Creative Envy

Monday, November 17, 2008, 8:08 pm
Filed under: art envy | Tags: , , , ,

Like a lot of designers, I’m a big fan of Charley Harper’s illustrations of wildlife. Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life is on my wish list and while I would love to own a large print of one of his works, I just can’t afford it. So being the thrifty (or cheap, you can say it) person that I am I’m trying to find creative ways to have Harper’s work in my home.

I was really excited a few weeks ago when one of our paper reps came into Ologie with a bunch of samples, among them being this piece by Monadnock, A Field Guide about eco-friendly printing. Harper’s illustrations are throughout the book so I swiped an extra one so that I can cut out the drawings and frame them, either all together or separately in smaller frames.



Then, yesterday I was at Old Navy and come to find out that they have a whole line of kids items all with Harper’s illustrations on them! Board books, peg puzzles, coloring books, a matching game….a whole bunch of stuff. If I had a kid of my own, I would have cleaned them out. I did, however, purchase these flashcards for $14.50.




They are obviously super cute but if you turn them over, they form two over sized floor puzzles each with one of Harper’s illustrations. I plan on framing the one with all the animals on it and putting it in my kitchen (I think; that’s the only room with available wall space and a bright color palette).



In the future, if I have children I can disassemble the framed puzzle, flip the cards back over and decorate the nursery with the individually framed flashcards. I think Harper’s work would make the perfect, gender neutral décor for a kid’s room yet still be cool and artistic enough for adult appreciation.

So there are cost-effective ways to get Charley Harper work for your home. But I do still want the book (hint hint).

4 Comments so far
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I was there last weekend and didnt see these, they must be brand new! I love the flash cards. We will have to go check out the other items as well. You know I love to use Nate as an excuse to shop.
Thanks for the tip.

Comment by Christina

How wonderful! I love them!

Comment by Jaimee

I hear you about loving Charley’s work but living on a budget! There are still a few serigraphs available for about $100 each, plus a lot of the lithographs are $50. Another idea I’ve seen is framing his notecards, which is like you framing the flash cards. I’ve seen some slightly damaged Harper prints on eBay for a lot less than prints in mint condition, and the damage would be covered up when the piece is framed. So, there are ways to get what you want while living within your means!

However, not many people seem to know that Charley was commissioned to illustrate a series of posters for the Department of the Interior, each focusing on a different National Park. They’re HUGE, really detailed, and cheap. You can see them here:

This is the most Harper you can get for your money!

Comment by visualingual

Another way to get some some budget Harper into your life is with his licensed home accessories for Tag:

These have been discontinued, but our store still has some of the products available, and you can probably still find them elsewhere as well.

Comment by visualingual

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