Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fingerprint art!

You know those movies for kids that adults enjoy going to as well? Like almost every Pixar or Miyazaki film (I own almost the full collections of both)? The book Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art by Marion Deuchars is like that.

Laurence King Publishing sent a copy to me after I posted about the amazing animated book preview for it. And it contains nearly all of my favorite things:
—Messy art
—Handwritten type
—Wonderful endpapers

Now, some of the expected artistic outcomes would be kind of optimistic at best in terms of kids' hand-eye finger-to-page coordination. A lot of the fingerprints shown are pretty much adult-sized. And you know what? That means that a large part of its message is to get us adults' fingers dirty. When was the last time you had your fingers covered in ink? Like a messy child?

It doesn't matter what age demographic this book is intended for, it is so well-designed and executed that it is elevated to an art book. But it's not just about good design, there are pages and pages of activities to encourage you, you adult you, to git down and get messy. That is a precious message for adults. Something I remember from a long-ago Calvin & Hobbes comic strip was Calvin saying "If you don't have grass stains on your knees you've wasted a day". This book celebrates that. What is a day without mess?

You can find Deuchers' book here. Thank you Laurence King Publishing for sending me this book!


Update: I just found out that on November 17th Ms. Deuchars will be in NYC at the Museum of Modern Art Design Store in Soho, doing an event! If you have a child from 3 to 18 (that's right, up to 18) bring them by to join in on activities that teach kids about all the elements of art, including concepts of perception, light and shade, proximity, distance, and geometry. And I'm sure that teaches them about the glory of getting messy. You can read more about it here.

All illustrations by Marion Deuchars, courtesy of Laurence King Publishing Ltd., photographed by moi

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