Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 113: The Artist Formerly Known As

Day 113 of my updates, and the 13th day of the month; all at the same time! Feels like some sort of celebration is in order!

Actually, celebration may be in order, just not quite yet. Because...

Today is the day I finally get around to fixing up this blog! You may have noticed that I haven't updated in quite some time. But this doesn't mean I haven't been writing. Oh no! I've been keeping notes, jotting down outlines... the posts have been here. Languishing unpublished. Waiting for me to have the time to give them a last look and hit publish. But between the absolute ridiculousness of my internet situation, assignments and midterms, schlepping back and forth to Ontario so often, and of course work, I haven't had the chance.

So what I'm going to do is get all the missed posts up, and provide a summary here linking to the most interesting posts.

When is a book not a book?
So that's why Canada's so ugly...
Websites are like Bicycles
Paper is not Vegetarian Friendly
ACCESS 2012 was a hell of a time!
Vanity Presses and Blogging
Bewick, Wood Cuts, and Money

As for today?

Lesson 113: Hokusai, and in fact Japanese woodblock printers in general, were the original Artist(s) Formerly Known As.

Japanese woodblock prints, like the famous image "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai, were sort of like posters for that age.

You could hang a picture of your favourite kabuki actor on your wall, or a picture of a beautiful woman.

But the artists of the prints changed their names like socks. They'd take on syllables of their mentor's name to show mastery of their style, inherit their mentor's name when he retired, take on a new name if they came out of retirement.

Hokusai went through an absolutely prolific number of names. When he eventually retired, he passed on his name to an apprentice. However, when a relative squandered their money, he needed to return to working life, but couldn't take his name back from the apprentice, so he changed it yet again.

I don't think I could be a scholar of Japanese printing... keeping track of the constant name changes would make me dizzy!

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