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Huzzah for Independent Book Stores!

I visited one of my favourite stores in the K-W area and found some amazing design books.  Booksmarts Canada is an independent bookstore that offers unbelievable deals on great books.  I picked up an amazing coffee table book called “The Art of the LP” for $14.99 that would have cost $70 at Chapters.  The book is extra great because its clearly written by  someone with a graphic design background and points out both good and bad design elements in over three hundred and fifty album covers.  Another book I picked up is strangely about Brooklyn N.Y style, but its so nicely layed out and interesting and the visuals are fantastic.  It’s cover price was $68 and I got it for $9!  On previous visits, I have had great luck finding design books. I have a great big book about typography and a few on music posters, all at ridiculously low prices.  Booksmarts is also a haven for quirky nicknacs!  I find it increasingly difficult to find unique things in stores in the area as big box stores continue to dominate.  You find the same things in every store and independent stores that specialize in unique products struggle and often close down like Bon Mot in downtown Waterloo.  I loved that shop, I couldn’t justify spending the amount of money they were asking for many of their cooler products, and that was most likely their downfall. Booksmarts, however has a great range of really well designed products for fairly good prices.  Their merchandiser has great taste!  

I suppose the smaller boutique shops are being replaced with Etsy and other on-line outlets.  It has its benefits, its definitely cheaper for small independents to sell on-line and the choice is endless.  But I like to touch products and compare, the tactile experience of shopping is important to me and I suppose thats why I haven’t embraced on-line shopping to the extent of some of my friends.  That’s probably a good thing.

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G33K art show

Here is an interesting art show happening this weekend at Kitchener City Hall.  It’s all about geekery!  They are hosting workshops about comic book writing hosted by two Laurier guys who have published a comic called Kill Shakespear.  I love graphic novels and I would love to finish one one day…must find more time.

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22 Animals Who’ve Been Hiding Out In The London Underground Map

This is too cool!  Thanks mr. hairy brit for bringing this to my attention.  It shows how you can make different animal shapes out of the London Underground map.  When I go back to London I will definitely ride the Waterloo sperm whale, or maybe  the Hornchurch rhino.  It goes to show you can see design in anything if you change your perspective

David Bowie Exhibit AGO

Visited the AGO on Saturday to see the David Bowie art exhibit “David Bowie Is”.  I drew the famous Aladdin Sane picture of Bowie with the red lightening bolt on his face in pencil crayon in high school and its one of the first drawing that I was really proud of.  This was such a cool show to see, it takes you through his phases with a huge personal collection. My favourite item, aside from that iconic photograph mentioned above, was this crazy sculptural jumpsuit.  David Bowie is one intense guy.  I think he may be the original Lady GaGa.

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Cool Artistic applications for photographer, illustrators etc

Just visited Photo Media Decor today, and offshoot of Lumichrom in Breslau.  They do interesting print applications on a wide variety of substrates;  brushed aluminium, wood, plexiglass, even stone tile, flooring… endless possibilities.  You can get really creative with mixed media and they work with artists to create unique pieces.  I certainly have never seen anything like it and I’m so inspired by the possibilities.  I met a girl whose job is to experiment with different product applications for their digital printing, she gets to play with all kinds of materials just to see what happens.  Amazing.  My favourite was a huge print image taken by the Hubble space telescope printed on brushed metal with strategically placed squares of plexi,  it looked like it was printed on copper!  I kept gravitating toward a photograph that was printed on plexi that looked like it was glowing.  The subject of the picture itself was not pretty… it was of a pile of some industrial material that reminded me of the piles of material along the banks of the St. Clair river where my parents now live.  The image should have been ugly, but the way it was printed made it beautiful.  You really have to visit their store front to get a sense of how beautiful these applications are, their brochures do not capture the light and reflectiveness of the substrates.