Archive | February, 2011

Ethno Pop Textures Volume 1 by Vincenzo Sguera

20 Feb

You can practically hear the drums, smell the incense and see the red glow of the sunset. With an array of beautiful graphics to offer, Vincenzo Sguera’s Ethno Pop Textures Volume 1 is the perfect source for anyone looking to add a splash of bohemia to any given project.

A book of incredible patterns, Ethno Pop Textures gives examples of a huge variety of ethnically inspired prints and then comes complete with a disc of 100 designs that are free and ready to use. Pop Textures really is the best phrase to use for this book; bright colours bring the effervescence of classic pop culture but the wide range of pattern configurations provided communicate endless opportunity in terms of texture.

A particular theme I picked up on throughout the book was that it was quite tribal; all patterns had a very earthy feel to them, with lots including pictures of animals or plants in their make-up. Patterns were featured in the book quite accordingly by colour. Since each colour scheme had lots of different textures to accompany it, it was great to know that once you had narrowed down your selection of shades you still had lots of variety in patterns.

If you are about to create something that requires a little hippy-chic, perhaps a new fair-trade website or an ethically sourced clothing line, then the images in this Vincenzo Sguera book are for you. A pricey addition to your bookshelf, maybe, but a crisp and vibrant selection for your creative ventures.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Ethno Pop Textures Volume 1 by Vincenzo Sguera is published by Arkivia Books and will bring some ethnic magic to your work for £67.50.

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Like I Give a Frock by Michi Girl

9 Feb

Following the fun I had reading Michi Girl’s Michipedia of Fashion, I decided to take a step backwards and indulge in her first book, Like I Give a Frock. With the tagline detailing ‘fashion forecasts and meaningless misguidance’, I began to read in the hope of finding more quirky anecdotes from my new favourite fictional character. The creation of Chloe Quigley and Daniel Pollock, Michi Girl is a fashionista weather girl who loves to give sarcastic opinions on the world of fashion with sprinkled references to the elements poking through along the way.

This light read is divided into four sections in accordance with the seasons and offers whimsical fashion advice to suit each time of year. In her usual arty manner, Michi Girl expresses her views on all sorts of fashion topics with illustrations and collages that please the eye endlessly. Using paints, pencils, textures and whatever else she can lay her hands on, Michi Girl likes to show the reader exactly what she means. Having painted a beautiful paisley print on a pair of skousers (skirt and trousers) in the Autumn chapter, she suggests the following: “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and the most effective. Skousers are the lowest form of garment and the least attractive”. Later she goes on to illustrate the locks of a beautiful lady and inscribes in the colour of her hair, “no one looks good in mustard. Unless of course you’re a hot dog”. A little bit erratic, these snippets of information are highly amusing but seem to lack the structure of her later Michipedia of Fashion. I would recommend it as a gift as opposed to an investment, and can say whole heartedly that it will bring joy to the eyes of art lovers.

A la Mode Appraisal: 7/10

Like I Give a Frock is published by Apple Press and is available for £12.99.

If you like this, you might also like What on Earth Are You Wearing? A Michipedia of Fashion by Michi Girl.

1000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art by Christian Campos

8 Feb

“Art or vandalism? If I had a dollar for every time…”

This very question is one posed at the beginning of the book, one that chooses to celebrate the rise in beautiful urban and street art and to abolish the small mindedness of those who see graffiti as nothing more than a nuisance. Featuring ‘murals, tags and more from artists around the world’, this book contains little words and chooses instead to focus on the powerful imagery that it embraces.

Varying in presentation from full page feature images to collages of complimentary street art pieces, 1000 Ideas mixes images of art from all over the world and by different artists. In addition to featuring lots of well known larger cities, smaller places were also featured to enable lots of readers to relate to an area or place – I was delighted to spot my hometown of Birmingham in the mix. A number is featured in the corner of each image and further referenced in detail at the bottom of the page, allowing the reader to identify the artists of their favourite pieces but not interrupting the visuals.

To conclude, a directory detailing relevant websites of each artist is included. In not providing any opinions or text, Christian Campos allows the reader to form their own opinions and focuses on enlightening them about lots of varied street art pieces in order for them to do this.

I unearthed a new favourite street artist named Pariz One along the way. Whenever I was taken by a piece in a collage, it just so happened that it would usually be his! Visit his blog by following the link below and you will find lots of examples of the kind of beautiful art that is featured in 1000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art.

http://pariz-one.blogspot.com/

Perfect for those looking to begin their knowledge of street art or indeed pioneers merely wishing to indulge within it, this book would be an inspiring and fascinating conversation starter for any urban coffee table.

A la Mode Appraisal: 8/10

1000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art is published by Rockport Publishers and is available for £25.00.

If you liked this you may also like Street Art Contemporary Prints by Riikka Kuittinen.