Origin Story: Hidden Details, Mysterious Pasts, and Oddities

Do you have a day job but wish you had more time to explore your creative projects? You know the ones, they light a flame inside your chest and make you feel happy and accomplished? I work full time as a graphic designer, and like anyone else with a maker's heart, I have always also pursued personal work. Finding a way to share some of it felt more and more necessary to me, though as someone with an interest in just about everything, being able to narrow my focus enough to really finish anything eluded me... I noticed that I always came back to photography, though, and to macro photography in particular. I love to look CLOSER, to break things down, to look at lines and shapes independent of an object's 'big picture'.

Nature Makes the Best Art

Natural subjects have always topped the list of Most Intriguing Things to Look at Through a Lens: nature makes the best art, and her creations are endless, and endlessly varied. Flowers and plants are designed in ways that forever blow my mind with their unexpected shapes, textures, and colors. Skeletons and bones are exquisite sculpture: all starting with the same parts, and then varying and adapting from there to form a unique and perfect scaffolding for the being they support.

I've been unintentionally building these collections of Botanical and Anatomical photographs over the years, and have always wished to share with others the feelings I get when I gaze at these expansive microcosms: a sense of transportation, exploration, and the inspiring stimulation of seeing a flower morph into a Bonfire or an Opera Singer, or the curves of a skull become an alien landscape...

I also wish, simply, to bring natural objects and images of nature into our living spaces, to connect us to that feeling of spending time on a quiet path in a forest, or smelling the roses in a garden, every day. (Exhale...)

Vintage Curios: Talk Ephemeral to Me!

Another through-line in my story is an attraction to objects that seem to feel alive, like they have stories they could tell if only they knew how... Impressions of their previous owners imbued in their surfaces. The patina of age, sometimes a signature or a note. Lettering and graphic styles that call to mind another age. Literal story keepers: antique and vintage books with well-thumbed pages and evocative titles.

In my work as a graphic designer, I wear the hat of a curator: I collect typefaces, imagery, and color palettes as my media with which to make each new book cover, poster or page. That initial gathering, matching, and forming scattered parts into a cohesive Collection is a favorite part of my work. It always gives me a thrill! I see those long-developed instincts manifest in my home; on my bookshelves (books sorted by color, of course), desks, and countertops...

It felt like a natural segue to seek out and curate collections of items that I imagine the Archival Photo Prints living with in their next chapters, and also offer these treasures to you in the shop. Bookshelf looking a little sparse? New office to decorate? Just add one-of-a-kind, instant sets of antique books and oddities. So many backstories in a few hundred years of existence... And thus, the Curio Collections were born!

Hang up your hat, stay a while...

I sincerely hope you are intrigued by the objects and the images, and welcome them into your home so that you can enjoy imagining the stories they hold as much as I do! I am always shooting new work, and will continue to add new Botanical and Anatomical prints, entirely new image collections (pinball, anyone?) and Curio Collections.

Next post: Category IS... a.k.a., What's on deck for future posts! My inspirations come from all over — books, favorite finds, places (a room full of hundreds of skeletons), people (the main man from whom all other assemblage was born) — and I can't wait to share them with you. Thanks for reading!

For new weekly blog posts about all things botanical, anatomical, bookish and vintage, please SUBSCRIBE (click me) to the Collected Works Curios blog! :)

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San Francisco, California

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© Domini Dragoone, 2017

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