This Newsletter Is (Not) a Planetarium
Anderson's new book is out! And you're gonna wanna go in...
We couldn’t begin to imagine what it’d be like to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Kelli Anderson’s brain, but we can say unequivocally that it’d be full of surprises. A multi-talented, deep-thinking maker of creative magic, Anderson is idiosyncratic as all get-out—a true agitator in the purest, most honest, affirmative way.
The Brooklyn-based artist and designer (and longtime 20x200 collaborator!) is beyond fluent in a wildly broad range of media: illustration, photography, printing, papercraft, animation, coding, and design, to name a few. It’s obvious that the joy of experimentation and discovery is central to her work, to her existence, even. Anderson seems to approach her creative process with a driving sense of wonder and a fundamental freedom—with materials and ideas, from axioms and expectations. Her TED talk from a few years back may have tipped you off to that. Her 20x200 edition, Perspective, prolly clued you in too. She is a tinkerer, a scholar, an iconoclast, always aiming to dig beyond her projects themselves into their deeper meaning.
Anderson’s recent endeavors include debuting her first mass-produced, mass-published, hotly-anticipated and (literally) out-of-this world pop-up book, just released this past Tuesday. Let’s get something straight. Compared to an Anderson pop-up masterpiece, all other pop-up books should kindly take a seat. This Book is a Planetarium is an insanely cool collection of paper pop-ups that transform into totally functional tools—a planetarium, a perpetual calendar, a musical instrument, and more! It’s hard to picture, so do yourself a favor and watch this video. Let us know when you’re done clapping.
In the grand tradition of 20x200 artists rubbing shoulders, Anderson actually also discussed her new book with 20x200 artist Debbie Millman on Millman’s acclaimed podcast, Design Matters. Definitely worth a listen. And since we can’t even quantify the awesomeness contained in this paper popping tome, let’s just talk about the cover real quick. Anderson’s laser-cut 20x200 edition actually emerged from the same "stripey" experimentation stage that brought her to this bananas book cover. If you collected her edition, you already know it’s yet another example of her rule-bending design dexterity, insatiable curiosity, and devoted nerdery.
Learning—that’s what it’s all about for Anderson, and by association, all of us. You can’t contemplate one of her designs, peruse her projects, or flip through her new book without having an Aha! moment worthy of an Oprah cameo. Oh, and she’s also working on a stop-motion video about road trips. Casual.
Below, images from Kelli Anderson's new book!