Sharpie illustrations placed on old diary pages, travel journals, scrap books, etc.
2014 Vonnegut Illustrations
I started the project with the goal of reading each of Vonnegut’s fourteen novels. It took just a few pages of the first book to be taken aback by all the wonderful visuals his words created. I started bookmarking every page that had something that I wanted to illustrate. By the time I reached the end, the book had become completely dog-eared. I found Vonnegut’s prose colorful and illustrative, yet beautifully simple. I used my Sharpie to somehow capture that simplicity the best I could. I spent a year reading and illustrating all of Vonnegut’s novels. The project was completed in 2014 and shown at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. The original illustrations are part of the library’s permanent collection.
There Are No Telegrams On Tralfamadore
Slaughterhouse 5 Anniversary Exhibition, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, 2019
There are no telegrams on Tralfamadore. But you’re right: each group of symbols is a brief, urgent message describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn’t any particular relationship between all of the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.” Kurt Vonnegut
The illustrations are placed in no particular order and are presented all at once (simulating the POV of a Tralfamadorian) in an attempt to somehow convey the beauty and depths of Slaughterhouse 5. No beginning, no middle, no end. All messages, all at once.
The messages themselves are on old, unused telegram paper. Each drawing is minimal yet bold, imperfect yet pure. They are meant to compliment Vonnegut’s words with simple lines and negative space; a way for the viewer/reader to experience Vonnegut’s “many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
I was gifted a little black book from the 1940's. It was entirely blank. I decided to keep the meaning of the “little black book” in mind (secret records, clandestine rendezvous, amorous possibilities, etc.) and began filling its pages with intimate drawings.
Taking into account how it may have actually been used in the 40s, I was spurred to research the history of the “little black book” and its modest beginnings. From its inception in 1700s London - basically one man's list of the best lovers around town - to the US in the 40s, where the book took on a more personal, diary-like role. As such – and since my book was dated 1941 - I wanted to fill it with the intimate scenes behind the names or notes that could have potentially been written on its pages. Through my illustrations, I wanted to attempt to convey the innocence that comes to mind when we think of the past. More often than not, I think we tend to believe that things were somehow simpler “back then.” While that may have been the case in some instances, it was likely not necessarily ever simpler when it came to love. I think my drawings reflect that mixed perception. Seemingly simple at first, but complicated once you get down to it. Each wooden frame is handmade and covered with book cloth, mimicking its inspiration and enticing the viewer into an act of voyeurism… They, too, are now in on the secret.
Illustrated journal of caring for my Grandmother
1941 Diary Illustration
Ceramics, Design, Illustration, Music, Poetry
Click photos to explore.
Nita Cole - Ceramicist
Rene Villanueva - Writer
Grey Moon Vintage - Vintage Retailer
Risa Friedman - Photographer