Saturday, 12 June 2010

This is what I am doing now.

Well, other than my library posts, I feel I've been a little sparse on the blogging front recently.
Which is bad really, because actually I've been quite busy, but busy with things I either can't talk about (ooh-er!), or busy with things that don't really have visible results to show.

Anyway... yesterday I ceased being a student for good, and in 6 days time, I shall become Emma Charleston BA (Hons). It's all quite strange really.
We took our degree show down yesterday too, which was a bit sad, but alright, because we're having another one in London in a month. You should probably come and see it, it's on at the Rochelle School between July 9th - 12th

Here's a sneaky tease of my work!

Anyway, that's something to be looking forwards to, but in the mean time... I'm on the look out for things to keep me busy and earn me money... and fortunately, I'm having some success on both fronts.

My main work at the moment is for an IT company in Brighton. This is what I can't talk about. All I think I can say is that it involves... *whispers* iphone apps... ooh-er!
It's freelance at the moment, although I'm hoping to get an internship with them for a month too.

I'm also doing some work for the 405 again, they're lovely people, so you should really head on over there...

In September I have an internship with World of Interiors Magazine, which I am VERY excited about! Like last summer with 3 Fish in a Tree, it will mean a month of commuting up to London, but as it was last summer, it'll be totally worth it.

In other projects, about a month back I met the amazing Reggie Watts. It was delightful, we drank tea and talked till 2am, I learnt the meaning of 'To Welsh on a bet', and now like Stereolab. He was nice enough to look at my work, and was also nice enough to suggest I might be able to do some artwork for an EP he's thinking of putting out. Chances are it will come to nothing, but I'd absolutely love to do this, so I'm pondering on various different ideas.
One of which is this.

I really like the idea of making one of these only CD sized (120x120), so as opposed to a normal leaflet, you'd have this delightful folding contraption. He did happen to say that it might be a digital release only, which would basically render this plan pointless... buuuuut, I've enjoyed learning how to make it, and it could come in useful for another project anyway.

So yes... I am busy.
It does feel slightly strange because every other year in my life since I was 4, I've been looking forwards to the summer holidays at this stage of the year. But to be honest, I can't bear the thought of just lounging around for a couple of months, waiting for the world to come to me. The way things are at the moment, if I want to make a success of myself, I'm really going to have to throw myself into as many projects as I can handle, and hope for the best!

Come October when my placement finishes, I might find myself with an empty diary. If that's the case, then I'll relax then. Now, I'm just happy to be occupied, and occupied with the kind of work that I love.
Roll on future!

Library Love... Fourth floor.

So this is the last of my library love blogs.
For the previous two, you can see here and here
The fourth floor is one I know quite well, although very few of the books are within my area of study. The fourth floor is the home of literature, geography (from a historical perspective), history, and general world and people studies. It's also the home of the artists monologues (Books about individual artists).

So here we go!

I absolutely love the cover of this book. The picture doesn't do it justice, the green is so vivid and beautiful, and that lino cut... well, I know very little about the subject matter of the book, but it's about as moving a cover image as I've ever seen.

These books are amazing. There's a whole little section in the library about Brighton and Hove. What I really like about these is the adverts printed on the edges of the pages.

Walter Benjamin. I put away his books a lot. I like this cover.

Woaaah. This is a scary and disturbing book. It's referenced in the Of Montreal song 'The past is a grotesque animal' (2.25): 'I fell in love with the first cute girl that I met / Who could appreciate Georges Bataille / Standing at Swedish festival / discussing "Story of the Eye" '
So I thought I'd give it a look. Yeeeeah. :s

So, uh, another song reference... Tim Minchin mentions Voltaire in his song 'Dark Side' (6.07) :'You could be clever as Voltaire / But it won't get you nowhere if you wanna sell discs...'
So I got out this book, and read it. I enjoyed it, but probably on quite a superficial level, as the Minchin says... he was a clever man, and I probably didn't fully appreciate that. A good read though.

We have to put this book away a lot. It's brain achingly dull (to me), and quite big and heavy. Whenever I put it away, I hum the ridiculously jaunty Patrick Wolf song 'Magic Position' in my head, except I replace the words 'Magic Position' with 'Western Tradition'.

This is a strange and intriguing book, full of various scenarios and discussion points. I can't really explain it any more than that. You need to have a look at it. Is it literature? Poetry? Autobiography? Self help? (Gorgeous ampersand...)

'Loving' intrigued me. There's no blurb whatsoever, and it has a small, blood like stain on the spine. So I got it out, and read it, and HONESTLY? Next to nothing happens. I wonder what happens in his other book 'Nothing'...

This is my least favourite book of all time ever. a) Because it is intensely depressing, and b) because it contains one of the most graphic vomit scenes I've ever read, and being an emetophobe I am still traumatized by it.

This book is AMAZING. It's full of some brilliant photos of people in flares doing synchronised rollerskate tricks. And I really like the page layouts too.

Whenever I've got a couple of minutes spare time I often have a browse through one of David Shrigley's books. LOLs every time.

Matthew Ritchie's work is pretty nice, but what I really like about this book is the cover. You can't fully appreciate it here, but that yellowish section is all holographic, and really eye catching.

Gotta love a bit of Jeff Koons.

One of my favourite painters, Lucien Freud.

Yup, so this is probably the most disturbing book in the entire library (The colour atlas of gynecology comes pretty close though...) That cover image doesn't even cover half of what goes on inside. Seriously urrrghhhhh freaked out.

I also love Francis Bacon's work.

Sophie Calle is an artist who I have only really become aware of since working at the library. Her books are often beautifully bound, and intriguingly laid out. She is a photographer, but her books are rightly also in the artists monologue section. All of her books tell a story, or stories, and I personally find them compelling, intriguing, and beautifully presented.

So this is another one of my favourite books in the library. Women's world, by Graham Rawle. Not only is it an amazingly written novel, but the WHOLE THING is constructed from pieces of old women's magazines from the 1950's and 60's. It's a mindblowing achievement, technically and artistically, and if you ever get the chance, read it. It's incredible, and so so visually pleasing throughout. I've never seen anything else like it.

So there we go... It's time to say goodbye library. I'll miss you! I hope the next staff enjoy working there as much as I have.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Library love... third floor.

For my previous library love post, see here

To summarise what I'm trying to do here, I've worked at the university of Brighton's Art library for three years now, and I'm about to leave. I thought it would be nice to pick out some of my personal highlights. There are so many it's been difficult to narrow it down, but I've tried!

The third floor has been a particularly difficult one, for several reasons. The subjects covered on this floor most suit my areas of interest - here you can find art theory, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery design, graphic design, design history + theory, 3D design, furniture, etc, photography, music and film.

Equally though, I probably don't know the stock of this floor as well as I do the second and the fourth floors. Why? Hugely wimpy reasons - the books on this floor are generally very big and heavy, and because I have weak arms, I prefer to shelve on second and fourth, where the books are generally lighter. So although I do work on this floor sometimes, my knowledge of this area is not as good as I would have liked.

So this is a bit of a random selection, really.
Eqaully though, I could have picked a lot more than I have done here, but I suspect it would become a very long and dull journal with just me saying 'I like this'... 'I like this too'...

Anyway, firstly!
I love this book. It's basically a selection of drawings produced by various different members of famous bands whilst on the road. There's some really interesting stuff in here, and as a music lover, it provides a whole different perspective on the bands on tour.

This book is fascinating, and that cover totally messes with my head! Love a bit of op art.

I'd never heard of this before, and when I found it it really intrigued me. It was produced by Wyndham Lewis (and others), and (forgive me if I'm fuzzy on the details) it was produced as part of the futurism (and possibly vorticism?) movements. It's basically one giant zine, and you can really feel this in the way it's produced. It's full of all kinds of interesting writings and stories and typographic experiments, and I'd highly recommend you check it out.

Further to my previous mentions of my love of city planning... this book is absolutely fascinating. It's full of old and rare maps of cities all over the world (although mainly Europe), in stunningly high detail. I used the map of Vienna for my cropping project here. There are loads of other really fascinating books in this section too.

One thing I love about this library is that there are whole sections of books on some of the most obscure subjects. Here, grave stones. Books and books all about gravestone design. Curious.

I cannot recommend this enough. I'm ashamed to admit that I had very little knowledge besides the obvious, with regards the holocaust and surrounding events. This book really bought it home to me, but in such an imaginative and creative way. I read it over the course of a couple of hours, it completely drew me in and engrossed me, and also opened my mind to the possibilities of the graphic novel as a new way of story telling. (I know graphic novels are old news, but this was the first one I ever read.)

Really fascinating book about different ways of displaying information.

I've used this book quite a lot, it's full of simple, but extremely high quality vector outline drawings for stock use. Besides it's practical use, I just find it a very aesthetically pleasing book.

We were told to read this on our course reading list, and it really seems to be regarded as one of those seminal texts in graphic design. Controversially... I didn't actually like most of the work in it.

I own this book, and I love it. Maximalism is amazing.

This was the first book I ever got out of the library. I can't even remember why, but we were given some kind of task in cultural and critical studies, and we found an image from this book to display our point. I seem to remember it went down rather well, but as I say, no idea what we were supposed to be researching!

This really is really really sad. Beautifully illustrated, poignant and sad.

My boyfriend loves this book. It's by Neil Gaiman who is one of his favourite authors, and again, it's beautifully illustrated.

I couldn't pick one book from this section. They're all about PATTERN, and gosh I love pattern.

I don't think I've ever even looked inside these books... but look at those beautiful spines. No wonder they're reference only, if anyone took one out it would be RUINED!

My mum's cousin wrote this book. There's my library claim to fame :D

I used this book a lot while I was writing my dissertation. (For those of you who don't know, I wrote my dissertation on London Transport Design, and how it influenced the growth of suburbia in London) I absolutely love the London Underground posters in the early part of the century, and Frank Pick (Google him) is my hero.

This book is absolutely beautiful. And, not only beautiful, but also an intriguing and compelling story. I'm a huge fan of Graham Rawle's work... in fact his novel up on the fourth floor 'Women's World' is absolutely incredible, one of my favourite books... possibly, ever. Both are constructed entirely from collage materials, and are ridiculously elaborate and just... well, mind blowing. Cannot recommend enough.

The earth from the air, by Jann Arthus Bertrand. Very famous, of course, but still one of my favourite photography books.

One of my least favourite books to shelve, because it's ludicrously heavy, but one of my favourite photography books to browse though. Araki is a strange, strange man... strange but fascinating.

And so concludes my third floor tour. As I say, very edited highlights... But hopefully worth looking at.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Library Love... second floor.

So this isn't strictly a post about my work, but it's my blog, and I'll do what I will with it.

So, some of you know, some of you don't, but I work at the University's Arts Library four evenings a week, 'shelving'. I've been doing it for almost three years, and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm the hugest library nerd, and it's the best job I've ever had.
But unfortunately, and with genuine sadness... it's time to leave. Not willingly you understand, as I'd happily carry on working there, but it's a student job... and soon I will no longer be a student.

It's my last shift this Friday, and this week I decided I'd do a few library related posts on here.
Me and my 3 beloved shelving friends job consists of putting away books that have been returned or left lying around, and checking the shelves on a regular basis to make sure things are in the right order. Don't even get me started on how annoyed I get when people just put random books in the wrong place. Grrr.... (OCD much?)

Anyway, understandably, after almost three years doing this, I know my way around quite well, and know the library stock pretty well too. So I decided to select a few of my favourite, least favourite, or otherwise significant or intriguing books and generally ramble about them. Feel free to not even bother reading this, there's no real intellectual value, it's just a little trip into my mind.

Because there are so many... I'm splitting it into the three floors. This first post is about the second floor... The kind of books you'll find on the second floor are philosophy books which I don't understand, politics, fashion, typography, science, maths, language, type and aesthetics.

Firstly,  this book makes me laugh so much. It was published in 1988. That's as old as I am. The descriptions of how to work the software are so amazingly old school. I'd highly recommend having a browse through this :)

Narcissism! I love how ridiculously battered this book is, and that horrible cover design... looks like some sort of 1980's romance, judging by the type. It's full of interesting case studies of various different narcissistic people.

There are lots of books on the second floor where the title tells you absolutely NOTHING about what they're about... And then you read the blurb and you're still clueless... and so you read a bit of the actual text... and still no idea. I mean... 'The Sex of Knowing'... What?!

I just love this title and subtitle. 'Managing the Mingling'... Something I always strive for in life. :D

Singing bowls. EH? (To clarify, I've read a couple of chapters of this book, and my response would still be 'EH?')

 I'm a huge nerd, and I love city planning. This book is fascinating.

She was CRAZY.

No idea what this is about. But I love that ampersand. Every time I put it away, I think 'oooh, nice ampersand.'

'From Modernism to Postmodernism', I hate you. (Just because it's really heavy and I have to put them away all the time)

I love the title of this book. I've tried reading it and it's waaaay over my head, but I'm still intrigued by the title. Feels like something I'd like to try and translate visually.

I don't know anything about Beatrice Webb, but I've read quite a few random entries from these diaries. It's so amazing to have basically someone's whole life captured in this form... she started writing when she was about 15, and carried on until she died in her 80's. Really interesting.

I was told to read this by our cultural and critical studies tutor. Further proof of how utterly irrelevant that section of our course was! (For the record, I tried, but it was one of the densest reads I've ever attempted, and I gave up after about a couple of paragraphs.)

This is an absolutely fascinating book, following the life of some modernist council tower blocks in Leeds from their initial (much hyped) inception, through to their ultimate demolition.

Another thing I'm nerdy about... Public Transport. This is a really interesting book, but more than anything else, I love that cover illustration.

This is a book in the fashion history section, featuring about 40 postcards of 1970's men's fashion advertisements. It. Is. Comedy. Gold.

This is a delightful book.

WHO KNEW THERE WERE SO MANY WORDS IN THE WORLD. Sometimes I like to just browse these for new words n' stuff.

Every so often I look at these maths books and feel sad that I can't do better maths. I loved A-level maths, but unfortunately A-level maths didn't love me, and I got an F. :(

Why indeed.

This is an absolutely fascinating book, if you're into mapping and suchlike.

This might even be my favourite book in the whole library. Basically it zooms in on the world through powers of 10 magnification... starting at the furthest depths of space, and ending at the innermost depths of an atom. Absolutely incredible, mind-blowing stuff.

This book is amazing. It's really old, and basically discusses the life and ways of 'midgets', in completely unashamed old fashioned language. It's charmingly offensive, if that's even possible.

This book is amazing. It's where I learned that Norwegian slang for having your period is 'the communists are in the summer house'. Plus much more amazing menstrual facts besides! A must read for 50% of the population. In fact, everyone should read it.

This is the pop-up book of reproduction. Seriously.

These two books combined have put me off EVER having children. OH DEAR GOODNESS HORRIFIC FULL COLOUR PHOTOS OF... OH I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS!

I would buy one of these hoovers. Why do these not exist?

These are completely underrated in the world of the library. The Penrose Annuals were, as far as I can tell, put out by what seems to be a printing house from the late 1800's, right through to the 1980's. They're basically catalouges showing the most up to date printing techniques and processes of the times, with articles discussing them. They are amazingly fascinating, and I only discovered them very recently, really need to spend some more time with them.

For a long time, this book was lost, and I really wanted to get it out. Me and the library ladies always giggled when I asked for hand job, but that's probably the point. (In the end it never showed up and they bought another copy. Here it is! All thanks to me pestering.)

Best type book you'll ever read.

We enjoy this book. It's full of amazing interactive optical illusions!

Mmmm, typographic cleverness. No idea what it's about. Well, Marxist Esthetics, evidently. Would it have killed them to put an A on there?

Another one of those ridiculously titled books that make me laugh with their sheer pretentiousness. 'Proposition for an art criticism beyond aesthetic categories...' Say what?

Last one for this floor... PORN. This book is covered in disturbingly soft padded leather. It's a marshmallow of a book. It's also distressingly grubby round the edges, and it freaks me out to touch it. Oh, and it's full of arty porn.

So there we go. That concludes our tour of the second floor. I hope you got something out of that, if only a new found appreciation for what a loser I am :D