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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interview with Designer and Illustrator Risa Rodil

Back in May (where has the summer gone?), I featured some of Risa Rodil's work. I loved the playfulness and clear literary fan-girl-ness.

Seriously, her Harry Potter pattern is something I want printed on all of the things.

A 21-year-old designer, illustrator and letterer, Risa is an impressive woman who I can't wait to see more work from. She was kind enough to do a short interview with me for To Be Shelved and I'm happy to share it today.

When did you know that this world of design and illustration was where you wanted to be working?

When I was young, my original dream was to become a dentist. I’m not so artsy back then. I don’t know how to draw, I don’t carry a sketchpad with me and I struggle so much to pair up one color with another. Around 7 years ago, I found these really cool photo manipulations online and I thought to myself, “Wow it’d be so amazing to learn how to do that”. Getting my inspiration from there, I self-studied Photoshop when I was 14 and things just fell into place after that.

I enjoyed the challenge of being able to communicate with people through visual design. Of being able to convince people to watch the same shows I watch and read the same books I read, by doing designs that will make them look twice. And when these people start to notice and acknowledge the hard work you put into each piece, it feels very fulfilling. That was the time I realized that yes, this is something I’m willing to do for the rest of my life.

Keep reading...

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Thank you, Risa, for taking the time to share some of your life and work with me. I'm excited to see what's next for you!

You can see more of Risa's work on her website or her Behance portfolio. Her blog also keeps you up-to-date on where you can purchase her designs on a variety of items.

p.s. — I'm always looking for designers and illustrators to interview! If you think you or someone you know would be a good fit for To Be Shelved, email me! 


an interview with Matt Roeser, before he was a full-time cover designer

if you're looking for a book to read, try this

but first, lemme take a selfie

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Accidentally Found the Into the Wild Bus in Alaska

I really, really, really loved Alaska. I only read about 1/8 as much as I was planning to, but there was so much to see it was hard to ever bury my face in a book and take my eyes off the horizon. We spent seven days at sea and four on land, heading from Vancouver to Fairbanks.

On our third day on land, we were staying at a lodge in Denali, just inside the national park. My new vacation friend Kristi and I decided to head across the street to a brewery, except it turns out the brewery was about a 25 minute drive away, basically in the middle of nowhere.

Best decision ever. I am the new biggest fan of 49th State Brewery.

Not only did this brewery make some delicious beverages, they had a really great outdoor space with a very familiar looking bus in it.

Because it is the bus of Into the Wild fame. THAT bus. Maybe the most famous bus in literary history?

Pretty nice surprise, right? Also, surprise: I've never read or seen Into the Wild but now I think I have to or else these beautiful, golden Polaroids will make me feel like a total fraud. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Goodbye, Seattle! Hello, Vancouver and Alaska!

I was going to queue a bunch of posts before leaving for my vacation but then I decided not to. It seems like a new trend going on in the blog world right now, to just be honest about when you're not really there. And honestly, posting when I'm not available to respond to comments to Tweets, or whatever, seems kind of strange and insincere.

I did ask over on Tumblr what I should read during my break and got some great answers. Unfortunately, those books must be pretty popular and wonderful because most were unavailable at my library. Rats. Instead, I'll be taking a bundle of things to read from my own collection and two library picks: If on a winter's night a traveler  and Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatHave you read either? I'm looking forward to both quite a bit.

I also of course had to rush my Wallpaper City Guides: Vancouver copy through Prime because I called like nine local bookstores and none of them carried it. Womp!

So anyway, goodbye until August 14th, when I'll return to Seattle (probably a bit computer deprived).

(antique map via Etsy)


I wish I had discovered this beautiful book more than 2 days before I left

This vintage ad for Alaska Airlines is so nice

Daria 4 Lyfe

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