree pattern on the cover is meant to suggest elk antlers by the way. Allen Crawford had the idea of making them a bit more plant-like, and with the red background they are also suggestive of fire. I’m very happy with this cover.
It is a funny, smart, and weird book about style, about dressing as a dandy, and it is both filled with wonderful advice on style and life, and is bitingly funny and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. I contacted Allen because I loved the look of this book, and I wanted a similiar look for mine. In fact, if I am to be honest, The Affected Provincial Companion was a big influence on the writing voice that I used for DIY Magic; trying to strike that delicate balance between imparting useful knowledge and just having fun being weird & whimsical.
I could do a whole blog series about Mr. Crawford’s outfits. But I won’t, for that you should go to his blog where you can also find out about his latest doings in writing, design, and an astonishing amount of fauna and botanical research and musings. This man is that rare blend of Alexander Von Humboldt, Beau Brummell, and Aubrey Beardsley. (He does design work at www.planktonart.com . . . and crazy! I just noticed while writing this sentence that we have the same lit. agency: the Foundry. It’s a small world.)
Beardsley? Oh, yes, also he his a fantastic illustrator. In fact Tin House just published his illustrated Walt Whitman “Song of Myself”, which looks stunning!