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Urgent 2nd Class: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents, and Other Art from Ephemera

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His internationally best-selling Griffin & Sabine saga is treasured for its blend of lyrical storyline and compelling, imaginative art. Now Nick Bantock gives a short course in visual creativity in Urgent 2nd Class. A tour through the techniques and materials which constitute his signature style, Bantock shares with readers numerous ways ways of using old paper ephemera -- His internationally best-selling Griffin & Sabine saga is treasured for its blend of lyrical storyline and compelling, imaginative art. Now Nick Bantock gives a short course in visual creativity in Urgent 2nd Class. A tour through the techniques and materials which constitute his signature style, Bantock shares with readers numerous ways ways of using old paper ephemera -- maps, letters, postcards, ledgers, scraps, photos, and many more items -- to create their own idiosyncratic art. Written for people of all artistic skill levels, the materials mentioned are all easily found and inexpensive, and the processes are simple enough to do at home (and with access to the most advanced machinery used in the book, a photocopier). An inspirational guide to the simple artistic techniques which can alchemically transform ephemera into remarkable works, Urgent 2nd Class is the handbook for a new generation of visual poets.


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His internationally best-selling Griffin & Sabine saga is treasured for its blend of lyrical storyline and compelling, imaginative art. Now Nick Bantock gives a short course in visual creativity in Urgent 2nd Class. A tour through the techniques and materials which constitute his signature style, Bantock shares with readers numerous ways ways of using old paper ephemera -- His internationally best-selling Griffin & Sabine saga is treasured for its blend of lyrical storyline and compelling, imaginative art. Now Nick Bantock gives a short course in visual creativity in Urgent 2nd Class. A tour through the techniques and materials which constitute his signature style, Bantock shares with readers numerous ways ways of using old paper ephemera -- maps, letters, postcards, ledgers, scraps, photos, and many more items -- to create their own idiosyncratic art. Written for people of all artistic skill levels, the materials mentioned are all easily found and inexpensive, and the processes are simple enough to do at home (and with access to the most advanced machinery used in the book, a photocopier). An inspirational guide to the simple artistic techniques which can alchemically transform ephemera into remarkable works, Urgent 2nd Class is the handbook for a new generation of visual poets.

30 review for Urgent 2nd Class: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents, and Other Art from Ephemera

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    Fans of Nick Bantock, and those wishing to emulate his art style, are liable to enjoy Urgent 2nd Class. Fair warning: The book purports to be a guide for replicating Bantock's artistic style, but instructions are minimal. Chapters are divided into various types of ephemera: stamps, maps, engravings, photographs, etc. More than anything, the various chapters instruct the reader on where to search for such unique items, followed by a few examples on how to maximize their application. Not everyone Fans of Nick Bantock, and those wishing to emulate his art style, are liable to enjoy Urgent 2nd Class. Fair warning: The book purports to be a guide for replicating Bantock's artistic style, but instructions are minimal. Chapters are divided into various types of ephemera: stamps, maps, engravings, photographs, etc. More than anything, the various chapters instruct the reader on where to search for such unique items, followed by a few examples on how to maximize their application. Not everyone has time to rummage antique shops or lives in close proximity to street markets where vintage finds abound, so Urgent 2nd Class has the added appeal of feeling like a veritable snooping through the ephemera Bantock has collected over the course of many years, a chance to admire found objects for the sheer enjoyment of their uniqueness. Lions and music notes commingle on one page, while vintage banknotes on a separate page draw the eye with lurid oranges and robust blues. Turn the page again to admire an old Bingo game, so aged the white paper has turned amber-yellow. Explore the book for its old travel maps, custom-made rubber stamps, hand-drawn illustrations, or retro food labels. And, above all, be inspired to mix and mingle the strange and wonderful objects that can be found in this strange and wonderful world.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christina Bouwens

    Long a fan of Bantock's work, this was simply the last book he's written that I haven't read, so I knew I would eventually get my hands on a cheaper, used copy and love it. It's not something to just flip through quickly, like a contemporary novel. It's to savour, to sift through, and to contemplate his artistry as well as what creative spark Bantock is either instilling in or nudging forward ... in you. I especially loved the sections on postcards, stamps, inkpad-stamping, and -- for sure -- th Long a fan of Bantock's work, this was simply the last book he's written that I haven't read, so I knew I would eventually get my hands on a cheaper, used copy and love it. It's not something to just flip through quickly, like a contemporary novel. It's to savour, to sift through, and to contemplate his artistry as well as what creative spark Bantock is either instilling in or nudging forward ... in you. I especially loved the sections on postcards, stamps, inkpad-stamping, and -- for sure -- the collage section at the end. In fact, I feel the collage section should've been at least three times the length it is, as it's the sum total of all the parts and what Bantock's artistic niche really is, well, besides being a phenomenal thinker and writer, too! If you <3 Bantock, check out this book!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    I've been reading Nick Bantock's collage based short fiction books for about a decade. The first one I read, The Museum at Purgatory confused the heck out of me but I loved the illustrations. It wasn't until I discovered his Griffith and Sabine series that I really fell in love with his books. Last year I decided I should read every book of his that I hadn't yet read. The last one on my list was Urgent Second Class. It's part memoir and part collage how-to and completely fascinating. Bantock goes I've been reading Nick Bantock's collage based short fiction books for about a decade. The first one I read, The Museum at Purgatory confused the heck out of me but I loved the illustrations. It wasn't until I discovered his Griffith and Sabine series that I really fell in love with his books. Last year I decided I should read every book of his that I hadn't yet read. The last one on my list was Urgent Second Class. It's part memoir and part collage how-to and completely fascinating. Bantock goes through the different materials he uses, like old stamps, old money, old business correspondence, contracts and maps to build his pieces of art. He also uses three dimensional items as well when creating shadow boxes. Besides collecting useful ephemera, Bantock creates his own stamps, postcards and other "dubious documents." There are so many useful techniques I wish I owned a copy of the book to refer to when I am working on collages. Unfortunately I was reading a library book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate Thompson

    Fun to peruse, but not much practical detail. Also, some of his artwork I find a little precious - he'll find a neat piece of old mail, for example, put a fake stamp on it and take credit for its awesomeness. That's not really original art, it's more a sign of you having a good eye and liking to collect weird stuff. Fun to peruse, but not much practical detail. Also, some of his artwork I find a little precious - he'll find a neat piece of old mail, for example, put a fake stamp on it and take credit for its awesomeness. That's not really original art, it's more a sign of you having a good eye and liking to collect weird stuff.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Somewhat interesting, but not engaging. I would hardly consider this to be an "art class", as the back-of-the-book blurb asserts. Somewhat interesting, but not engaging. I would hardly consider this to be an "art class", as the back-of-the-book blurb asserts.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Iphios

    This was exactly what I wanted. I have loved Bantock's artwork and have been curious about creating collages such as his. My interest grew as my own love for botanical prints, worn out paper and stamps thrown together has grown. Art makes me go weak. Learning something about art is just wonderful, this books briefly discusses the various ephemera---from old receipts, stamps, documents, and postcards, as well as some simple methods or suggestions that can be used to create them. This is not as tho This was exactly what I wanted. I have loved Bantock's artwork and have been curious about creating collages such as his. My interest grew as my own love for botanical prints, worn out paper and stamps thrown together has grown. Art makes me go weak. Learning something about art is just wonderful, this books briefly discusses the various ephemera---from old receipts, stamps, documents, and postcards, as well as some simple methods or suggestions that can be used to create them. This is not as thorough as providing the reader with actual lessons. These are ideas, suggestions, accompanied with picture that allow one to understand how to best approach using old postcards and maps, etc. Hence, there is room for the readers own artistic taste and imagination to re-create and bring to life her own collage. I can't wait to try my hand in creating this sort of art.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jan Polep

    Nick Bantock, author of the "Griffin & Sabine" saga, offers up ways to jazz up your walls, your personal histories, your great American novel...whatever you want to embellish using old letters, maps, postcards, old documents to make art that enhances whatever you are writing. Techniques included but not limited to collaging, rubber stamping, typing, cutting, books and magazines, money, and more. Family history buffs, take note. Nick Bantock, author of the "Griffin & Sabine" saga, offers up ways to jazz up your walls, your personal histories, your great American novel...whatever you want to embellish using old letters, maps, postcards, old documents to make art that enhances whatever you are writing. Techniques included but not limited to collaging, rubber stamping, typing, cutting, books and magazines, money, and more. Family history buffs, take note.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Violetmyst17

    Fun read from the world of ephemera collage...Bantock has a decidedly irreverent take in his collage art that's highly appealing to me. He devotes a chapter to his creation of "dubious documents": improbable passports, envelopes that look as if theyve circled the world several times, ancient postcards that have apparently traveled thru time from sender to recipient. My favourites are his collection of rubber stamps that play on traditional post office jargon, such as "Armageddon: Last Day Cover" Fun read from the world of ephemera collage...Bantock has a decidedly irreverent take in his collage art that's highly appealing to me. He devotes a chapter to his creation of "dubious documents": improbable passports, envelopes that look as if theyve circled the world several times, ancient postcards that have apparently traveled thru time from sender to recipient. My favourites are his collection of rubber stamps that play on traditional post office jargon, such as "Armageddon: Last Day Cover" or "RETURNED: inept love letter". ( i've since bought several of these for my own collage work). Idiosyncratic inspiration from a collage artist who definitely thinks outside the box....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Apryl Anderson

    I'm a bit disappointed that my expectations failed me on this one, although I'm not sure why. What more can be said about gathering other people's junk and creating new lives and calling them 'art?' Maybe, "Why am I not doing this, too?" Isn't it obvious? Copying is lame. So what then is my response? The question is too open-ended... The gluestick is now in my court. I'm a bit disappointed that my expectations failed me on this one, although I'm not sure why. What more can be said about gathering other people's junk and creating new lives and calling them 'art?' Maybe, "Why am I not doing this, too?" Isn't it obvious? Copying is lame. So what then is my response? The question is too open-ended... The gluestick is now in my court.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Straddling the line between retrospective and collage technique instruction, this gorgeous book by Nick Bantock shares some of the secrets of his elaborate and visually stunning work. The visual equivalent of walking through the musty back rooms of a natural history museum.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sherry (sethurner)

    While there isn't much new in this slim book about the way Bantock works in his otherworldly collages, this is a beautifully illustrated book. He discusses some of the ways he acquires and manipulates ephemera, though never gives explicit directions. There is some lovely eye-candy here. While there isn't much new in this slim book about the way Bantock works in his otherworldly collages, this is a beautifully illustrated book. He discusses some of the ways he acquires and manipulates ephemera, though never gives explicit directions. There is some lovely eye-candy here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    I actually hadn't looked too carefully at this when I got it from the library - turns out it's the same guy who did the Griffon and Sabine books! This was more of his collage and stamping. Aah. Now I have more inspiration for working with my leetle bottles - and wacky stuff. :P I actually hadn't looked too carefully at this when I got it from the library - turns out it's the same guy who did the Griffon and Sabine books! This was more of his collage and stamping. Aah. Now I have more inspiration for working with my leetle bottles - and wacky stuff. :P

  13. 5 out of 5

    tanya

    I just love Nick Bantock. I've admired his work for so long. This book shows a bit of his creative process and offers examples of how to make it your own. I just love Nick Bantock. I've admired his work for so long. This book shows a bit of his creative process and offers examples of how to make it your own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Dazet

    Pretty book, but Bantock's egotism got on my nerves pretty quick. I suppose all artists need a healthy dose of that, though. Pretty book, but Bantock's egotism got on my nerves pretty quick. I suppose all artists need a healthy dose of that, though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth Wisniewski

    Mr. Bantock's books are some of the coolest looking and best stories I've ever read! This one is nonfiction but I adore it just the same! Mr. Bantock's books are some of the coolest looking and best stories I've ever read! This one is nonfiction but I adore it just the same!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    As inspiration for art I would like to create: 5+ Love: "Permission" to let your artistic mind wander where it wants to go, or even to let something stand as-is as art (I agree with him that the King Pelican lettuce label is already art and needed nothing added). The "how to" books I have been reading, looking through really, have good "how to" details but they've all been from artists with an aesthetic very different from mine. Reviewing this book as a "how to" it might be a 3. I can't tell from t As inspiration for art I would like to create: 5+ Love: "Permission" to let your artistic mind wander where it wants to go, or even to let something stand as-is as art (I agree with him that the King Pelican lettuce label is already art and needed nothing added). The "how to" books I have been reading, looking through really, have good "how to" details but they've all been from artists with an aesthetic very different from mine. Reviewing this book as a "how to" it might be a 3. I can't tell from the pictures if he has combined and then scanned the result or if he has been SO precise in his cuts that it just looks completely seamless. No nuts-and-bolts about types of adhesives, sealants, paints, etc. Page 115 has the closest thing to "directions" I found in this book: Explaining how I put it together would take years. Applying the paint and found material cannot be done to formula - you have to employ your eye, your heart, your gut, and your slow-learned craft. Materials used her include printed scraps (fifty plus), acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, gold powder, colored pencil, glue, matte medium, and tissue paper.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Johannah Gage

    I adore Nick Bantock's art -- The Griffin and Sabine series originally inspired me to try art. I didn't realize that art could be so interesting and unusual. Every time I revisit his books (which should only be read in hardcover) I get a new spark of creative inspiration and energy. Plus, they are gorgeous books that are just FUN. I adore Nick Bantock's art -- The Griffin and Sabine series originally inspired me to try art. I didn't realize that art could be so interesting and unusual. Every time I revisit his books (which should only be read in hardcover) I get a new spark of creative inspiration and energy. Plus, they are gorgeous books that are just FUN.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Challenge: Grinchathon July Edition 2019 - Inspired by another reader (7). A simple yet highly aesthetic and balanced presentation of collage art a "visual poetry." What and how to use collected ephemera to combine "the contrived and organic" by the author of the Griffin and Sabine series. Inspired by Instagram/YouTube offerings and aesthetic sense of Paper Tams. Challenge: Grinchathon July Edition 2019 - Inspired by another reader (7). A simple yet highly aesthetic and balanced presentation of collage art a "visual poetry." What and how to use collected ephemera to combine "the contrived and organic" by the author of the Griffin and Sabine series. Inspired by Instagram/YouTube offerings and aesthetic sense of Paper Tams.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bambi

    This book is a great source of inspiration if you like vintage engravings, photography, stamps, postcards, or if you've ever found yourself fascinated by foreign currency! Somehow, Nick Bantock has exactly the same interests and collecting habits that I have, and it's interesting to see how he uses those passions to fuel his artwork! This book is a great source of inspiration if you like vintage engravings, photography, stamps, postcards, or if you've ever found yourself fascinated by foreign currency! Somehow, Nick Bantock has exactly the same interests and collecting habits that I have, and it's interesting to see how he uses those passions to fuel his artwork!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Lee

    This book had amazing color images that were created by this artist. However based on the title I thought it would give more instruction but it really did not. The author explained a little how he put things together and where he finds his ephemera. Which it had a bit more how-to in it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

    Very inspirational but not very pragmatic. A lot of ideas--but not very much a way in process other than "have a lot of eclectic ephemera in your house". Most of it is not modified so much--its more just embellishing on facet. Very inspirational but not very pragmatic. A lot of ideas--but not very much a way in process other than "have a lot of eclectic ephemera in your house". Most of it is not modified so much--its more just embellishing on facet.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Nick Bantock fails miserably in attempting to teach anything about his artistic style. This is a tiresome attempt of an artist who seems to care more about his own creations instead of showing the reader, as the book purports, HOW to create their own ephemeral creations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maya Louise

    Shallow and stupid

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mrsculpepper

    less of a how to and more of a look what can be done it is nevertheless gorgeous to look at

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pixie Unger

    Mr Bantock's art is lovely as expected, however this book wasn't exactly what I was looking for. That said, I'm not sure what I was looking for, so that's likely on me rather than the book. Mr Bantock's art is lovely as expected, however this book wasn't exactly what I was looking for. That said, I'm not sure what I was looking for, so that's likely on me rather than the book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    The artist who created the Griffin & Sabine saga shares his approach to creating pieces combining multiple elements. Highly recommended if you are a fan of his work and want to know how he creates, want inspiration, or want ideas for collage source materials. There are some application tips strewn through the book in the captions, but it's not a step by step how to book. Even if none of those things interested you, you could still flip through and admire his art and his collection of ephemera. It's The artist who created the Griffin & Sabine saga shares his approach to creating pieces combining multiple elements. Highly recommended if you are a fan of his work and want to know how he creates, want inspiration, or want ideas for collage source materials. There are some application tips strewn through the book in the captions, but it's not a step by step how to book. Even if none of those things interested you, you could still flip through and admire his art and his collection of ephemera. It's a quick very enjoyable read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    LemontreeLime

    This was delightful and at moments frustrating. Delightful to see more of Bantock's wild art experiments, and frustrating because most of his hints on techniques are hidden in illustration captions and not very well explained. But then, I never really expected him to open his 'aladdin's castle' to everyone, and let all the magic fly out. Bantock's art is best experienced in surprise. As a vague road map of concepts this does very well. This was delightful and at moments frustrating. Delightful to see more of Bantock's wild art experiments, and frustrating because most of his hints on techniques are hidden in illustration captions and not very well explained. But then, I never really expected him to open his 'aladdin's castle' to everyone, and let all the magic fly out. Bantock's art is best experienced in surprise. As a vague road map of concepts this does very well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    R.Friend

    This is a very cool peek into the working process of artist Nick Bantock, creator of the wonderful Griffin & Sabine saga. It highlights several pieces of Bantock's original artwork--primarily collage and rubber stamp techniques that he uses to create his unique brand of ephemera.Highly inspiring stuff. This is a very cool peek into the working process of artist Nick Bantock, creator of the wonderful Griffin & Sabine saga. It highlights several pieces of Bantock's original artwork--primarily collage and rubber stamp techniques that he uses to create his unique brand of ephemera.Highly inspiring stuff.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    After devouring Bantock's two trilogies, I wanted to see how he presents art from a non-fiction standpoint. This is full of his unique pieces and some good ideas, though the focus on collecting and repurposing ephemera will not help many of us pack-rats at this point. I did like the idea of a charcoal portrait on a book page though! After devouring Bantock's two trilogies, I wanted to see how he presents art from a non-fiction standpoint. This is full of his unique pieces and some good ideas, though the focus on collecting and repurposing ephemera will not help many of us pack-rats at this point. I did like the idea of a charcoal portrait on a book page though!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book is a glance into the mind of a creative genius. He gives examples of his works and explains briefly how they come about. The book is more for inspiration than instruction. I highly recommend his Griffin and Sabine series.

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