Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be? — Author Unknown

Apr 04 2008

The Museum of Anti-Alcohol Posters

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Museum of Anti-Alcohol PostersA while back I was doing a search for something and as searches go I got side-tracked and ended up here at The Museum of Anti-Alcohol Posters web site. This great collection from the Soviet propaganda era belongs to Yuri Matrosovich of Moscow, Russia.

These wonderful posters use limited color and simple, bold shapes to get their message out. During this era, Constructivism (a geometric abstract art movement in Russia) design was heavily used in commercial art. Constructivism was influenced by Bauhaus in Germany, De Stijl in the Netherlands and Abstraction-Creation in France.

Yuri has kindly accepted my invitation for a interview and below is a bit about him and his collection.

Tell me about yourself. Are you an artist, designer, photographer, etc.?
I am designer and dilettante (as in hobby) photographer.

Museum of Anti-Alcohol PostersWhat inspired you to start collecting these posters?
Actually I just happened to lay a hand on a small propaganda pack of anti-alcohol society. We had one in the Perestroika era. Here’s the badge of this society. Later I started to collect anti-alcohol posters and as soon as I started developing websites I decided to put my small collection online.

Do you have a favorite one?
I can’t pick out just one: I think every third poster in my collection is a treasure (also some of posters unfortunately is slapdash).

Do you have any stories about any of the posters?
No, I don’t think so.

Do you collect anything else?
Nothing really special, just usual stuff: small classic car replicas, interesting coins, etc.

Museum of Anti-Alcohol PostersWhat inspires you? Some people are inspired by music, nature, loved ones, animals, color combinations, etc.
I think traveling and sightseeing inspires me most.

When you are unmotivated what types of things do you do to get yourself motivated?
Nothing, really. If there’s a thing I don’t want to do but I have to, I just do it. And if I don’t want to do something I can avoid, I just don’t do it until I am motivited somehow.

Is there a person who has inspired you at some point in your life (relative, friend, etc.)?
I don’t really know, what it means: everyone is affected by someone every time.

When you were a child, what was your favorite game to play?
I believe it was some kind of Lego.

Thank you Yuri!

Please visit Yuri’s other site. He can be reached on Facebook as well.

Filed under : Color, Illustration, Inspiration, Interviews | Comments Off
Apr 01 2008

Pop-Up Love

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Pop-up books (movable books) had captivated my delight while growing up and my love for them has grown and followed me through adulthood. I’ve admired anyone who can take plain paper and turn it into something beautiful. Here’s a little bit about the history behind pop-ups/movable books and some of my favorite pop-up artists.

Volvelle ImageHistory
Pop-up books were first called Volvelles and predate the print culture. Ramon Llull (c.1235-1316), a Catalan mystic and poet, created interactive mechanisms (Volvelles) to illustrate his complex philosophical search for truth.

Volvelles were used through the eighteenth century for manuscripts and in printed books. They were used for a variety of topics, including natural science, astronomy, mathematics, mysticism, fortune telling, navigation, and medicine.

When Turn-Up or Lift-The-Flap mechanisms were introduced in the early fourteenth century they were extensively used to illustrate anatomy. At that time movable books were specifically designed only for adults. It wasn’t until the early nineteenth century that movable books were available for children.

Pop-up Artists
Robert Sabuda and Matthew ReinhartThe Chronicles of Narnia Pop-Up Book
Robert and Matthew are master paper engineer partners and have published many children’s pop-up books. Their most recent pop-up book The Chronicles of Narnia (published in 2007) is richly detailed and has amazing movable elements. Both Robert and Matthew designed an Encyclopedia Prehistorica series that showcases Mega-Beasts, Sharks and Other Sea Monsters, and Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up. Robert’s visionary adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland leaves you in awe and admiration.

Robert’s favorite pop-ups are those that are created with white paper. He has been fascinated with how shadows play with paper and his America The Beautiful, Winter’s Tale: An Original Pop-up Journey, and Winter in White: A Mini Pop-up Treat are all based on his shadow play.



The Book Of Phobias Pop-Up BookGary Greenberg and Matthew Reinhart
Of all the books that crack me up, The Pop-Up Book of Phobias and The Pop-Up Book of Nightmares are my favorites. Both books poke fun at phobias and nightmares and are enhanced with macabre artwork (illustrator Balvis Rubess) that suits each topic perfectly. Gary is a nationally touring stand-up comedian and writer and Matthew is a paper sculptor and modelmaker who has created three-dimensional work for hit children’s shows and for other published books.



David A. Carter and James Diaz
The Elements of Pop-up: A Pop-Up book for Aspiring Paper Engineers When I first saw the book The Elements of Pop-up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers, I couldn’t get my hands on it quick enough. This book is the definitive book on how to make pop-ups (paper engineering). It covers a wide range of movable elements along with easy, step-by-step instructions and working examples. I love manipulating each example and being in awe at how easy these mechanisms can work such amazing visual magic.

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