Jillian Tamaki


Mar 31st, 2009

If you are selling a table or 1/2 table for MoCCA, lemme know.

jill (at) jilliantamaki (dot) com


Stuff Learned in Irish Museums Pt.3

Mar 31st, 2009

(the last part)

If you are in Dublin, visit the Chester Beatty Library. Chester Beatty had a very interesting life, but the short version is: Rich American makes a ton of money prospectin’, bought tons of books, manuscripts, and other printed matter from around the world, dies, bequeaths the entire collection to his adopted homeland of Ireland. The collection is a must-see for anyone remotely interested in illustration or design.

As much as beauty is subject to fashion over the ages, beauty doesn’t change that much at all.

Depicting Muhammad was actually common in Islamic art. But he had to be veiled and had a gold flaming halo around him that looks like this. It also makes him easy to pick out in a picture.

Persian miniaturists were just getting the hang of not drawing stuff in strict profile.

Engraving is not an intuitive process. It can’t really be called drawing at all. You rotated the plate on a spinning base, constantly pulling one way on the stylus. Seems frustrating.

More Learning!

Mar 30th, 2009

Sometimes the Internet is so awesome. Archaeologist HN de Jong of Bristol, UK wrote me to answer my question (musing?) about Viking toys in the last post. Namely, how can one truly make the conclusion that an object is a “toy”? HN sez,

How archaeologists decide on whether an artefact is a toy, is a complex can of worms. It’s partly because a toy could be so many things, and a large part of culture is play, or indistinguishable from play when all you have are the remains of activities.

Toys can be identified on the basis of their size (miniature adult tools) or that they are clearly made in such a way that they’re not up to the job (useless, or rather impractical); so that the child/adolescent learns by imitation of their parents (play house, etc.).

Ritual objects or tokens also fall into the category of things that can be small and may be useless, and both toys and idols have this symbolic content, as they both clearly stand for something else, and using them means something more than just using them.

In short, it’s a bit of a problem, and has a high -damned if you do damned if you don’t- quotient, because you can spend a lot of time taking iffy artefacts and researching them, to only have to conclude that they’re toys, used by children, who ultimately are practicing to be adults, i.e. not the presumed movers and shakers.

Thank-you! It warms me to think I have such interesting people reading my blog.

Stuff Learned in Irish Museums Pt.2

Mar 30th, 2009

Vikings also, ingeniously, invented the shoe sole. I guess people had been running around with single seamed leather socks before? Or, as Sam put it, “essentially, a bag on your foot”. In any event, the new improved shoes: all the better to pillage with!

Cute: Vikings made toys for their kids. Like this boat and sword. I wondered how an archaeologist could deduce that that was the exact function of these objects…

Brooches were a very popular way of pinning up one’s cloak in the middle ages. As time went on, they became more bejeweled and ornate–obviously a way to denote your wealth and fabulousness. By the end of this crazy you were probably lugging around a pound or two metal. But such is fashion.

Good design is timeless.

(National Museum of Ireland)

Stuff Learned in Irish Museums Pt.1

Mar 29th, 2009

Peat Bogs are useful for preserving things because they are an airtight anaerobic environment. Many things have been found in bogs, perfectly preserved for centuries.
Sam is a contrarian who likes to say stuff that will get a reaction from you. In this case, “I dunno, I just don’t find these bog bodies all that interesting.” Which is just patently untrue and not possible. You may be grossed out by them or scared or whatever, but it’s simply against human nature to find them UNINTERESTING. Most bog bodies were thrown in their respective bogs after they were murdered and are often found with bludgeon marks and nooses around their necks.

Many artifacts are found in HOARDS. That is, stashed booty. I found this concept completely irresistible. Imagine stumbling upon a hoard! Hoards were usually purposely buried for safekeeping or ritualistic reasons. A lot about ancient Irish people is very mysterious.

The Vikings were ruthless and kept very sharp swords.

(National Museum of Ireland)

New News

Mar 27th, 2009

Skim has been nominated for a Doug Wright Award! You can visit Mariko and me at TCAF in May. We’ll be signing stuff.

I added 3 new illustrations to my website.

(St. Patrick’s Day Fun Fair, Dublin)

Grey Day

Mar 26th, 2009

Vacation is over.

It’s grey and cloudy here… very much the opposite of Ireland, where we enjoyed 2 weeks of virtually uninterrupted blue sky days.

Above, an illustration from the current issue of The Atlantic (which I just subscribed to! Such a good mag!). Click to enlarge.

AD Melissa Bluey.

March 11-25

Mar 10th, 2009

Gon’ to Ireland.

I’ll be reachable via email, but not phone. Talk to you in a bit!


Mar 10th, 2009

Horse Head

Mar 9th, 2009