Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Inspiration: Alias Books

All of the used books featured below, I purchased from Alias Books- from both their East & Westside locations. Like so many good things that have recently appeared in my life, I have Joanna to thank for turning me on to this wonderful resource.

I look at blogs, magazines, nature, gallery and museum shows etc. for inspiration. But my favorite source for unexpected inspiration is a good used book. I really enjoy going into a used bookstore, with no preconceived notions of what I am going to purchase, and just allow myself to be intuitively drawn to a book. A book that I am attracted to can come from any section, any subject. Most of the time, I am initially unaware of why I am compelled to choose a particular book from the shelf. I'm often unsure if a book will be of any use my design work. Sometimes it does prove useful; sometimes I purchase a book seemingly for the pure enjoyment of it, and it ends of having nothing to do (consciously) with my work. Bookstores that sell just new books are nice too, but I find the quirky selection of used book stores to be more surprising.

Here are a few recent purchases:


I've wanted a pair of Martin Margiela Tabis since the 1990's. Wouldn't it be fun (and more affordable) to make your own? The tabi's pictured with the circles are especially nice...very Cosmic Wonder Light Source.


I purchased this book to help with my pottery technique. But who knows? The textures and forms pictured in this book may end up influencing my textiles. In addition to being an instruction manual, this nice little text includes photos of ceramic works by Lucie Rie, Gertrud and Otto Naztler, and Ettore Sottsas, among others.


I have only been to Death Valley once. I want to go back. I love the desert, I do. I find desert landscapes endlessly beautiful, spiritual, and haunting. This guide book was initially published in the 1950's and is illustrated with photographs by Ansel Adams.

Perhaps my favorite recent find: Sally Mann, At Twelve. These are just detail shots of her beautiful photos...if you can, try to find the book to get an accurate sense of the gorgeous complexity of these images. My interest in photography has become stronger over the years...but I know that I purchased this particular book for reasons beyond a surface interest in photography.


I'll show you a couple more books later this week...


natasha said...

ahh, i love sally mann's work. you should check out 'what remains,' a great documentary about her life + work. my friend mary composed the soundtrack!

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Natasha just added it to my Netflix list!
Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

You are A W E S O M E. These books look so good!

Various Projects said...

eee! love the japanese clothing book! gotta find it...

Anonymous said...

So funny, I HAVE that Japanese clothing book! My dad gave it to me when I was 13 and he was trying to convince me to be a costume designer rather than a painter.

Jennifer said...

"At Twelve" is a wonderful book; I've had my copy since it was first published. I love making great discoveries at the used book store... library sales are another excellent resource. I found some amazing out-of-print photo books over the years, my book on potato printing, and a group of fantastic 80s Singer books on sewing fashion designs.