The Curious Evolution of Jennifer K. Oliver
A stroll through the mindfields
entries 
20th-Feb-2012 03:08 pm - Paperblanks Featured Artist Interview
jenniferkoliver: (Stock | Typewriter)
It's no secret I'm slightly obsessed with Paperblanks notebooks, as I've Tweeted and blogged about them before. I recently picked up two new notebooks, their stunning "Midnight Gold" and "Indigo Sky Mares," and after mentioning my purchases on Twitter I got into a micro-conversation with the good people at Paperblanks, which lead to an opportunity to take part in their bi-monthly "Featured Artist" segment.

Before I link to the interview, I should point you to their various ranges of notebooks (both lined and blank), guest books, day planners, and address books of all shapes, sizes and designs. It's so hard picking a favourite design, and I talk more in the interview about the ones I tend to favour, but there are a couple I've got my eye on for my next Paperblanks spree—their "Japanese Lacquer Boxes" collection and the "Mucha" collection. They're both so elegant and beautiful!

You can read the interview, in which I ramble about notebooks, creativity, and inspiration here. (There is also a pic of me looking all thoughtful and authorish.)

And the rest of their Featured Artist interviews can be found here.
17th-Feb-2012 11:53 am - Research Trip to Bath (With Pics!)
jenniferkoliver: (Foo Fighters | Learn to Fly)
Had a great day out in Bath last weekend, and it turned out to be very fruitful in terms of research material. I came away with way too many books, a few photos hastily snapped on my iPhone, and a gazillion details and ideas for the world-building of my steampunk novel. In the end we only managed to hit one museum—No.1 Royal Crescent—as we ended up wandering for most of the day in the crisp air, soaking up the atmosphere and architecture. More trips are required soon, and perhaps we'll be able to visit the Jane Austen Centre or the Roman Baths.

There are a few pictures under here, mostly of miscellaneous buildings and the Royal Crescent. Some hints as to what my novel backdrop will look like )

The tour guides were gracious and extremely patient with me as I bombarded them with eager questions. Even though my research falls just after their period of expertise, they were all kind and accommodating and explained a load of nifty stuff that'll be handy when I'm editing and shuffling facts around. I also think I scared one of the guides during the following exchange:

Kind Lady Tour Guide: *interesting facts about the 18th & 19th centuries*
Jen: Wow. Can I take you home with me and sit you next to my desk so I can ask you questions as I write?
Kind Lady Tour Guide: Hahaha… *slowly backs away*

For those wondering, I didn't kidnap her. It was tempting, though.

I also succumbed to two more Paperblanks notebooks—"Autumn Maiden" and "Lindau." You might think, by now, I have too many notebooks and it'll take me years to fill them, but… there are never enough.

Never enough.

Horror With Eyeballs, by The Dissociatives.
jenniferkoliver: (Deftones | Chino)
Starting my new notebook was so much fun, all those crisp pages and the new-book smell, and that shiny gold-brushed brocade hardcover and mmmm. As always, Paperblanks blows me away with their quality designs, and this particular book is the perfect look and feel for my current projects. Ah, it really is the little things in life, isn't it?

On Sunday I'm venturing to glorious Georgian Bath on a research trip with my writer friend Jennifer Bell. This will give me the opportunity to fill in some of my "[insert street name here]" notes in the novel document, and also visit various landmarks that feature in the story, including the amazing Royal Crescent where one of my characters lives (in 1865). They've done up the first townhouse in 18th century style, so I should be able to figure out the layout of the house and pick up some ideas of its contents. I'm also hoping to hit the Jane Austen museum and possibly the Pump Room restaurant for some afternoon tea. It would be fun to see the Roman Baths, but I don't know if we'll be able to fit it all in, as we also want to swing by the library. Anyway! I will no doubt take loads of pics, and I'll post some of them here if anyone's interested.

I've also got a week off work starting today, and I plan to do some serious word crunching throughout. The steampunk novel is now at 45,000 words, and I've got the rest of it figured out—hastily sketched in aforementioned notebook. In some ways, it's sad knowing everything that's about to happen, because I've had such a blast feeling my way through to this point. But, the end is in sight. Well, the end of the first draft, that is.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I should be more commenty in the coming week, as catching up with LJ happenings is high on my To Do List.

Piano Tune VIP, by Bar9. More dubstep (I know, I know, but it's all I can listen to right now while I write!), this time really filthy. You need decent speakers for full effect.
jenniferkoliver: (Vintage | Stressed is Desserts)
This week I've been art and craft shopping like crazy, searching for interesting materials with which to make promotional stuff for the arts festival. And I must say, my wanderings have been extremely fruitful! I've got multi-coloured card and paper, stencils and stickers, as well as some beautiful calligraphy pens in silver and gold ink that are perfect for writing and drawing on dark backgrounds. I'm gradually transforming my spare back room (that also serves as my cat's bedroom) into a studio. Not sure how Harry the cat feels about this!

I'll be showcasing three separate pieces, two of them printed on large postcards, and an A5 folded booklet for a slightly longer piece that was written for one of the writing group's prompts. See a sample here )

More indulgently, I've also discovered a little craft shop in a nearby town that sells Paperblanks notebooks. Do check out their website, if only for the pictures of their books. They're exquisite. I'd eventually like to get a notebook from their Fabulous Footwear collection (no major surprises there, eh?). Their magnetic wrap closures are a dream, as you don't get frayed or rumpled page edges and it keeps the paper clean. So far I've bought their Filigree Floral Ebony book and the smaller, extremely cute Swirling Peacock Ivory. ♥

I've also just started a new website design commission for a local picture framing business. It's always nice designing for people who are arty, as they generally know what they want in terms of style/texture/etc.

The writing front has been dominated by research lately, but that's ok—I have a gazillion notes, and it's enjoyable work. I'm almost ready to tackle the first draft of my steampunk story, which needs a rewrite and some TLC.
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