My dad is a great finder of cool stuff. He’s a constant explorer, digging through mounds of music, books, art, cooking techniques, spices, and so on to find something new and interesting. A random drop by might find him cooking Moroccan food to Okinawan pop, or solving physics problems to Ry Cooder’s Chavez Ravine. The latest thing he shared with me was the work of Shaun Tan, an Australian illustrator whose work is powerful, beautifully detailed and wonderfully off center.
He’s got a long history of great work, but he’s new to me. As soon as I opened the first book, it blew me away. He ranges stylistically a bit, but there's a consistent synthesis of future and past, plus a loving care for details, fonts, misfits, creatures and humanity. His book The Arrival is remarkable in the way it conveys the experience of coming to a new land and culture. It's truly epic, and to think of the work it took to produce is astounding. He’s also recently released a collection of some of his shorter stories, which includes his wonderful meditation on depression/artistic struggle/life, The Red Tree.
Tan has done a great amount of sharing around his process, and there's some really honest and engaging writing about the creative process and all the failures, successes and work that come through it. I’ve excerpted some of his quotes as picture captions below, but you should really go check out his site, spend some time reading and look at some amazing pictures.
|Some of his books. First found in the library and now being converted to private ownership. As he says, |