Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

You might be a magazine junkie if...

If you check the reference book shelf in my art room (don't know why I can't call it a studio, but I can't), you might notice that about half of the books are actually magazines.  I'm very fond of magazines.  I always have been.  I remember trying to make one of my own when I was about three, showing my dad my pages of squiggles interspersed with words, and carefully drawn pictures.  I think I set the idea aside when he suggested that perhaps I needed to increase my written vocabulary a bit before it went to press.

Perusing my art room bookshelf, you will notice about six different publications dominate, and most issues have multiple bookmarks sticking out.  Magazines are still my favorite reference material for inspiration when I'm designing new projects. 

Of course, as much as I love magazines, I don't keep them all.  This basket, tucked under one of the work tables in the room-formerly-known-as-the-dining-room, holds a stash meant for art journaling and collage projects.  When it overflows, friends are pressured to take armloads, as it is only as a last resort that I relegate magazines to the recycling bin, cut and slashed though they may be.

Some magazines, like Old -House Interiors and Family Handyman, I adore, but with a stash of three or four years each, I have all the (great even for beginners) carpentry and American architecture reference I'll ever use, so I don't subscribe anymore.  Threads is geared to people who have far more patience with the minute details of couture sewing than I will ever have or need, so I just keep a few old issues with projects I can fake, should I one day decide to upgrade my wardrobe to something flashier than paint rags.  The charming Home Companion, of which I have nearly every issue, is sadly no longer published.

My reference shelves hold a couple of years of old issues of these publications.  I especially find myself drawn to those 100 Ideas sorts of magazines, though in recent years I have noticed that quite often, a photo will have been recycled more than a few times.  I know this.  I have the first two editions wherein the photo was featured, and tear sheets pulled from other editions in my morgue files.  I expect compilation editions to be made up of re-runs, but really, there are episodes of Friends that have been recycled fewer times than some of these articles.

These are the ones that come in my mail box, these days.  House Beautiful consistently relates to the homes of most of my clients, Better Homes and Gardens gives me a steady overview of what's currently popular, since I had to break my addiction to decorating shows a few years ago, by cancelling cable service.  Eating Well and Nutrition Action are my foodie/health nut parents' annual Christmas gift.  I especially like Nutrition Action, which investigates the science behind the "science" that advertisers tout, and explains it in normal people words.  If you want to understand food (and the staggering amount of unfood out there), click here:  cspinet.org.
These gorgeous publications are just a few of those put out by Somerset Studio.  They are pricey, at around $15 an issue on the newsstand, but they are full of great content, full-color photos on every page, and very little advertising.  They deserve to be on any book shelf.

I love magazines so much that a few years back, when I had a little "occasional shop" called Nest Feathers, which was open one long weekend a month, the idea was to create "a magazine come to life", so the posters that advertised it were designed to look like a magazine cover.  The print version had some hand lettered detail, but this is the version that ran on the blog.  Alas, as much as I love beautiful little shops, actually tending one, like actually being a caterer, was a fun experiment, but not my dream career.

Here's what I do with some of the clippings that I pull from magazines.  This is an idea book/visual journal.  I've been doing them since I was still of napping age, which might explain both my magazine addiction, and the aforementioned magazine venture.  This page was done about a month ago, when after three straight weeks of twelve hour work days, I finally took a day off, and spent it in my pajamas, cutting, pasting, and ignoring the world outside.  Why do I do this?  To clarify preferences, save favorite snippets for future reference, and to gather inspiration and ideas...
Okay, so you know I'm addicted to magazines.  You know I love to write.  You know I have a book about Belle Ami (this quirky old house) in progress, and if you really read this blog, you know that I am co-authoring and illustrating a series of lifestyle books with my friend Cat Isles.  Well, one of our problems with the book series is that there are so many topics we will eventually cover.  That's it.  Eventually is the problem.

We can't write, illustrate and promote them all at once, and we don't want to wait several years on any of the topics.  The process of compiling the journal page shown above triggered an "Aha!" moment.  Outlined in brown at the bottom of that journal page are three niche market magazines, published quarterly, available mainly by subscription, and successful enough to be featured in an article by a major national magazine.  Last week at our author's meeting, I showed these to Cat. 

This week at our author's meeting, Cat presented me with magazine production costs, corporation and tax info, website particulars, and her list of departments and names.  I presented her with a mast head design, style samples, my list of departments and names, marketing strategies, and a couple of possible articles.

The first issue of 365 Being will be rolling off the presses in late August...!!!!!! 

Is it a little early to share this?  Maybe, but Cat gave her consent, and since this is all I can think about now, what else was I going to blog about?  Besides, early subscribers will get great deals, so remember I post Monday and Thursday nights, and you'll be the first to get the scoop, as details unfold.

If you wondered about the unusual background to most of the photos, that would be the upholstery, piled on the work table, waiting to be attached to a settee I built and painted, and which I promised to deliver tomorrow morning.  It's now ten p.m., here in the Midwest, so good thing I'm not only a magazine junkie, but a deadline junkie as well!  I'll post photos of that sweet little piece on Thursday.

You are invited to leave comments below, or email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.


Anonymous said...

I don't know what words to use, but "Wonderful" comes to mind - congratulations to you and Cat! And I hope surprisingly the project tonight will all of a sudden be done. Where are Cinderella's mice when you need them?! Kit

Dawn-Marie deLara, Artist in Wonderland said...

Thanks, Kit! I'm always so pleased to not have mice, but mighta been nice tonight. Will fuss with the skirt in the morning.

Maureen Carlson said...

wooooooo hoooooooo. perfect. can I be your first subscriber? or am I already too late ......

Dawn-Marie deLara, Artist in Wonderland said...

Maureen, unless Cat has given the honor to someone else already, I'll put you at the top of the list! Thanks. We'll be featuring you,of course!