Every year it’s the same old story. We try to plan our Christmas shopping – maybe even starting a list in November – and then suddenly it’s the 23rd December and we find ourselves in a corporate chain supermarket buying 5 tins of biscuits that noone will ever eat.
There is still time to do things differently, dear friends. This weekend, how about you direct your last-minute frenzy toward independent publishers and artists and give a gift that keeps on giving! Your hard-earned sponds can support real, talented people instead of faceless, multi-billion-dollar corporates. What a bonus. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 favourite indie’s with great gifts and worthwhile projects.
1. Art meets data: Limited edition prints by Stefanie Posavec
Stefanie is an information designer, data visualiser and book cover designer. One of her passions (or obsessions) is analysing book structures – the words, sentences and themes – and representing them visually. And the results are incredible and incredibly beautiful. Buy one of her prints right now, you will not regret it.
Originality factor: Magical meetings of art, data and literature.
Feel-good factor: You’re supporting an amazing artist.
Get hold of a Stefanie Posavec print here:
2. Win-win: Mark Garry’s Fund-it campaign
Mark Garry is a critically acclaimed artist from Ireland whose work has appeared in the Irish Museum Of Modern Art, the Mattress Factory Art Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Serpentine Gallery in London. A Winter Light is the first time that a range of collaborative works drawn from Mark’s diverse and distinctive practice will be presented in a comprehensive solo exhibition. By supporting the project you can give a friend or loved one a digital copy of the album, a limited edition vinyl record, or the publication documenting Mark’s work – or all three! It’s win win.
Originality factor: This is a one-time collaboration between some amazing contemporary artists.
Feel-good factor: Helping to produce a major work of art and keeping vinyl alive.
Learn more about this project and help get it off the ground:
A guidebook that’s not a guidebook that’s a guidebook
3. Your art, done right: Marc Schlossman and M-Print
A few weeks ago we launched Visual Verse with the help of Photographer Marc Schlossman. Until then, we were unaware that Marc has a full photo studio setup down in Clapham, south London, with awesome printing facilities. It was a joy to spend a couple of hours with him printing this beautiful work (pictured) with someone who has an artists eye and full attention to detail. How about you take one of those photos you’re so proud of down to Marc and get a beautiful print done for someone this Christmas. It costs next to nothing compared to the joy you will give. And you can pick up decent box frames from Habitat! Job done.
Originality factor: It’s your art
Feel-good factor: Support a local photographer and support print
Visit http://mprint.co.uk/ for more info
4. Small is Beautiful: Readux books
Discovering a fantastic author is like making a new friend, and it’s especially rewarding when that friend comes to you unexpectedly or isn’t pimping himself on every major news and social media outlet in the country.
New indie publisher, Readux, based in Berlin, is more like an introduction service than a pimp. It publishes short works of translated literature from distinguished international authors, as ebooks and in print, all featuring beautiful covers. These little gems cost less than what you’d pay for a coffee.
Originality factor: Stylish art and international authors.
Feel-good factor: You get to support the talented publisher at the helm of this start-up, Amanda Marco, and her excellent authors.
5. Slow travel Berlin – 100 Favourite Places
Most guidebooks talk about the same things: the must-sees, the must-dos, must-eats and must-do nots, and by the time you rush around the place ticking things off you’ve not seen any of the real city at all. The Slow Travel movement is all about taking time to discover the true character of travel destinations, exploring the fringes and doing it all in a sustainable way.
Slow Travel Berlin – 100 Favourite Places, does exactly this and offers a unique and intimate experience of the city, one which you’ll remember rather than have to look up. It’s a beautifully designed and produced book and great value – perfect present.
Originality factor: Hand-drawn maps, real travel photos.
Feel-good factor: 5% of all profits go to local charities.
Get your copy direct from Slow Travel Berlin: http://www.slowtravelberlin.com/100-favourite-places, online from Dialogue Books or from Shakespeare and Sons.
If that doesn’t satisfy your hunger for perpetual giving, our own books and prints are here: www.curvedhouseeditions.com and our kids books are here: www.curvedhousekids.com.
And, one last thing, don’t forget to shop local this Christmas. Independent bookshops, galleries and local businesses might be a fraction more expensive than online shopping but you know exactly who your money is going to – the people. What’s a few quid when you’re sharing so much love, eh?