Life Advice for Teenage Rebels

The upcoming book, 120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother (And Influence People), is a lifestyle-guide with a difference. Read on to find out how illustrator Ana Benaroya came up with the concept.

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

Where did the idea for the book come from? Was it something you had thought about doing for a long time?

The idea for the book evolved slowly. I wanted to create a book that I would have appreciated when I was suffering through my awkward middle-secondary school years. I’ve always felt that the selection of books for girls and young women who exist outside the mainstream is very limited. I think the downfall of so many books aimed at teen girls today is that they are about girls defining themselves by the boys they like. To counter this trend, I decided to create a kind of anti-self-help book – it will not help you do anything of real substance other than perhaps question the world around you – which I suppose is the best thing a self-help book can actually do!

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

Who are the characters in the book? Are they extensions of your own personality?

The main character – who has this somewhat conceited, all-knowing, snarky tone – is the narrator of the book. She’s not mean, but she isn’t very nice either. You could say she is an extension of my personality (I’d like to think I’m a much nicer person), although I wouldn’t have the courage to say half the things she says! A lot of the ‘How To’ concepts in the book came directly from my own experience and my own opinions. For instance, ‘How Not To Hate Men’ or ‘How To Walk in Heels’ are two things I constantly struggle with! ‘How To Be Interesting’ or ‘How To Pretend You Are Really Interested in Something Someone Is Talking About’ are things that I think people would actually like advice for (I don’t offer any help whatsoever). Then there are the surreal ideas, such as ‘How To Breathe Fireballs’ or ‘How To Teleport’. I thought it would be funny to include both realistic and surreal guides in my book – just to add another level of ridiculousness.

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

The book is very funny, and the humour captured perfectly by the illustrations. Did the writing or the illustration come first?

The writing definitely came first. I initially wrote up a list of 120 ‘How To’ ideas, then went about fleshing them all out. I’d write the 4 steps first and then figure out an appropriate activity to go along with the concept. At the very end I’d start laying out the page and come up with a humorous illustration to go alongside the text.

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

What do you hope the reader will get out of this book?

Hopefully they will find it funny and it will give them some solace and comfort in an oftentimes lonely world. I’ve always felt like an outsider looking in and I’ve always questioned the expectations placed upon me as a woman. I think my own questioning and my feelings of doubt, anger and happiness lead to the ideas in this book. Hopefully some of the readers will find something familiar in these ideas and feel more connected. I hope that his book will push girls to embrace all their strangeness and to be individuals. And for all the women who pick up this book, I hope it reminds them to question all the expectations that are placed upon them.

120_Ways_to_Annoy_Your_Mother_And_Influence_PeopleWant to know how to turn your life into a Soap Opera? Want to know how to create a masterpiece? This fresh new book contains 120 tips, some that really matter, some which are just off the wall and surreal. Available on 1 September 2014.
Available for £10.00 from the Thames & Hudson website.

Posted in Children's, Design, Illustration | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Future of Fashion Photography

Which daring and inventive photographers will influence and shape fashion for the next five years? Here Magdalene Keaney, author of a new book on the subject, highlights some rising stars in fashion photography.

Tyrone Lebon, 'Adwoa' for Stussy, 2013

Tyrone Lebon, 'Adwoa' for Stussy, 2013

‘Tyrone Lebon’s diverse and often collaborative practice embraces different media and experimental techniques.’

Julia Hetta, 'Untitled' for Rodeo, 2011

Julia Hetta, 'Untitled' for Rodeo, 2011

‘Julia Hetta’s images are filled with a sense of gravitas and weight; they are still rather than fleeting.’

Laetitia Hotte, 'Contorsion' for Kenzo, 2013

Laetitia Hotte, 'Contorsion' for Kenzo, 2013

‘Laetitia Hotte’s detached compositions are often free from context or background narrative.’

Mel Bles, 'Pop', 2013

Mel Bles, 'Pop', 2013

‘Mel Bles is a studio photographer but her images are rarely composed from a single frame.’

Fashion Photography NextFashion Photography Next, by Magdalene Keaney, showcases outstandingly fresh and original fashion images by thirty-five emerging photographers from fourteen countries. An accompanying exhibition entitled Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next runs until 7 September at Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam.

Posted in Fashion, Photography | Leave a comment

Inside a Paper Engineering Studio

Thames & Hudson designers recently met paper engineer and designer Corina Fletcher (of Corina & Co.) at her lovely studio in Lewes, to discuss a new project. Set within the grounds of an expansive farm, the studio is both light and airy, providing the perfect hub of creativity. Corina’s archive of all things paper was a delight to trawl through. More news of our project coming soon!

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Design | Leave a comment

Rowing Blazers Film: the ‘Making of’

What was it like producing a short film about rowing blazers, with the athletes who still wear them today? We spoke to Douglas Ray and Kate Slotover to find out.

Ellie Piggott and Olivia Carnegie-Brown

What was the intention of the film and how did you go about achieving it?  

Doug: We wanted to make a mini-documentary, something that said a little bit about the world of rowing – you can’t really understand the significance of the blazer without also knowing a bit about the sport. Thanks to Jack’s tremendous contacts in the rowing world, we were able to film some amazing athletes and tell that story from the inside.

Kate: For the film’s graphics I tried to incorporate some elements from the blazers themselves. Each club has its own unique blazer design and those stripes and colours are not just decorative but have really specific meanings.

Were there any surprises during production?

Doug: The big surprise was how down to earth and patient the rowers were, despite a few technical and logistical problems. Having worked with some high profile people in the past I was really pleasantly surprised by how friendly and amenable everyone was. People with gold medals, Olympic champions, world record holders – they couldn’t have been nicer!

Kate: Yes, they were really lovely. One thing that impressed me was that, although rowing seems from the outside like a kind of exclusive world, the rowers we met were all incredibly open, welcoming and encouraging.

What was your impression of the world of rowing?

Doug: They’re all mad to want to do it. I don’t understand it. It must be something you either have or don’t have and I don’t think I have it. 

Kate: But it’s incredibly inspiring. They’re all people who are really motivated by wanting to get the best out of themselves, and it’s hard not to be moved by that. I’ve totally Googled beginner rowing courses since – and one day I might actually try one!

How do you think videos like this can connect people to books?

Doug: I think videos can give you a taste of a book, but there’s something unique about a book. The way you read it, the way you choose where to start, the way you can return to it, the way you share it. A video is a linear thing, but it can convey emotion in a different way, through music, editing, you control the viewer’s experience a lot more.

Kate: There are some wonderful photographs here, and a beautifully printed large-format book is the place to really enjoy them. Plus I don’t think there’s anything Jack doesn’t know about rowers, or rowing. He really lives in that world. So there are all these little fascinating details in the text, notes about the rowers or stories from the histories of the clubs. We would never have had time to feature them all in the film, but they’re all there to discover in the book.

Check out the film below:

Rowing Blazers Rowing Blazers looks at the striped, piped, trimmed and badged blazers that are still worn by oarsmen and oarswomen around the world, and at the rituals, elite athletes, prestigious clubs and legendary races associated with them.

Available for £34.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

Posted in Contributors, Fashion, World of T&H | Leave a comment

Recommended Reading: Malevich at Tate Modern

Our recommended reading series offers readers a curated list of Thames & Hudson titles relevant to selected cultural events. In this post we focus on abstract art to mark the opening of the Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art at Tate Modern.

World of Art: Abstract Art

Anna Moszynska shows here how abstract art originated and evolved, placing it in its broad historical and cultural context.

She traces the paths to abstraction forged by artists such as Balla, Kupka and Delaunay, and examines the pioneering work of Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian, the Russian Constructivists, the De Stijl group and the Bauhaus artists, and contrasts the geometric tendencies of the 1930s and 1940s with the post-War emphasis on personal expression that culminated in Abstract Expressionism in the United States.

Finally, Anna Moszynska considers the work of ‘Post-Painterly’, Op, Kinetic and Minimal artists and examines the revived abstraction practised by Neo-Geo and other artists of the 1980s.


Paths to Abstraction 1867 – 1917

Surveying the art of five decades, from 1867 to 1917, this publication follows the broad and diverse ways that artists and their public, little by little, learnt to see and to judge works of art abstractly.

The contributions of Whistler, Monet, Cézanne, Maurice Denis, Vuillard, Matisse, Derain, Picasso and Braque in advancing the possibilities of abstraction are given due emphasis. Apart from Kandinsky, the first generation of abstract painters included Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, František Kupka, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Giacomo Balla, Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber, Paul Klee, Arthur Dove and Patrick Henry Bruce. How had these artists arrived at such a convergence? How had abstract art taken root so quickly? Why was it not singled out by critics or historians as an independent art movement?

One answer is that the conventions of abstraction had evolved over such a long time and were so thoroughly embedded in the avant-garde movements of the late 19th and early 20th century, that the advent of abstract art seemed inevitable; abstraction was considered synonymous with ‘modern art’. Far from breaking links to prior avant-garde movements, as this book argues, abstraction arose directly from a tradition of speculation about the nature of art and of aesthetic experience.


Inventing Abstraction: 1910 – 1925

It was only a century ago that audiences in Europe and the United States saw their first examples of modernist abstract art.

This invaluable new book includes examinations of key artists, artworks, events and issues in the early history of abstraction. In combining these investigations with a new and original sense of abstract art as an expansive, various, yet inter-related field, Inventing Abstraction makes an outstanding contribution to its study.

In celebrating this bold aesthetic adventure, Inventing Abstraction focuses on its first fifteen years, as ideas developed and spread through an international network of artists. It also reached into many media – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and film, writing and the book, music and dance. Inventing Abstraction features extensive illustrations of works in all these forms.


Moscow and St.Petersburg in Russia’s Silver Age

The twilight of Imperial Russia witnessed a sudden renaissance of the visual, literary and performing arts: here was a Silver Age as luminous perhaps as the Golden Age of Russian literature many decades before.

Much of this new flowering was indebted to the set of ideas known as Symbolism, which flourished in Russia. The Russian Symbolists lived and created on the edge, which often made them to be named ‘Decadent’ or ‘Degenerate’. Yet, as Sergei Diaghilev declared, theirs was not a moral or artistic decline, but a voyage of inner discovery and a refurbishing of a national culture.

A dazzling array of artists, writers, composers, actors, singers, dancers and designers are presented here in context, including Tolstoy, Pasternak, Gorky, Akhmatova, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Nijinsky, Scriabin, Karsavina, Meyerhold, Chaliapin, Stanislavsky, Diaghilev, Roerich, Repin, Serov, Somov, Vrubel, Bakst, Kandinsky, Malevich, Mayakovsky and many more.

The book includes a rich repertoire of artworks and vintage documentary photographs, many of which have not been published before. With a clear narrative and comprehensive bibliography, this volume will appeal both to the specialist and to the general student of Russian history and culture.


Russian and Soviet Theatre

In the interval between the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 the Russian theatre of the future was already an obsessive preoccupation for writers, directors and designers. Lenin proclaimed that theatre had to be ‘greater than a spectacle’, and directors, designers, playwrights and artists rose to the challenge, creating an aesthetic revolution which is still inspiring today’s dramatists.

Russian and Soviet Theatre documents the extraordinary developments of the years from about 1900 to 1932. It presents an astonishing wealth of previously unpublished material, including over 450 illustrations showing performances directed by Meyerhold, Eisenstein and Mikhail Chekhov, with designs by some of the greatest modernist artists of the age, including Malevich, Larionov and Rodchenko. Visually exhilarating and critically perceptive, this book is a unique record of this formative period in modern theatre.


Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art is on at Tate Modern until 26 October  2014 – click here for more information.


Posted in Art, World of T&H | Tagged | Comments closed

10 Things You’ll Never Hear a Street Photographer Say

What phrases would (probably) never pass the lips of a genuine street photographer? We asked David Gibson, author of The Street Photographer’s Manual, who compiled the following list. Let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments.

David Gibson - Brighton, 1998

David Gibson - Brighton, 1998

1. ‘So, what camera do you use?’

2. ‘Thank you for letting me take your photograph.’

3. ‘I shoot ‘candid’ street photography.’

4. ‘Hi fellow Streettogs‘.

5. ‘Have you seen my latest Kickstarter campaign?’

6. ‘Magnum? That’s an ice-cream.’

7. ‘I always use a long lens instead of my feet.’

8. ‘It is absolutely fine to crop your images.’

9. ‘It is better to have more cameras and kit than photography books.’

10. ‘Awesome photograph!’

The Street Photographer's Manual Whether dark, edgy or humorous, street photography shows us that daily life can be a little surreal but also gently poignant. In this book, David Gibson introduces the reader to twenty acclaimed contemporary street photographers, and intersperses the profiles with twenty invaluable projects that deal with the practicalities of street photography.

Available for £14.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

Posted in Photography | Tagged | Comments closed

What is a Map?

What is a map and how does it relate to the real world? To mark the publication of our new book by Hans Ulrich Obrist – Mapping it Out – we look at some of the ways artists and designers have attempted to tackle these challenging questions.

Super-Duper Helter-Skelter Lego-World, Raqs Media Collective

Super-Duper Helter-Skelter Lego-World, Raqs Media Collective

Conventional maps and charts claim to offer an accurate and objective picture of the world – but is that ever possible? The artworks featured in chapter one challenge this assumption and attempt to show how maps can be altered to reflect different priorities, hierarchies, experiences, points of view and destinations. Super-Duper Helter-Skelter Lego-World by Raqs Media Collective shows a world made of building blocks, where each block stands for a superlative claim about the planet and its resources.

Gilbert & George

Fournier Street, 2008, Gilbert & George

Maps and charts can also be used to plot and track all aspects of human existence, from a single person’s emotions to the historical path of entire civilizations. The works found in the chapter Charting Human Life chart the terrain of contemporary life and point toward a land of the future. This work by Gilbert & George is named after Fournier Street in East London, where the artists live and work.

The Artificial Ape, Timothy Taylor & Tom Frankland

The Artificial Ape, Timothy Taylor & Tom Frankland

Scientists make maps and charts to help them better understand the results of their research and explain their findings to non-specialist audiences. This work from the chapter Scientia Naturalis shows the evolution of man, illustrating how some sub-species went extinct.

Forecast, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

Forecast, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

How does one map something that is ethereal and intangible like time, space, Heaven or human consciousness? The artworks featured in the chapter Unmappable push the concept of mapping to its limit in order to map the seemingly unmappable. In the work above entitled ‘Forecast’, camera apparatus captures the precise moment of formal stasis in the trajectory of a fishing net that has been cast into the water, where lift and gravity act equally upon the net, resulting in a form of temporary map that covers physical, poetic and conceptual domains.

So what is a map? As we see from the endeavours of artists and designers featured in Mapping It Out, the question is wide open to interpretation.

Mapping It OutOver 130 of the world’s most creative minds make sense of our exterior and interior worlds through intriguing and imaginative maps of their own devising. Imaginative, visionary and richly absorbing, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how we visualize our worlds, physical or abstract, real or imagined.

Available for £24.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

Posted in Art, Design | Comments closed

Beryl Bainbridge Exhibition Opens

Beryl Bainbridge needs no introduction as one of the finest novelists of our times. But few people know that painting 
and drawing were also lifelong passions. As the publisher of Psiche Hughes’ biography Beryl Bainbridge: Artist, Writer, Friend, we were excited to attend the new exhibition of her paintings, drawings and etchings at Somerset House. Read on for some of our highlights.


As we entered the exhibition we spotted the painting which appears on the cover of Hughes’ book: ‘Napoleon dancing at 42 Albert Street Camden Town to the strains of the gramophone’ (1967). Napoleon Bonaparte is featured in a number of Bainbridge’s works, serving to repeatedly blur the boundary between reality and fantasy and to merge history with the present day. Hughes has wondered whether Bainbridge saw Napoleon ‘as a symbol of power and masculinity or one of failure in enterprise?’ It’s often not clear in Bainbridge’s work: in some he is depicted as sad and despondent and in others he is happy, even dancing as we see here.

Family & Portraits

Bainbridge painted numerous portraits of people close to her, especially her children Jojo, Aaron and Rudi when they were young. Here is a portrait of her son Aaron from the early 1960s. In her book, Hughes states: ‘Aaron cherishes this portrait as intrinsic to his relationship with his mother’.

Portraying Historical Events

In another room, we encountered work produced in the 1990s, which shows how Bainbridge’s artistic focus moved away from her own life to real events in history. This image shows how Bainbridge seemed to be drawn towards representing the downfall of powerful masculine figures and projects – it depicts a scene from the ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition 1911-1912, in which Captain Oates famously said ‘I may be some time’, before crawling out of the safety of the tent into a blizzard and to his death.

Home & Objects

At the far end of the exhibition space is a collection of works which show, as her daughter Jojo Davies explains, ‘figures surrounded and anchored by objects – often plants or lamps, stuffed animals in glass cases, doilies or tablecloths.’ The central painting here shows her children in an enormous womb-like bathtub with an old-fashioned geyser – the same geyser that appears in Bainbridge’s early novel A Weekend With Claud.

Beryl Bainbridge: Art & Life runs until 19 October 2014 in the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, London, and admission is free. We highly recommend a visit!

Keep Britain TidyBeryl Bainbridge’s power to inspire is vividly conveyed in this first-hand portrait of a woman who combined towering creative talent with a tremendous sense of fun and an incorrigible free spirit.

Available for £19.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

Posted in Art | Comments closed

‘Lively and accessible’ history book wins prestigious prize

We’re delighted to announce that Cyprian Broodbank has been awarded the 2014 Wolfson History Prize for his hugely acclaimed book The Making of the Middle Sea.

The Making of the Middle Sea by Cyprian Broodbank

The Wolfson History Prize, awarded every year to British authors since 1972, promotes and encourages standards of excellence in the writing of readable and scholarly history suitable for a general audience. Previous winners of this prestigious award have included Mary Beard, David Reynolds, Richard Overy, Antony Beevor, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Ian Kershaw and Andrew Roberts.

Julia Smith and Cyprian Broodbank

Cyprian Broodbank receives the prize from judge Professor Julia Smith. Photo credit: Justin Grainge

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said, ‘These books are worthy winners in the long tradition of the Wolfson History Prize – a Prize which celebrates outstanding history written in a lively and accessible way.’

The Making of the Middle Sea

For millions of years the Mediterranean has produced some of the most astonishing history and culture on the planet, and its legacy extends around the globe to this day. The Making of the Middle Sea is the first full, interpretive synthesis for a generation on the rise of the Mediterranean world from its very beginnings up to the threshold of Classical times. Its unparalleled breadth of knowledge and analysis has been hailed by leading historians as a masterpiece of archaeological and historical writing:

‘A major intellectual feat … This is one of those rare books – I can think of no other – in which the treatment of prehistoric times moves seamlessly into the historic period of the ancient world. It is to be applauded as a major work which sets new standards in scholarship, coherence and readability’
Colin Renfrew, Times Literary Supplement

‘A tremendous achievement, enhanced, as one would expect from Thames & Hudson, by many hundreds of excellently chosen illustrations … it is a work of exceptional range, insight and interest’
David Abulafia, Standpoint

‘The book I’d like for Christmas’
Melvyn Bragg, Books of the Year, The Observer

The author

Cyprian Broodbank is currently Professor of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and from October will become John Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute at the University of Cambridge.

Posted in Ancient History, History, News, World of T&H | Tagged | Comments closed

Recommended Reading – Comics Unmasked

Our recommended reading series offers readers a curated list of Thames & Hudson titles relevant to selected cultural events. In this post we focus on Comics Unmasked, a new show of iconic work at the British Library.

Comics Sketchbooks

Comics Sketchbooks

We rarely see the creative thinking – the doodling, the experimentation – that leads to fully formed visual ideas and stories. Comics Sketchbooks is a visually exciting look inside the private notebooks of over 80 of the world’s most inventive, innovative and mind-blowing creative talents at work today. Comics literally ‘unmasked’!

Sergio Larrain




Available for £24.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.


Comics: A Global History, 1968 to the Present


This is the first global history of comics from 1968 through to the present day, arranged chronologically and richly illustrated with prime examples of the artists, styles and movements being discussed. The authors contextualize the crucial modern period within the art form’s broader history and offer a description of the more fluid, international and digital scene that is the medium’s likely future. They supply examples from around the world – including the US and UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Argentina, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand – and from a range of renowned and lesser-known artists.

Sergio Larrain




Available for £19.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.




This is a high-impact visual presentation of the most interesting fanzines ever produced. Ephemeral and irreplaceable, many have been lost to all but a few passionate collectors. Fanzines have been one of the liveliest forms of self-expression for over 70 years. Now a new generation of graphic designers, illustrators, artists and writers combines self-expression with a rediscovery of the handmade, crafted object.

Sergio Larrain




Available for £19.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.




Comics Unmasked is open until 19 August 2014 – click here for more details.


Posted in Design, Illustration, New Books, Our Books | Tagged | Comments closed
  • go to