Friday, March 16, 2012

2nd Printing is upon us

Against all odds, I have sold all 1000 books from the first print run of The Woodcutter and The Most Beautiful Tree.  My deepest, most heartfelt thanks to everyone who took a chance on a small, independently published picture book.  With your help and support, I was finally able to clear the shipping pallet that had been occupying valuable real estate in my parents' garage.  

And of course, now there's a new pallet to take its place!  (sorry dad)

The second printing is nearly identical to the first, with some small, cosmetic changes here and there.  One big change, however, is the book material itself.  I've been keenly aware of the contradiction inherent in having written a book about the beauty of trees and the need to preserve them...while at the same time using traditional printing/manufacturing practices that put less of a premium on sound environmental practices.  

But no more, I say!

Lemme drop some knowledge on you regarding this second run:

- The paper is 10% post-consumer recycled fiber.
- The stock is "Tri-Certified" (Certification from: Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forest Initiative, and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).
- Book parts meet or exceed all CPSIA guidelines for Phthalate Lead content.
- Soy-based inks.  BOOM!

Now, you can rest assured knowing that the book you're holding in your gnarled, granola-stained hands adheres to the highest environmental standards. 

No beautiful trees were harmed in the making of this book.  Only ugly ones.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ecology by Design

A good friend and former co-worker of mine recently started his own business right here in Ann Arbor.  William "Billy" Kirst started his business "Ecology by Design" in order to make sustainable, edible, biologically diverse, and environmentally friendly landscapes available to everyone in the area.  He specializes in planning and installing native and edible plants for homeowners.

He asked me to work with him on some concept art that he can show to homeowners after they've made some preliminary decisions regarding their landscape.  Billy and I went on-site and I took some pictures of a house in town owned by some of his new clients:

Use your imagination
Clearly, they are going to want some landscaping done to compliment their new why not go about it in a way that maximizes the benefits for them AND the local environment?  Billy had some rough plans drawn up and explained his vision for this particular installation: 

Looks Pretty Legit!
So, I had a couple visual points-of-reference, a list of native plants to be used in the installation, a laptop to research said plants, and a newly acquired drawing desk.  Time to get drrty.

After much sketching (I've never been very good with spatial or architectural elements), I was finally confident enough to work on the piece Billy had asked for.  And here it is:

From moonscape to landscape.
It's awesome to be able to combine my interests (ecological restoration/biodiversity) with my passion (art).  If you find yourself curious about the work Billy is doing or why it is so important, please "Like" his page on the Facebooks (Ecology by Design).