friday feast: Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess and Kris Di Giacomo (+ chocolate mud puddles)

“No modern poet, to my knowledge, has such a clear, child-like perception as E.E. Cummings — a way of coming smack against things with unaffected delight and wonder . . . This candor results in breathtakingly clear vision.” (S.I. Hayakawa)

When I first heard a few months ago that a new picture book biography of E. E. Cummings was being published by Enchanted Lion Books, my heart literally skipped a beat. Cummings is, after all, my all-time favorite poet. Then when I learned the book was being illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo, who did Take Away the A (one of my favorite alphabet books), it was all I could do to contain my excitement until the book finally hit shelves earlier this month.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

In Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings, debut picture book author, scholar, educator and poet Matthew Burgess recounts Cummings’s life from his magical childhood in Cambridge, through his days at Harvard, to when he finally settled in Greenwich Village, where he lived for nearly four decades.

Kids will enjoy seeing how Cummings loved playing with words from a very early age, received lots of encouragement along the way, and found the courage to remain true to himself, ultimately becoming one of the most innovative and inventive poets of the 20th century, a true champion of individuality whose lyrical experiments with grammar, syntax, and punctuation continue to baffle and delight.

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i’ll have another cup: rob draper’s beautiful hand lettering on everyday objects

#51 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

Today, for your feasting and ogling pleasure, the brilliant work of UK-based designer, illustrator, hand lettering artist and typographer Rob Draper.

His specialties include creative typography and layout for print, branding and typography/lettering for apparel, large scale typography/murals, and art direction.

Love his unique “canvases” — pencils and erasers, for example.

His Coffee Time and Napkin Time series, part of his current obsession to draw and hand letter on discarded everyday objects, are especially cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you ever think a paper cup, coffee stirrer, napkin, paper towel or piece of toilet tissue could be so amazing?

Of course my absolute favorites are his use of actual food.

 

 

 

See more of Rob’s work at his website, Instagram, or tumblr.

 

Happy Tuesday!

♥ More alphabetica here.

 

 

alphabet iconCertified authentic alphabetica. Made by hand just for you with love, ink, and lotsa cups.

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

linzie hunter: accidental pigs, uninspired messages and other totally cool delights

#50 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

nice

Right now I am loving the work of crazy-talented London-based illustrator and hand lettering artist Linzie Hunter.

Originally from Scotland, she graduated from Glasgow University and then studied illustration at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.

orangesweater

Linzie’s distinctive, exuberant doodles have graced everything from magazine and book covers, posters, cookie tins, children’s toys, stickers and stationery to oodles of promotional materials. Her impressive international client list includes The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Roaring Brook Press, Sainsbury’s, Random House, Macmillan, American Girl, and Marks & Spencer.

Her hand drawn letters have irresistible “personalities” and her zany characters often prompt a double take. I also love her maps and ongoing poster series of Uninspiring Messages. And yes, she’s illustrated a children’s book: A Small Brown Dog With a Wet Pink Nose (written by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen).

Enjoy this mini-trip to Linzie Land! 🙂

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Sarah Walsh of Petit Reve

Today I’m pleased to welcome Kansas City-based artist, illustrator, and hand letterer Sarah Walsh to Alphabet Soup!

Pictured above is a collage she created this past summer called “Aqua Daydreams.” I loved it the moment I saw it — mermaids, jellyfish, the different shapes, lines, colors, and overall composition of the piece with its touches of whimsy and playfulness. It feels childlike and sophisticated at the same time, definitely invites a closer look, and much like the rest of her work, elicits unabashed joy and happiness.

“Horsie Love”

A graphic design major, Sarah worked at Hallmark for 12 years, has also illustrated for other card lines, helped Crayola create a character-based tween girl brand (Pop Art Pixies), and has designed typefaces and surface patterns (client list includes Usborne, Peaceable Kingdom, Land of Nod, Perseus, Red Rooster Fabrics). She and her artist husband Colin (love that name!) share a basement studio in their home and sell prints and other goodies via their Etsy shop Petit Reve.

Artists and illustrators Colin and Sarah Walsh of Petit Reve

Most recently, Sarah published three awesome coloring books for Rockport’s Just Add Color Series: Day of the Dead, Carnival, and Circus. (Have you read the recent HuffPo article about how coloring books help adults combat stress? I think we should all order Sarah’s coloring books ASAP! ):)

I know you’ll enjoy learning more about Sarah and feasting your eyes on her charmingly quirky, fun and vibrant creations. She counts among her major influences 50’s and 60’s illustration, family, friends and love in general. It’s so easy to see the ♥ in her work. 🙂

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chalk it up to lily and val

#49 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

tea
All images © 2014 Lily and Val

There’s something wonderfully nostalgic and old school about chalk art. I remember being so excited when it was my turn to erase the blackboards in grade school. Before clapping the erasers outside, replacing stubs with brand new sticks of chalk, and wiping the boards clean with a wet rag, I liked to “play teacher” with my own little scribbles and drawings.

Now I have three chalkboards in my kitchen: one for the grocery list, one displaying an inspirational quote for the week, the third to advise guests: “Feel free to wait on me.” 🙂 There’s also another chalkboard in our dining room, where I post the menu when we have company for dinner (it’s fun to “play restaurant”).

teatime

No surprise that I fell hard for Valerie McKeehan’s charming hand lettered chalk art, which she features on prints, note cards, stationery, gifts and accessories. Naturally I love her kitchen-themed designs best — tear-off placemats, illustrated recipes, menu boards, foodie sayings. Lily & Val products are quaintly whimsical with that undeniable handmade-heartmade quality I covet, and are available via LilyandVal.com or at the Lily & Val Chalk Art Boutique on Etsy.

I recently ordered some note cards which arrived lickety split — I kind of hate to part with them, but will enjoy sending them to special friends. 🙂

Enjoy this little Lily and Val sampler. How can you resist?

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