Dan Price's Fine Book on Simple Life
Dan Price is the king of the zeenster sketch artists.
Dan has been doing zeens for decades now. I started trading OYB with him back when he did the esteemed "Shots"---the only zeen of photography. Then he started the sketchzeen "Moonlight Chronicles." We kept trading. He did all his work from his teepee in Oregon, or that's where he lived anyway.
He's done over fifty "MC's" by now. And he's kept his work developing the whole time. He frequently includes guest sketchers. He goes wandering off on big roadtrips, sketching the whole way. And he's even found a major sponsor, Simple Shoes. The past couple years he's stepped up the pace even more. He's going pro. Yet he's sticking to his zeensketcher roots. His work is basically the same---it's just better presented and getting out there wider. That's the way to do it! And finally he's done up a volume of "MC" as a book---it'll hold up a little better for you than the stapled all-paper zeen versions he normally puts out. Mostly, it'll just get out there better in bookstores---the zeen versions will make for essential, wonderful reading and looking.
Click on this cover of "MC" to order it via Amazon...
(Aaron Cometbus is another zeenster who's stayed the course, producing fancier books but keeping his craft on track. In a couple other cases of zeensters making it big, one really good zeenster totally cut herself off from her past, not even acknowledging what she wrote then---sad. Famous writer/impresario Dave Eggers apparently had an underground connection at his start but has gone on to build a corpo-style empire.)
I really know of only one other zeensketcher of long durability: Jeff Zenicke. Interestingly, he also led the semi-homeless lifestyle, only more-so. He did vagrant-style zeen-sketching for at least 10 years that I traded with him. Dunno what he's up to now.
But Dan is dialed in. He's been working on living cheap and lovely in a little meadow with a creek that he's leasing or borrowing. He lives on the whole place. He doesn't have a house per se. He has outbuildings. No, building is too strong a world. He has spaces and places around the property that he wanders and uses. His new book "Radical Simplicity" is about how he developed it all as he did, and why. This new sketchbook includes a lot of nice photos and typeset text, for a change. Here he makes his stand for a primitive architecture that gives him everything he could want, using earth and air as much as possible. It's a true wonder.
Click on this cover of "RS" to order it via Amazon...
Dan includes his whole life, without apology. I remember early issues of "MC" discussing his relations with his wife as they separated and she raised their 2 kids in town. There's pain there. But they're all still a family, in a way. One could raise kids and keep a family together living in the hobbit-hole open-air style. No reason why not. The up & leaving for months at a time might even work---mariners do it. Dan is "be here now" and seems to do the best he can. As with many zeens, the characters who don't get to say their say still end up saying a lot, as Dan's ex-wife and kids play an ongoing major role in his work and life.
"Radical Simplicity" is a great companion volume to Lloyd's "HomeWork," reviewed elsewhere here at OYB. Now, I'm not sure the "RS" title is the best for Dan's work, but I can't think of a better one right now. It's not political. It's not in-your-face. Simple isn't really radical, is it? It's just simple. "RS" is about living and making places to live that fit with who you are, where you are, without going over the top with the work and money stuff.