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Brandish

Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 061719 — David Coggins

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Pure delight overtakes #sparkchamber today, as we welcome artist and writer David Coggins. He most recently published two illustrated memoirs, both by powerHouse Books [Brooklyn, NY]. Paris in Winter: An Illustrated Memoir, released in December 2015 and now in its second printing, is a lively mix of illustrations and stories about Coggins’ family’s annual winter visits to Paris. Poetic, lighthearted vignettes highlight their passion for art and food, fashion and social life, along with vivid observations and fascinating bits of the city’s history and artistic lore. His ink and watercolor drawings capture classic Paris scenes, as well as family and friends against the backdrop of the elegant city in winter.

Notable among widespread press coverage, the book was chosen by the Minneapolis StarTribune as one of the top twelve nonfiction books of 2015, featured in Town&Country Magazine, and revealed in a deeper look on Twin Cities Public Television.

In a follow-up last October, David brings his readers along to experience the simple yet sophisticated pleasures of life on the beautiful island of St. Barthélemy in the French West Indies. Blue: A St. Barts Memoir is an affectionate, poetic account of his family’s annual visits to the island, centering around the mountain villa where they stay, and the timeless joys of the Caribbean: swimming, reading, sailing, meals overlooking the sea. Lovingly described and sublimely captured in his ink and watercolor drawings, the book is a delight for the eye and the mind, an antidote to the pressures of urban life.

Beyond a creator of books, David is an artist who has worked in many areas, painting, photography, collage, set design. His paintings, drawings, and collages have been exhibited in Paris, London, and Santiago, Chile as well as in U.S. galleries. He has designed for a number of U.S. theaters including Théâtre de la Jeune Lune, Guthrie Theater, and La Jolla Theater. His set for The Deception was named the outstanding scenic design in Twin Cities theater by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2007 and was chosen for From the Edge,  a U.S. exhibition on performance design that toured New York, Prague, and Moscow.

His website is full of wondrous things — including a shop! It’s never too early to get your holiday shopping done!

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Everywhere.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

Obvious reasons: to connect, to learn about yourself and the world. I create for pleasure and to find meaning and to share it.

3.] Early bird or night owl? Tortoise or hare?

I work most every day when I am not traveling. I have two studios, one in the city and one in the country, where I live in summer. Once started, it’s hard to stop. Getting started can take awhile.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

You are never done.

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