1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

Inspiring books for the creative type


Steven Heller

Steven Heller, the well-known designer, art director and author of many books on graphic design, illustration and typography (and a very good book on Paul Rand) has launched his own web site: I think it is remarkable for some podcasts of his lectures for the School of Visual Arts and other institutions and events.
Check out his lecture about the sixties in design, well documented and attractive, available as a quicktime movie.
One funny detail that I had already read in Milton Glaser’s Graphic design is the fact that the illustrations of this period by Glaser are often regarded as quintessential psychedelic imagery, but the strongest motivation for his style of clear line drawings filled in flat colours was saving time and effort at a moment when they were getting many commissions. The other pillar of the Push Pin Studio at the time, Seymour Chwast, also adopted a similar style, much simpler than his more time-consuming and richly textured woodcuts.


Nils Burwitz

A recently updated website shows the work of the german artist Nils Burwitz. Nils is a dear friend whom I’ve helped in designing and developing this project. When you visit Burwitz-art.com you’ll discover a complete retrospective with many examples of this paintings, drawings, graphic portfolios and bibliophile editions, sculptures and installations, and more.
Watercolours are especially significant in Nils’ oeuvre, particularly the long (over 400) series of large watercolours called Marina’s terraces. In the words of the renowned critic Edward Lucie-Smith:

One of the most impressive products of these years has, however, been an ongoing series of watercolour drawings entitled 'Terraces for Marina'. These, all in the same format, are based on the form of the terraces at Valldemossa, and are provided with long inscriptions in a choice of four languages - German, English, Spanish and Mallorcan - all commonly spoken in the Burwitz household. The images illustrate his love for the town itself, and for surrounding nature. They also offer a commentary on larger events. One drawing, for example, was inspired by the events of 11th September 2001, and is one of the very few viable works of art that I know of that have been inspired by that terrible eventI love these drawings, not simply for their seamless combination of words and images, which reminds me in some curious way, though there is no resemblance of style, of the great English poet-painter William Blake, but because they are completely unpretentious. They are the product of a man using his gift - or in this case gifts in the plural might be more appropriate, since both words and images are involved, to get on terms with the world that surrounds him, to absorb it and make something of it.
I had previously written about this fascinating series about one year ago.

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