In Conversation with bookartbookshop

It happened at the Pitfield Street. It is actually where I lived for the previous year but I just haven’t got the chance to wander around at the shop. The BookArtBookShop is the shop I planned to visit for the rough guide object analysis. I was so very shy strolling around this cozy little shop, hoping I could decide on one thing to write about and then ask for photography permission. (cause people in old street can just be so proud and snobbish… you know they are of the design spectrum) But it all turned out differently. I was so glad that just somehow had this simple interview with Tanya —the owner of the shop.

Ching: When did you start this shop?
Tanya: 2002.

Ching:What was your work previously?
Tanya: I did the editorial for the Artist Year Book.

Ching: Why did you change your job and start your own business?
Tanya: Because I want to change the world. I believe anyboby can make a book.

Ching: Do you have any favourite book design?
Tanya: I like books with idea. For example, (she picked one from the shelf) the ” Black Bob” book has just got 1 same illustration through the whole book. No story . That’s the message. That’s the idea.

Ching: Do you happen to know a lot of people because of the shop?
Tanya: Yes. I know nearly all publishers in London. A lot in Japan, Korea, America as well.

Ching: Do you sell students’ work in the shop?
Tanya: Yes like students from LCC, CSM. Students of book art, graphic design, illlustration…

Ching: Do you have any future plan?
Tanya: probably tour these book designs to art colleges’ libraries.

Ching: What do you usually do in spare time?
Tanya: own work … at the moment working for my own exhibition.
(She then told me about this upcoming event —The Tenth Anniversary of Bookartbookshop)

Ching: Do you exhibit in the shop as well?
Tanya: Yes. We have exhibition every 2 weeks at the windows.

Here comes the object I want to write about— the brown paper bags.

So if you will want to get a paper bag for your purchase, this is the one of a kind, artist-made paper bag for you! Tanya told me that they were made by an artist called Cesa, who based in Kentish Town. Cesa has been working with a lot of recycling materials like newspaper. Tanya has mentioned about Cesa’s knitted piece out of newspaper. Isn’t it amazing!!? She highly recommended me to go visit Cesa’s gallery/her own flat. and her number is blablabla… just to make an appointment will be good.

This pile of painted paper bags is so ”hoxton”. It becomes an adjective which mean ”whatever you may think, I just like to do things in this my own way.” . They did cheered me up. I just somehow had a thought. What if these pile of paper bags appear at the cashier of Selfridges or John Lewis? people will just be shocked and confused by these. But I just feel like this is a good reminder for us how important it is to make things. I don’t want to live in the world solely about consumerism, stereo-type of lifestyle, all the branding logos and idendities of them. So sick of these mundane living patterns. I mean we are human not like robots. But are we having too much input of what should we become like, what lifestyle we should live up to… ? It’s like some silent violence from media and culture.

Whatever… I just wish more people is like Tanya.

At the window display…


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