The Secret Life of the Pencil: Great Creatives and their Pencils

By Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney

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  • Paperback
  • 110 illustrations
  • 144 pages
  • 8⅜ x 5⅞ in
  • ISBN 9781786270832
  • Published October 2017
Since software programs have come to dominate offices and studios, the pencil has become a symbol for creative freedom. In other words, the work you do on the computer is what you do for work, to pay the rent, whereas the stuff you do with your pencil is the stuff you do for fun. Apart from stimulating the world’s most important creative minds, the pencil has become the modern creative’s ultimate fetish. This book presents a unique collection of close-up pictures of pencils from some of our foremost artists, designers, writers, architects and musicians. What makes these pictures compelling is the fact that they somehow reflect the creative personalities of their owners: Philippe Starck’s is a stylish black and red, Paul Smith’s is a classic jewel-like thing worth £3,000 (a present from Jonathan Ive), William Boyd’s is nicely aged and rusty, while Anish Kapoor’s is sculpted into a mini ArcelorMittal Orbital tower. The pictures are complemented by material such as sketches, quotes and brief interviews, giving a further insight into the workings of these great creative minds.

About the Author

Alex Hammond is a designer specializing in product and packaging. He also applies his art and engineering background to the wider design field, producing branding, photography and CG visualizations. Mike Tinney is a British-born still life and documentary photographer. His clients include Casio, Dior, Gucci, Haagen Dazs, Jameson, Nike and Ted Baker.

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