The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

September 17, 2016
by Dan
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New Lines

A new comic from Grant Snider.

September 19, 2014
by Dan
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Self Initiated: Stanley Chow

Like their first film about illustrator and typographer Daren Newman, the second short in the ‘Self Initiated’ series by the folks from Manchester-based Daylight is about a local talent. Even if you don’t immediately recognize Stanley Chow‘s name, you will … Continue reading

September 18, 2014
by Dan
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Mac Barnett: Why a good book is a secret door

I’m all about the charming videos today… In this recent TED Talk, Mac Barnett, award-winning author of Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Extra Yarn, Telephone and the forthcoming Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, talks about childhood and making stories … Continue reading

June 24, 2014
by Dan
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Michael Bierut — The Creative Influence

In this new short film for The Creative Influence documentary series, designer Michael Bierut talks about his mentor Massimo Vignelli, what makes an enduring logo, and how the internet has changed the way we work:

June 10, 2014
by Dan
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Like Knows Like: James Victore

In a new video for Like Knows Like, Brooklyn-based designer and educator James Victore opens up about his life and work:   And if you like the cut of Mr. Victore’s jib, he also has a YouTube series called Burning Questions (and a book). … Continue reading

May 26, 2014
by Dan
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Self Initiated: Daren Newman

Self Initiated is a lovely and inspiring short film about the seemingly very down-to-earth designer, illustrator and typographer Daren Newman: (via Quipsologies)

March 1, 2014
by Dan
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The Three Rays by Grant Snider

Grant Snider’s latest comic for the New York Times Book Review.

December 24, 2013
by Dan
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David Byrne on Creativity and Constraints

David Byrne talks about music, technology and his recent book How Music Works (now out in paperback), at Salon: I’m not saying that the artist doesn’t put their feelings into it, or any part of their biography, but that there’s a lot of … Continue reading

October 1, 2013
by Dan
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Steve Albini: Aspire to Great Things

(This has been doing the rounds, but it is kind of great…) Letters of Note has published the letter Steve Albini sent to the band Nirvana, prior to recording their final album In Utero, laying out his methodology: I like … Continue reading

March 21, 2013
by Dan
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Distortion is Character

Brian Eno talks about art, music and his creative process in this video for Alfred Dunhill: (via David Pearson on Twitter)

November 14, 2012
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Look Closer — Adrian Tomine talks about moving to New York, and his new book of drawings with The New Yorker: I’m not one of those artists with an incredible imagination who can just make things up out of nothing, and I’m … Continue reading

November 5, 2012
by Dan
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Jamie Hewlett

A beautifully shot interview with British illustrator Jamie Hewlett: It would be lovely to see Hewlett — co-creator of Tank Girl and Gorillaz (if you must) — draw some new full-length comics again. (via Coudal)

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