A visit to BEA (BookExpo)

Today for the first time ever, I went to BEA, the BookExpo of America. It’s a big tradeshow where all different publishers set up booths to share the new publications they have coming out. The show is only open to buyers and press who come to see what the publishers have to offer. It’s jam packed with people, ginormous signage and tons of books everywhere.


I went for a few reasons. The first is that I authored and illustrated a book that’s coming out this Fall from Storey Publishing called Farm Anatomy. It’s 224 pages of painted illustrations that give a look at the curious parts of country life. At the show, I finally got to meet some of the fantastic Storey team I’ve been working with. I wasn’t sure I was supposed to talk about the book yet so I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before. But now that it debuted at the expo, I can finally start to share it. It’s been the biggest project I’ve ever done (it’s still not even finished!). I’ll be showing a lot of the making off and peeks of the spreads in the coming months.


I also did this year’s tote bag giveaway for Chronicle Books and the drawings they used to decorate their booth. When I first arrived and looked around the crowds, the totes were everywhere. It was such an incredible feeling seeing so many strangers carrying it around. Also I’ve never gotten to see my illustrations as big as they appeared on Chronicle’s booth. I am pretty psyched to be associated with such a great publisher! They have some seriously beautiful stuff coming out and I’m so honored to have a line of stationery coming out with them this Fall as well. (If you want a tote and aren’t going to BEA, you can buy one for $2.99 here. It’s made from all recycled materials!)


The third exciting reason for going to the show was that my good friend Grace Bonney of Design Sponge has her new book coming out called Design Sponge At Home. The book comes out this Fall as well, so Grace was there promoting it with a blad (stands for basic layout and design) which shows samples spreads from the book. My company ALSO designed the book and I did the all the interior illustrations. I also did the illustration on the coverwrap which was printed with gold foil (it’s hard to tell from photos.) I am so happy for her because I know how hard she worked on the book. There’s no doubt it will be a hit!


After being completely happily overwhelmed by the top three things, I did have a chance to wander the show and see some of the new books coming out soon. I am super excited that Sophie Blackall’s Missed Connections series is coming out as a book from Workman Publishing. I also am just as thrilled that a big book of Paula Scher’s Maps is coming out with Princeton Architectural Press. Other books that definitely made my Fall wishlist are Typography Sketchbooks (Jessica Hische, and Will Miller’s sketchbooks are in Drawn In and are quite incredible so I wouldn’t mind seeing more type sketches)(also how many books can Steve Heller author? It’s quite insane), James Jean’s Rebus, Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets (illustrated by my friend Caitlin Keegan) The Conductor, (looks so sweet!), How Carrots Won the Trojan War (because Gilbert Ford’s illustrations are so fun!) and The Art of Instruction, which looks especially gorgeous.

A few more scenes from around the show are below: (Sorry for the bad photography- all taken with my iphone.)


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