one of the best things i've been doing lately is making regular trips to our new central library. i've been there a lot because i'm volunteering to plan a craft show / market there on december 13th
(yep, me with the volunteering again!) but also because i just love it as a building.
i feel like the quality of a city is directly reflected in their quality of library, and san diego just got a big upgrade last year.
i feel like my every visit to the library is like an artists' residency, if i look at it the right way and use my time wisely. and it's free, which always makes me feel so fortunate and lucky to have such a resource in my life. much of my artwork is informed by things i've read or thought while spending my life in museums, parks and libraries
absolutely zero of my artwork is informed by pinterest, which is another in a long list of reasons of why i believe artists should not be drawing inspiration from pinterest. there is some irony in that i actually use pinterest a lot
, but i don't use it as an influence or reference for my artwork. i don't want my artwork to become a facsimile of things that are trendy; i want it originate from my viewpoint alone. that is the point of art, and as i have written many times before, the focus is not to only "make art that sells." /end of my ongoing crusade to make artists aspire to be artists and not internet celebrities again.
today, i sketched photos of plant life from reference materials, used the pencil sharpener of a neighborly stranger, shared my lunch with someone who needed it more than me, met a woodworker from craigslist whom i handed some plywood off to, and spent hours in a meeting to plan the aforementioned craft show. but here are other things i've enjoyed recently while at my local library:
art. this one by local artist josh eggleton spoke to me for obvious reasons. from the incredible gallery on the 9th floor, each time i've visited, it's been curated beautifully. among my favorite galleries in this city, high on the list.
old, weird library stuff. i love card catalog cards, and well-loved (at least, once upon a time) checkout cards like this.
old, weird, random stuff. once i found a runaway's note on a post it in a book about whales. today i found this treasure trove of old photos, returned it to the lost and found as i can only imagine the heartache of the person who lost it.
weirdo endpapers. secretly, or maybe not so secretly, i'm a connoisseur. i spend a lot of time thinking about how to best use end papers, and so i appreciate when others have used theirs wisely.
related: look at the weirdly long format of this book!
research. look at these peepers! (my favorite part is the paw on the bottom left) i love learning about what i'm drawing, and drawing as i'm learning. the library is like an unlimited artist's residency in this way.
discovering books i've never heard of. this one is entirely block printed. "Swan Sky" by Tejima. just Tejima, like Madonna or Cher.
finding books i've heard of but hadn't gotten the chance to leaf through. (this one's "along a long road" by frank viva)
revisiting old favorites. this one's "the frog in the well" - illustrated by longtime favorite illustrator / legend roger duvoisin
so is this one. (from "hi, mister robin!", also illustrated by roger duvoisin + power author alvin tresselt -- they did a few books together)
discovering new favorites. check out this weird bear/pear poem excerpt. sometimes i think i am just not weird enough to be an artist, which is saying a lot because i am a weird ass person.
the outdoor spaces at my library are pretty wonderful, too.
and so is the neighborhood surrounding. this is a "pocket park" made of palettes, repurposed as a neighborhood space and installation.
i am a pretty big fan of the library.support mine with a donation
or go support yours.
mine needs all the help it can get.
so it can stay awesome.