Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. — Mark Twain

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.

Mar 22 2008

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin

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12 Secrets of Highly Creative WomenA while back I read the book “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women – A portable mentor” by Gail McMeekin. I have since loaned this book to several friends who have enjoyed it very much.

The book in general has a bunch of good advice, experiences, stories, wisdoms and exercises to help you work through different stages and mastering challenges so you can reach your goal of being creative.

For the most part, a lot of it, for me, I already know or as I read had affirmed things that I had wondered about. But for someone who needs encouragement to step out of their comfort zone, to take a leap of faith, to do what they have always dreamed of doing, this book is for you.

The book is sectioned into 3 Gateways. Each Gateway has subsections pertaining to the Gateways theme. The first Gateway is called “Engaging Your Creativity” and is about acknowledging your creative self, honoring your inspirations, following your fascinations and surrendering to creative cycles. Read more »

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