Limited Edition; increased opportunities

by Amanda Fleet

When times are hard, it seems that the first thing to be cut back is anything to do with the arts and creativity. I suspect in today's consumerism-led world, the arts are not seen as 'productive'.

I challenge you all to go a week with no books, no TV, no cinema, no music, no pictures, no photography... nothing created by artists. Hm... perhaps the creative arts do have some value to our life, after all, even if that isn't easily measured by bean-counters.

Which is why the Mike Hawthorne limited edition set of notebooks is doing so much more than 'just being a notebook'.

This limited edition pack comes with two different covers, each featuring exclusive artwork from Marvel Comics artist, Mike Hawthorne. A master at visual storytelling, Hawthorne set out to create a world that manages to be simple in its focus and complex in its rendering. As is so often the case, before peace must come war. Like the creation of art, these covers represent the destruction and struggle that is often part of the process of creating something beautiful, something new. 
On the inside, Hawthorne includes one of his signature drawing lessons, which he uses regularly when teaching at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. And, with the sale of each pack, a sketchbook will be given to an art student in an under-served community. 
The first batch of donations will go to York City School District, an urban school system that has fallen to difficult financial times of late. As an alumnus of York City Schools, Hawthorne recalls how art, and easy access to art supplies, changed the course of his life. Since then, budget cuts have made his story increasingly less common. Those memories fuel his desire to give back to the school that gave him a voice.

The more you look at the covers, the more you see. What at first glance might have been mistaken for clouds turn out to be eagles. Even though the drawings seem simple, you can tell that a man's armour is made from leather rectangles, sewn together. They are extraordinary.

Each notebook is 5.25" x 7.75" (13.4 x 19.6 cm), and has 64 pages. The covers are made of firm card, the paper is a satin-smooth "Cougar Natural Smooth", the corners are rounded and the notebook is stapled. Inside the covers, there is a lesson on how to draw the human face. Only 5000 packs were made, so this really is a limited edition. For every pack sold, an aspiring artist will get a sketchbook, which has to be a good thing, right?

Art should be for everyone. We should be encouraging everyone with talent, not just those with money. A world without the creative arts is too awful to contemplate.

Story Supply - Mike Hawthorne £13 for two notebooks