Inspiration. I spent this icy cold weekend looking for — and getting — inspiration. Just because the manuscript of my Damn France Book is in the hands of my editor at Bloomsbury doesn’t mean that the Damn Book is finished: oh, non. There are still plenty of bits that need fiddling with, some pages that don’t cut the moutarde, which is why I am seeking inspiration while there’s still time to remedy the situation.
And when I use the word inspiration, I am very specific: I am seeking page designs that communicate visual and textual information in the most luscious way possible.
So, duh: I go to the glossiest, fanciest, highest-priced shelter magazines I can find. And lucky for me, I have an aunt who reads exactly these kinds of magazines and lets me haul away her back issues. I spent a very happy weekend going through a pile of Elle Decor and Architectural Digest magazines, pulling out the most beautifully designed pages so I can study them, and learn. And when I say “learn”, I mean “steal”. Here’s a sample:
Here is where the “next level” is for me: I want to take my work to where these pages are, where there is a delicious amount of visual information vying for attention in an orderly space where text is integrated into the over-all design that invites a reader to hang out, browse, take a good look.
In the meantime, I have cheese that I have to deal with.
In my Damn France Book I have a page of French cheesethat I illustrated waaaaay back when I first put the book proposal together. Since then, I’ve gone on to illustrate 150 additional pages and I’ve outgrown the old illustration:
What I want, now, for my cheese page is a more chocolate-boxy kind of illustration, something that gives the reader more to do than glance at ten slices of cheese (see: all those glorious pages full of tasty visual morsels above).
So I re-worked the cheese this weekend:
I think the stink lines really add a touch of class.
I also have a French Bread page and a Charcuterie page that I have to re-do. What do you think? Do you think I’m on the right track?