I ran across a great book publisher and artist from Italy who does a series of books on patterns and surface design described as "Visual Research for Artists."
I have two books and absolutely love them. Junior Pop Textures: 200 Modular Patterns and Character Styling, and they come with CD's and image use is free.
These books have wonderful color and pattern inspiration, and I must admit, the cats on the cover of Junior Pop is what grabbed my attention and made me want to explore them.
They are all done by Vincenzo Sguera, who has an extensive art background in product design: He was the Architecture Faculty of Florence, Creative Director, and developed product lines with characters such as Snoopy, Hello Kitty, Simpsons, Product Managing Director for the Italian firm in school products, Cartiere Pigna, independent consultation with several firms in product, design and marketing.
Each book deals with a single theme, and his Arkivia Project is planned for 3 main lines: Thematic textures, Graphics or symbols on a single theme, and Styling books dedicated to new and original characters free and ready for use.
I had the privilege of reaching the author and designer and asked him to do a short interview. What inspires me the most about him, is he wants to help and support other artists.
-How did you decide to make these books?
I love books of images, every year my main investment is in these, and after learning so much from others I want to add my contribution, too. I believe that creativity is a shared knowledge.
-Where do you get your artistic ideas from?
By not setting limits to the fountains of inspiration since everything can lead to a creative idea. Research is essential, further than the strictly necessary, when you love discovering the work of others, especially if different from your own.
-What is your training and background?
I have multifaceted experience in the artistic field and an idea in one sector can be new lymph for another sector. Test yourself to your limit and risk every time with something new: these concepts were my teachers.
-Do you sell your artwork in galleries or to stores?
Only in the early '70s when I painted as an artist.
-What advice would you give to new surface designers if they want to sell their designs?
Any texture or graphic design should not be seen as a picture to be hung on a wall but as a product to be worn or used. Conceiving products with their own decorum leads to developing designs that are better appreciated by the market and publishing clients.
-Where can these books be purchased? They aren't available most places I've looked. How would I purchase them in the U.S.?
I do not cover the whole of the U.S. For the moment I have 3 distributors in New York and 1 in Nevada.
OPR 252 West 38th Street - 4th Floor New York, NY 10018
AROUND THE WORLD 28 WEST 40TH ST. NYC, NY-10018
MAGAZINE CAFE 15C West 37th Street NY NY 10018
DIAMOND PUBBLICATIONS 1450 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy Suite B-304 Henderson NV 89012