It’s finally time to shine the spotlight on Daren Thomas Magee–another of our newest artists that is now a member of our tight-knit RCC family! Daren is an introspective and visionary illustrator and designer from Ojai, California. A master of blending the natural with the supernatural, Daren creates thought-provoking work that inspires us to become closer together as humans and, in turn, connects us to a higher consciousness.
His RCC card designs have been flying out the door and that’s no surprise to us! Read on to learn more about Daren, his work, and his inspirations. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Daren!
We are so very excited for our first of three upcoming Artist Spotlight posts, highlighting the newest artists, designers, and writers in our RCC family. We love these short interviews, because it gives us a chance to dip a toe into the minds of such brilliant creative forces.
First up: Johnathan Rice. A singer, producer, and writer living in Los Angeles, Rice has spent his adult life inhabiting different corners of the entertainment industry. Signed to Reprise Records at the age of nineteen, His debut record “Trouble Is Real” arrived in 2005, the same year he played Roy Orbison alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash in Walk The Line. He spent the next ten years making records and touring the world.
In 2016, Rice started posting haiku poems on Instagram. The haikus gained a rabid following and led to the publishing of Rice’s first Book Farewell, My Dudes: 69 Dystopian Haikus by LA’s Hat & Beard Press. It became the fastest selling book in the company’s history, buoyed by celebrities like Mandy Moore and Anne Hathaway’s “readings” of their favorite haikus on Instagram and Rice’s appearances in bookstores, comedy clubs and concert venues nationwide. W Magazine called Rice “the beat poet of the Instagram generation.”
Do you remember being an writer as a child? Do you have a specific memory of when you really knew what you wanted to do?
I always remember being interested in words and particularly the combination of words and music. I always thought of sentences in a melodic and rhythmic way. I grew up between Virginia and Scotland, and I think that made me very conscious of the different ways people speak and all the varieties of accents, slang, patois, etc. I always pretended that I was a musician, and then eventually I became the thing I was pretending to be. I loved the musicians who took daring risks with their lyrics: Shane MacGowan, Dylan, Townes Van Zandt. Even though I’ve spent the majority of my adult life as a musician, I think at my core I’m really a writer above all other things.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
There is a feeling inside me that I come into contact with sometimes. It’is somewhat elusive. It’s not happiness or sadness or something I can even fully describe. When I am inspired, I am in contact with that feeling and everything feels right. I felt it when I was a child, and I can still feel it now. I don’t know what it is. Do you?
Tell us about your writing process. In terms of creative work–is time spent working more spontaneous or do find that it is regimented like a job?
It’s both. Sometimes the best writing is very spontaneous and comes from an unconscious place. However, some ideas are meant to be explored beyond that initial flash of inspiration and chased around until one can fully understand and possess them. It’s a somewhat mystical thing, and I think that’s why so many artists are superstitious. Bad writing is also very important. You gotta write some real garbage sometimes.
You are very successful in a wide variety of mediums including music and film. What is your favorite and why? Or do they each serve important elements of your life?
I don’t have a favorite. I consider whatever medium I’m working in to be part of the same body of work. I feel very lucky to have experienced so many different modes of expression.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“To live outside the law you must be honest”
Any upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
I have a new record called The Long Game that’s coming out this summer. I’m very proud of it.
Obligatory Red Cap question: favorite drink?
Gin and Tonic.
Red Cap is entering into 2019 with a new look and a fresh perspective! Today, we are very excited to welcome three new creative artists into our collection. Along with a talented illustrator and designer, Daren Magee, Red Cap also welcomes two brilliant poets and artists of the written word, Johnathan Rice and Jacqueline Suskin. Our goal as a company is to continually strive toward innovation within creative expression. These collections will be showcased at this weekend’s NY NOW 2019 tradeshow at the Crow & Canary Booth, #7614. If you will be in town, definitely stop by to see these new gorgeous cards! See below for photos and definitely click over to our shop to see all three new collections. We love and are thankful for all of you! Keep the love flowing!
Johnathan Rice is a modern-day troubadour and brilliant poet of words, music, and art. His highly-anticipated and genius collection is poignant and astute, with a twist of magnificent snark! His words keep us laughing, delighting in the absurdity of the real world, with an unfettered truth that reflects ourselves back at us.
Daren Magee is a visionary illustrator and designer from Ojai. A master of blending the natural with the supernatural, Daren creates thought-provoking work that inspires us to become closer together as humans and, in turn, connects us to a higher consciousness. His work infuses design with text to create a contemplative, thoughtful perspective that we are so excited to share.
Jacqueline Suskin is an award-winning poet, a dancer, a healer, and a woman connected with herself and the world around her. We are honored to release her collection of poems that offer us the inspiration to take a moment of pause to read, reflect, and read again. Her thoughtful and powerful words have the ability to inspire us, while grounding us in who we are, and who we could become.
We are so proud to help share this fabulous news from a long-time member of our Red Cap Cards family. Christian Robinson, award-winning illustrator of many books (Rain!, School’s First Day of School, Last Stop on Market Street, Gaston, and so many more…) is now debuting the cover and release date of his first solo picture book project: Another from Atheneum Books!!
Debuting on March 5th, 2019 — mark your calendars! — Another tells a story of perspective through wordless illustration. In “Alice-in-Wonderland” form, a little girl follows her kitty down a hole into a magical world all her own. And in a fun twist, you may find yourself holding the book upside-down and twisting it all around!
‘”When I think about stories that I gravitated toward as a child, I think of narratives that take you on adventures to other worlds, places in which anything is possible,” Robinson said in a promotional letter he wrote for the book addressed ‘Dear Observers,’ which he says “feels like the most accurate name for someone viewing a wordless book.”‘ (Publisher’s Weekly)
We absolutely can’t wait to get our hands on a copy and are delighted to see another creative project from such a wonderful human and artist. Hurry up, March 5th! We love you, Christian!
See below for some of our favorite shots of Christian’s work for Red Cap:
Today: two amazing honors/projects that we recently learned about and are so excited to share! Two of our artists: Becca Stadtlander and Bodil Jane have announced some amazing news on their Instagrams, and we couldn’t wait to hop on this blog and shout it from the rooftops!
First up, Red Cap artist, Becca Stadtlander has won the Golden Kite Award for her illustration work in the picture book, Made By Hand: A Crafts Sampler, written by Carole Lexa Schaefer–“A beautiful, one-of-a-kind volume invites readers to marvel at the time, effort, and care that went into creating handmade toys, tools, and treasures of the past.” –SCBWI
The Golden Kites are the first children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. The awards recognize excellence in children’s literature in six categories: Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction for Younger Readers, Non-Fiction for Older Readers, Picture Book Illustration, and Picture Book Text.
Congratulations, Becca!! We love you!
Next up, Red Cap Cards artist Bodil Jane is gearing up for a fantastic event at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, coming up on January 25th, 2019. Bodil created the gorgeous illustration (above) inspired by the collection of the Van Gogh Museum and Van Gogh’s obsession with Japan. During the event, ‘Vincent on Friday & Bodil Jane’, you can win the signed print and enjoy music and workshops that are curated by Bodil Jane.
We are dying to go, but send ourselves in spirit! Amazing work, Bodil! And if you’re in Amsterdam–make sure to make it to this gem. See below for Bodil’s statement from her Instagram:
“My illustration for @vangoghmuseum inspired by the collection and Van Gogh’s obsession with Japan 🇯🇵🌻 Japanese art was hidden from Westeners for many years. Overseas trade only got underway when Japan was opened up to the world in 1859. Oriental art and household goods flooded into Europe. Vincent actually never went to Japan, but he was in love with Japanese print making. It was one of his main sources of inspiration and he became an enthusiastic collector. Nowadays Vincent’s work is famous around the world and also in Japan. My illustration is an ode to his work and depicts a Van Gogh collector in Japan. You can win this print with the drawing competition on 25 January 2019 in the museum. More info in my previous post or link in bio (Dutch). Hopefully the print will be available in my online shop later! ✨#vangoghmuseum #vincentopvrijdag”
How much do we adore Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson? Oh so very very much. And even though it didn’t even seem possible, we think we might love him even more because of his new collaborative project called, Coloring Without Borders.
This new bilingual coloring and activity book was created by 80+ artists, including Robinson, to help the immigrant families who have been separated at the Mexico-USA border. Not only is the work within the book amazing and inclusive, but it also seeks to fund Families Belong Together, which includes nearly 250 organizations representing Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight family separation and promote dignity, unity, and compassion for all children and families. Via Families Belong Together: [Coloring Without Borders is] a collaborative coloring book created to benefit our work to permanently end family separation and detention, seek accountability for the harm that’s been done, and to immediately reunite all families that have been torn apart.
Video courtesy of Christian Robison
A beautiful quote from the interview by Christian Robinson to NPR: “I know, for me, personally, that it’s important to reflect the times that we live in — to put a mirror to it. It’s almost like I couldn’t create without taking into account all the things that are happening around me.”
We love you Christian, thank you for your meaningful, thoughtful, and loving work. #keeptheloveflowing
It’s just the third day into this sparkling new year of 2019. Have you made resolutions? Spoiled them already? Don’t work too hard, because the new year is all about perspective, and we’ll give you ours: focusing on love and kindness will get you just about anywhere you want to go.
In the spirit of baby 2019, we put together some fun facts about the New Year to keep things light as you ease your way back into real life. So grab some leftover champagne, and take a look below. Happy New Year!
1. The first recorded New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years to Babylon, when the first moon after the spring equinox marked a new year.
2. The modern tradition of partying in Times Square for New year’s started as a 1904 celebration for the opening of the New York Times building! Over 200,000 people attended.
3. Black eyed peas, ham, and cabbage are considered good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Eve or Day. The fattiness of pork symbolizes wealth and the peas are believed to bring good fortune because they swell when cooked.
4. January is named after Janus, the god with two faces. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is depicted as one looking forward and one looking backward. He is the god of beginnings, transitions, gates, doors, passages, and endings.
5. The tradition to kiss a person comes from old English and German folklore: the first person you came across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months.
6. To ensure a year of good luck, firecrackers and noisemakers became tradition in order to scare away evil spirits and protect prosperity in the new year.
7. Americans drink about 360 million glasses of sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
8. Speaking of Americans, the top New Year’s resolution in 2018 (and almost every year) is to eat better and exercise more—topping the list at 37% those polled in 2018.
9. 2,000 pounds of confetti are dropped on the crowd in Times Square at midnight.
10. Robert Burns took an older Scottish folk song called “Old Long Syne” and rewrote it in 1788, which became the New Year song we all know today. Auld Lang Syne means “times long past.”
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from all of us at Red Cap Cards. And Andie’s Alice too! Keep the love flowing into 2019…
Fa-la-la-la-la! 2018 is almost over, but there’s still just a few more days of of gift-giving, merry-making, and hall-decking to go. The holiday season gets us so excited, especially when we get to see what such creative hearts and minds are doing with our special gift wrap and gift bags! Check out some of the gorgeous packages below, with a few fun ones from our archive thrown in there as well. Thank you all for including us in your festivities and special occasions. We can feel the love all around us! #keeptheloveflowing
Time to take a look at one of our favorite Red Cap cards through the “real-life” lens! Our Life In posts are some of the most fun to play with and this one was just as sweet. Kitty Carols by Christian Robinson for Red Cap cards has been making holiday smiles for years, and today is no different. Check out the fun we had below!
• A sweet, mid-century piano stool, but you’ll have to custom cover this one with that blue pin stripe!
• An upright piano, of course!
• A vintage, holiday piano song book.
Ho Ho Ho! It’s time for another Arlo’s Book Club: The Holiday Edition! And don’t forget that you can always look back to some of Arlo’s holiday picks from 2015, 2016 and 2017, for some awesome holiday cozy-up-with-a-book ideas. This year, we are feeling jolly and have some fantastic holiday picture books that we can’t wait to share with you. Grab a blanket and a friend and let’s snuggle up!
The Gingerbread Man
by Bonnie and Bill Rutherford
Whitman Publishing Company, 1963
This classic cookie tale by powerhouse illustration couple, Bonnie and Bill Rutherford, teaches an important lesson: never trust a fox. Delicious freedom is everything to the gingerbread man…until he meets a violent end! If that’s supposed to teach us something, we’re decidedly ignoring it! So, pull out those cookie cutters and get your baking on after reading this one, and pay extra special attention to those intricate, colorful, vintage illustrations. Those endpapers! Plus, it has been rereleased by Golden Book, a classic for a new generation.
Josie and The Snow
By Helen E. Buckley, Illustrations by Evaline Ness
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Inc, 1966
The color palette of this book takes the cake! Stylized tones of pink, orange, aqua, lavender and grey make the aesthetic of Josie and the Snow super-special and a standout pick. We follow Josie as looks for an outdoor playmate (all of the animals are a no-go) and then as she explores the wintry outdoors, feeding birds, sliding down hills and making snowmen. A mid-century delight!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
By Tim Burton
Disney Press, 2013
Most probably know the story of Tim Burton’s, The Nightmare Before Christmas, but some smaller kids may be able to handle the picture book version a bit earlier than the film. Jack the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town sets out to “steal” Christmas (he means well), with disastrous results–don’t worry, Santa “Claws” come to the rescue. A creepy, silly, and brilliant story. Readers will recognize the whispy illustration style of Tim Burton.
Red and Lulu
By Matt Tavares
Two tiny winter cardinals are separated when their tree is chopped down to be the official Christmas Tree in Times Square. The birds are separated and it takes a Christmas miracle to reunite them again. Gorgeous, peaceful illustration that offsets the tension of the story. A celebration of New York City, love, and the spirit of the season.
Another Night Before Christmas
By Carol Ann Duffy, Illustration by Marc Boutavant
A new version for the ages! Former poet laureate to Britain, Carol Ann Duffy, writes a follow-up to “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore (1822) with fun and vibrant illustration by Marc Boutavant of Mouk fame! This time, the story is told from the perspective of a little girl, and can be found in a version illustrated by Rob Ryan.
It’s our favorite time of year again! Candles are glowing, ornaments are being hung, and hot cocoa is on the menu once again (extra marshmallows, please!). The holidays are the best time to find the some of the coziest illustration and art work, created by our Red Cap artists, or any number of the other amazingly talented artists out there.
We had so much fun going through the latest work in honor of the holidays, and even picked out a few pieces from years past for our collection of holly jolly illustration on the blog today. Take a look below and enjoy! Also, keep your eyes peeled, we are sure there will be more holiday inspiration to be admired in the coming weeks! Fa-la-la-la-la!
Let’s sing a song of cheer again–holidays are here again! Can you tell that we adore the holidays over here at Red Cap Cards?? We’ve been checking out what some of our talented artists have been up to on Instagram, and you won’t want to miss what they are cooking up in the gift department–something perfect for so many friends on your list! See below for the goods, and let us know if you need our address…no, really…TELL US.
This month we have been sharing a look into our 2019 line up! Thers’s nothing we enjoy more than giving you a beautifully-wrapped Red Cap box of wonderful, filled with a new artist’s vision, energy and talent. Today we are excited to introduce to you another cosmic illustrator/designer coming to RCC this January.
Daren Magee joins the Red Cap family from Ojai, California, and is a master of blending the natural with the super natural. We love what Daren says about his art: “The aim of my work is to speak to the space between imagination and reality, my hope is to leave you to float off in that liminal space into someplace entirely new.” His art work is light yet mysterious and captures a supernatural, California vibe, unique just to him. We can’t wait to show you more, but for now, see below and enjoy. More coming soon!!
A modern day troubadour : Johnathan Rice is not only a talented singer and songwriter, he’s also an actor, artist and amazing poet. His haikus (found on his Instagram, Twitter and in his new book, Farewell My Dudes: 69 Dystopian Haikus) are witty, poignant and socially relevant.
We are so excited to be working on a collection of cards featuring his work. Coming so soon! To keep you eager, see a few pieces below and make sure to follow up on his site. Enjoy!
We are absolutely delighted to introduce a new, upcoming Red Cap artist to you. A bit different from our usual artists, Jacqueline Suskin is an artist of words. A poet. A feeler. A healer. A woman connected with herself. And through her words, she offers us the inspiration to take a moment of pause. Her point of view is rich and fluid, and we can’t wait to share more with you.
An author of three books, The Collected (2010), Go Ahead & Like It (2014) and The Edge of The Continent Volume One (2018), Jacqueline has also been featured in some of the greats, such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, Man Repeller and more. Her accolades are so impressive, including an honor by Michelle Obama at the White House for her work as a Turnaround Artist! She is known for her therapeutic poetry compositions on her manual typewriter (see below) which she composes on the spot for patrons. “A guest sits down with Jacqueline and names a subject that they would like their poem to be about, and in less than two minutes she types up a unique verse and reads it aloud” (jacquelinesuskin.com).
Pumpkins anyone? If you’re itching to do a fun seasonal craft with your kids–or completely by yourself sipping a pumpkin spice latté, because that just darn-well makes you feel awesome–then this one is for you! Make one or a million of these all-fold, tiny little pumpkins to string up as decoration or as gift tags, or to give to friends at school, and more! Want to make them just like ours? We used Red Cap gift wrap by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, Krista Perry, and Dinara Mirtalipova.
You’ll need some washi tape and a square piece of paper. Follow the picture instructions below, and happy folding!
What’s going on, Instagram?? It’s been a while since we’ve caught up with a few of our favorite artists over there. If you’re not currently following these Red Cap collaborators, make sure to get on that by following the links below. We are lucky enough to get some super sneak peeks of anything from art work to studio spaces, every day radness, plus new projects–we’re hooked. It’s fun to feel like we get an insider look before anyone else! Click on the links below to be taken to their Instagram feeds, and amazing work, everyone!!
804 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Even more exciting news! A Big Important Art Book: Now With Women!, curated by Danielle Krysa, aka The Jealous Curator also includes work by Seonna Hong. “Stories and work by 45 contemporary artists, 30 historical artists, 15 projects for the artists of the future…” Catch Seonna and Danielle in an art talk at Hashimoto Contemporary on Saturday, October 20. Oh how we wish we could be there!! You are amazing, Seonna! We can’t wait to see more of your show.
See more of Seonna’s beautiful work, here.
We are enamored with anything that Red Cap Cards artist, Jon Klassen, touches–including his magnificent picture books. Our story with Jon begins with those amazing party animals and continues to grow. Recently, Jon bestowed some of his process in a post on the Picturebook Makers blog (you could get lost here for days), about the burgeoning of his famous characters and how they came to be. Here’s a sneak peek:
“Around this same time I was asked to make some greeting cards for a company called Red Cap Cards, and I sent them some sketches of chairs and inanimate objects and they wrote back asking if I might try my hand at something a little more engaging, like some characters. I argued that I didn’t really do that, but they were (and are) friends and they were comfortable enough to come back and ask again. What I eventually sent them was a series of animals wearing birthday hats and holding balloons, but their faces and poses made them look, to me, like they had no idea what a birthday was and didn’t really care. I was excited by this approach. It made me laugh, and it got me off the hook. I wasn’t creating a character when I drew them; I was borrowing them for a minute to put them on this card, like a photographer who gets someone to pose for them and this is the best they could get.”
For the full perspective and even more behind-the-scenes details, illustrations, and spreads, head over to the Picturebook Makers blog to read the entire post. And don’t forget to check out all of Jon’s work for Red Cap Card here.
Thanks for all of the incredible insight and inspiration, Jon!
Photos courtesy Emily Isabella
It’s back-to-school time! Are you ready? We’re here for you with fifteen beautiful styles of notebooks in our collection by Red Cap artists, Becca Stadtlander, Yelena Bryksenkova, Kelsey Garrity-Riley, Anna Emilia Laitinen, Dinara Mirtalipova, Carolyn Gavin and Kate Pugsley. They’re all ready to be scribbled on and doodled in and written on and signed.
Want to make the most of your notebook? Cut down on pages used with good old shorthand. Do you remember doing this in school? I’ve completely deleted all of these lessons from my memory, so we’re in this together! Here’s a great common word guide to get us started:
Want some more back-to-school fun? Here’s a list of stuff to get you excited:
• Got nervous first-timers? Check out this heart-felt book, School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex with illustrations by our own Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson. Read more about it here, on Arlo’s Book Club, along with a bunch of other wonderful back-to-school books.
• Shorthand will never die. Here’s a great article from The Atlantic about the lost technology of shorthand: “How to Write 225 Words Per Minute With a Pen.“
• And while we’re at it, don’t forget about THIS amazing Shorthand, right here in Los Angeles.
Happy back-to-school, everyone!!
We’ve always loved the elegant touch of a lined envelope, and now we have found a way for you to create your very own if you’d like to experiment with papers and cards and a teeny, tiny bit of crafting along the way.
Step One: With your freshly printed and cut-out template (I used a cardstock version so it would be more visible), trace around the edges of the template onto your sheet of gift wrap with a pencil. Don’t forget to line the desired pattern up just right!
Step Two: Cut out the traced liner, along the interior of the pencil line.
Step Three: On the back-side of the liner, carefully line only the top edge of the liner with double-sided tape. Take care to get that tape all the way across the top, and flush with the edge of the paper. Snip off any excess tape.
Step Four: Gently guide the liner into the envelope and adhere the taped edge just below the gluey envelope edge.
Step Five: Fold the envelope flap down, allowing the paper to move organically into place, to create a nice, clean fold line and voila–it’s complete! Write a loving message and send that card out into the world!! #keeptheloveflowing
It’s impossible to keep up with the amazing things that our artists are working on. They turn such amazing work around so quickly, that it’s a wonderful struggle to keep up and follow along on Instagram!
Below is a fraction of the fabulous creativity that they have been sharing, to say the least. To see even more, click over to each artist’s page and connect via their websites for some fabulous and inspiring finds. Thank you all for being such amazing inspirations! Keep it up!
The warmest welcome to the newest artist in our Red Cap Cards family, Emily Isabella!! We are so excited to be releasing her debut collection at NY NOW this week, at the Crow & Canary Booth #7614. Emily lives in the Hudson Valley, just north of NYC, where her rural surroundings inform much of her work. Her favorite things include perusing flea markets, making friends with wildflowers and traveling to new places both near and far. Her sketchbook is always in tow, just in case she finds a bug that needs its portrait painted or an interior that has a story to share.
Be sure to head over to her artist page to learn more about her and view the entire amazing collection or view our August brochure here. Also, stay tuned in a few weeks for her Artist Spotlight interview, when we get to chat with Emily about her life, process, and inspirations. (I can’t wait to hear the story behind my new favorite card.)
If you’re in New York this week, catch Carrie & Hal hanging out at the show and say hi!! They can’t wait to meet you!
Recently, Forbes magazine published an op-ed by economist, Panos Mourdoukoutas, about why we should do away with public libraries as we know them, and replace them with Amazon Bookstores. You heard me correctly! The article detailed the taxes levied toward keeping public libraries afloat, and the opinion that libraries “don’t have the same value they used to.” All of the services provided by libraries (according to Mourdoukoutas) have been replaced: community and wifi are now provided by Starbucks; video rentals by Netflix and Amazon Prime; and books by Amazon.
Needless to say, the article has since been redacted by Forbes, with apologetic comment: “Forbes advocates spirited dialogue on a range of topics, including those that often take a contrarian view,” a Forbes spokesperson says in a statement. “Libraries play an important role in our society. This article was outside of this contributor’s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed.”
Regardless of the disastrous article and subsequent backpedaling by Forbes, the article did it’s due-diligence in getting people talking about libraries again. What are they, why are they? Are they important. The answer, it seemed, was a very loud YES from across the internet and country.
Here is what a library means to us:
• Fosters a love of reading, education, and art in children and adults.
• Provides access to a world of art and illustration materials that teach as well as entertain
• Gives free access to media materials, internet and computers for all citizens regardless of class and pay grade.
• Offers jam-packed programming schedules with classes such as ESL, citizenship, writing, cooking, and more.
• Offers free tickets to museums, zoos, aquariums and other experiences
• Schedules after-school programs for kids and teens
• Archives genealogy and historical materials.
• Acts as a community safe haven for those in need.
• and so, so much more.
In 2016, one of our own beloved artists, Christian Robinson, partnered with the San Francisco Public library and Chronicle Books for a program called “Summer Stride.” Check out that awesome swag (below)!! The program “encouraged all ages and abilities to have fun reading and learning” during the summer. Here are some amazing images from that program:
This summer, the program is up and running again, this time with work by Shawn Harris. Check out their awesome video, and “stop by a neighborhood library and check out books, comics, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music and more. Plus, choose from more than 800 programs (all free!) to deepen reading enjoyment, spark STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) passions and learn through active, outside exploration.”
We love you, libraries. Don’t ever change…unless you want to start offering free coffee and drinks too. We’re good with that.
And sidenote: if you need ideas, you can check out my handy-dandy hashtag on Instagram: #overduelibrarybookoftheweek for the best books that I’m going to end up paying $0.25 a day for.
Don’t worry, kids! (And sorry, parents.) There is still a whole month until school starts–if you’re lucky that is. That means that summer reading is in full swing, and if you’re about to head out on your family vaca to the Grand Canyon, make sure you’ve packed some of these to get those minds molding in the back seat. The theme for this edition of Arlo’s Book Club is “What Was Old is New Again”… re-releases of old treasuries, a new spin on an old tale, or a new depiction of a classic story. We’ve chosen some new and old favorites to inspire some page-turning, so check them out below and enjoy! Happy Summer!
Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strips – Book One
by Tove Jansson
Drawn & Quarterly, 2006
If you’ve been a long-time reader of our blog (check out our 2014 Scandinavian Dreams post), or a classic illustration enthusiast, you may know a lot about the late Tove Jansson. Jansson was a Finland native, responsible for creating the wildly popular The Moomins in the early 1940s. The Moomins appeal to young and old alike, with simplistic yet deliberate drawings paired with satirical and witty comedy, these characters and comics continue to stand the test of time. Don’t forget to check out another recently re-released classic by Jansson about a Moomin named Susanna who is bored with her life in The Dangerous Journey (April, 2018).
Over the Ocean
by Taro Gomi
Chronicle Books, 2016
For the younger set, Taro Gomi is a must to pack into any suitcase. The bright and unmistakeable illustration is enough to keep this on the bookshelf for life! Originally published in Japan in 1979, Over the Ocean or Umi no Mukô wa depicts the visions of a young girl standing at the seashore and thinking about the worlds she is connected to via the ocean. A beautiful and timeless treasure that we are so glad Chronicle Books picked up!
A Werewolf Named Oliver James
by Nicholas John Frith
Alison Green Books, 2017
Written and illustrated by our own Red Cap Cards artist, Nicholas John Frith, A Werewolf Named Oliver James is finally available in the USA after it’s original UK publishing in 2017. The protagonist in this twist on a timeless, spooky tale, Oliver James, unexpectedly turns into a werewolf while traveling home from school. A possible metaphor for more relatable social quirk, Oliver’s “werewolfness” is a source of anxiety for him, until he finds his way back to his loving family where he completely and utterly belongs.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne with new illustration by Oliver Jeffers
Knopf Books for Young Readers, reissue 2016
The Holocaust novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, was originally published in 2006, and focuses on a 9-year old boy named Bruno who develops a relationship through a barbed wire fence with another young boy, Shmuel, while Shmuel is imprisoned in a concentration camp. Recently, the novel was released with new illustration by world-renowned illustrator and artist, Oliver Jeffers. The heft of the story is balanced by the thoughtfulness of Jeffers’ illustration, and creates a heartbreakingly lovely new work for a younger generation to enjoy and experience.
No, we really can’t get enough of all of the awesome work our artists are doing lately. In-progress videos, photo series and sketchbook shots thrill us, to say the least. What we love most about sharing the process of art-making and illustration is that inspiration can be fluid, and social media allows that to be shareable. Watching something like the beautiful in-progress video of Carolyn Gavin creating our “Happy Wedding Flowers” card (below) or seeing a start-to-finish portrait by Priscilla Weidlein (below) can help us all learn how to be better artists, and offer motivation and community in the process. After the fun we had two weeks ago, we gathered a view more to inspire. Have fun, make art, and keep the love flowing.
Love the caption to this photo by Anna Emilia Laitinen. Inspiration flows everywhere. Even to telemarketers:
”Hello! Do you have a few minutes?”
“Well, actually I am working.”
“Ok. Are you in an office?”
“Oh, not really.”
“Do you work at home?”
“Oh, not really. I am behind my house by a lake sitting on a dock…”
“Oh my, did I just hear a fish jumping in the lake…?!”
“Oh yes, there are plenty of fish in this lake. Just the night before last night I saw an otter swimming by, we were staring to each other’s eyes for a moment.”
“Oh. Is that wind in the reed…?!”
“Yes, wait, I give you some sounds of the waves in the lake…”
“I have seen a beaver, a swan couple that always returns here but cannot have babies, and many other birds too. A fox is living here too and just the last days the dragonflies started to fly and glimmer in the sunshine. A butterfly just sat on my finger.”
“But unfortunately you cannot swim in this lake because it is poisoned by some garbage.”
“Oh, I am sorry. We should take better care of the nature and not consume so much. Actually I was going to sell you something, but I do not want to anymore. After my work shift is finished I was thinking to watch a movie at home but now I think instead I should go for a walk to a forest or by a lake.”
We are in the middle of the dog days of summer, and I don’t know about all the kids out there, but we are in need of a hot weather pick-me-up. Enter: The Show With No Name, aka The Lauren and Arlo Show! Keeping it weird on YouTube, the super talented and hilarious Lauren Duarte has teamed up with kidboss extraordinaire, Arlo Mertz, to make a silly show to inspire fun! And check out that dollhouse by Duarte Dollhouses with Red Cap wallpaper by Danielle Kroll! They’re aiming for 1 million subscribers, so let’s get on this, folks! Make sure you stay tuned to hear Arlo’s amazing (and eerily accurate) horse ‘neighs’ and dollhouse fun. Follow the show on Instagram for news on new episodes and happy photos, and watch the full episode below:
Need some more summer fun? Check out these two other fun things to keep you and the kiddos busy during the hot hot heat:
Have you had a chance to check out Bravery Magazine yet? Started by pals Elyse and Ashley, Bravery focuses on highlighting positive–and brave!–role models for young girls. Gorgeous illustration (yes, that’s Red Cap Cards artist Bodil Jane’s work on the cover!) coupled with powerful stories and ideas empower young children to find the bravery inside themselves. You won’t regret this one, its a must for summer reading!
Need more dollhouse fun? This one is a super-fun book to get those little minds thinking creatively: Treasure Hunt House by Kate Davies and Red Cap’s Becca Stadtlander! Releasing August 2nd, Treasure Hunt House is an interactive children’s book about two children who receive an invitation from their great-aunt Martha to visit her incredible house. From there, they set out on a treasure hunt to solve as they explore the rooms! Readers can lift flaps and solve the riddles on every page as they join them on their treasure hunt, learning about famous historical and cultural objects. We can’t WAIT to get our hands on this one.