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VERVE: Living the Creative Life
KUED's online series exploring creativity in Utah. Season 6, inspired in part by The Great American Read, is all about the book and will feature local authors, poets, illustrators, a book binder, a letterpress master, a comic artist, a zine creator and more.
“I think the most challenging part of the process is taking hard concepts in science and making them fun for children, but once that’s done it’s really the best part,” says Bailey. And that is where her dad comes in. Bailey comes up with the idea and her dad helps her simplify and organize it. They’ve also garnered the help of a group of scientists and astronomers to fact check.
Jess Smart Smiley is a writer, illustrator, designer and comic artist. His first publication, Upside Down: A Vampire Tale is a graphic novel whose protagonist is Harold, a young vampire who loses his teeth because he eats too much candy. This first graphic novel launched Smiley into teaching comics workshops.
A domestic violence survivor and losing her infant daughter, all while experiencing the diagnosis of her mother with early onset Alzheimer’s, Michaëlle channels her experiences into her writing.
Writer Gabriel Tallent doesn’t require a velvet smoking jacket or a cherry-paneled writing office to get work done. Although that might be nice, Gabriel believes in taking the opportunities to write whenever and wherever they may be available.
Robert Neubecker’s award-winning children’s books are directly inspired by his own children. As a father of two, he was able to draw inspiration from his own life experiences. “I am very childlike myself, says Neubecker. “I spend a lot of time in the worlds of imagination.”
Rob and Georgia Buchert started Tryst Press in the basement of their apartment building in the late 1980s while they were students at Brigham Young University. Today, Utah has a number of printing press houses that offer traditional letterpress printing, but Tryst Press is way ahead of the trend.
“I would comfortably say it’s the strongest library collection of artist’s books between the Mississippi and California, not including Austin, Texas,” says Luise. “The [Marriott Library’s] collecting has been going on for almost 30 years now.”
For Leo Espinosa being a good illustrator is not just being good at drawing and design. Not only should you find the tools that work for you, but also, pay attention to everything, because if you're only looking at that photo you took on your phone as a reference, you may be missing out on what's happening around you.
Red Butte Press, located in the Marriott Library on the University of Utah campus, has a long list of publications from prose to essays. Using quality paper and binding materials Red Butte Press honors and extends the traditions of press printing, producing finely crafted, limited editions.
With both parents being artists, Remi grew up in a family where "art is for everyone and everyone is an artist." This is the sort of motto a zine maker would take to heart. Today Remi mails and trades her zine creations with other 'zinesters' around the world on a regular basis.
Marnie Powers-Torrey, who heads the Book Arts Program at the University of Utah, talks about the book both as a conceptual mode of communication as well as a physical object one interacts with. Some books may not have a linear order, some may come with an artist statement or instruction, while others may not be bound at one end.
About this Series
It all started with KUED wanting to explore what drives people to create. “I want people to know what it is to live a life based on having these creative moments, where people turn for inspiration and creative fuel, “So, he began cutting short pieces together to explore artistic expression, and ignited the idea for a larger exploration about innovation and imagination. VERVE was born out of the need to find out where artistic inspiration comes from. We all have a desire to create — that drive isn’t limited to artists. The series starts with an exploration of the creative process for artists, but as the conversation grows, we will delve into that spark of innovation that lives in all of us. What does your creativity look like? What does it mean to live a creative life?