Thank God I never made any vow to run on only 20kph on book buying or I would have missed Daisy de Villeneuve’s artistically wonderful He Said, She Said. Her take on the much debated side of relationships in typewritten text are only enhanced with her famous felt-tip pen drawings. If one can get lost in art, then these are a feast for the eyes:
Only one of a lesser mind or insight would insist that these pages contain nothing more than juvenile angst inexpertly done in crude materials. For de Villeneuve’s style not only mirrors a certain flair but rather an understanding for the need to express in light and easy terms when the heart is overflowing. But as a novice to doodling and an even bigger fool for art, I am incapable of describing further what her medium communicates. However, my friend, a self-confessed comics connoisseur who told me to take really good care of his Captain America series (yup..still sealed plastic, no tears and placed inside a box the day he lent me those and which by the way are still in my possession but haven’t had time to read..hehe), describing the author’s art as simplistic is simply atrocious and would very well reveal the commentor’s ignorance. That while her works may generally appear as such, only the few who have finer tastes can define the level of expertise behind the lines and colors from the felt tip pens of Miss de Villeneuve and grasp the message she was conveying.
A Fine Arts graduate from Parsons School of Design Paris, Daisy de Villeneuve, pursued what can only be termed as a passion turning into a lucrative job. Now a very famous fashion illustrator who has done commissions for Nike, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and TopShop, de Villeneuve has also authored two books, one of which is this particular one being reviewed and the other, I Told You So, a collaboration with Inigo Asis and Nicola Schwartz. While her coming from an art-impassioned parentage (her mom being a famous 60′s model and her photographer dad who launched Twiggy into stardom back in the day) may have influenced her early on, it was her own talent that made her carve her niche in the fickle world of fashion and art. For more about the author, read this interview on Lifever and writersand artists.co.uk or visit her website at daisydevilleneuve.com .
My fave part of the book is the notebook-page-style background which reminds me of the old Sterling notebooks my uncles had in high school (being the curious and restless child I was, I wasn’t happy until I’d rummaged through the nooks, old cabinets and trunks in the attic of my lola‘s house and find some what-not and play with it. The song that always comes to mind whenever I remember those times being in the care of my grandma and aunt during early childhood, is Natalie Cole’s Miss You Like Crazy, especially when it’s raining. I don’t know why that song stuck but maybe it was the one playing over the radio while I was still small enough to squeeze into my fave spot in that dark attic to look over our neighbors’ roofs while dangling my hand outside through a hole and catch as much raindrops as I could.) Instead of the usual notes in their squiggly handwriting (I don’t have the best handwriting in the world. Heck, sometimes, I can’t even read my own handwriting. But theirs are exceptional that it would be a miracle to be able to read them. Hehehe), I would sometimes find drawings here and there – mostly diagrams accompanying the lecture notes they jotted down, others are caricatures featuring some of their friends and our neighbors, that if by drawing alone one could perform voodoo, my uncles would have rendered their friends deformed with their funny take on their friends’ body parts. And if that “sickness” is inherent in the family, then I’m afflicted should my notes be sent as evidence (my college notes were the worst as they were filled to the brim with nothing but doodles and the occasional F.L.A.M.E.S. with that of my name and that of the current crush coupled with compatibility calculations I mastered from my cousin).
I LIVE BY ARROWS. My drafting teacher in third year high school used to tell us that if one must become skilled in drawing, he or she must not miss drawing perfect arrows. Up until now, I’m still trying to learn that. (Some of my notes on the Early Childhood Development and Audio Visual Education classes I’m taking at the Normal University this semester.)
For only P80.00 (which means a lot when you didn’t bring much in your purse because you didn’t expect to find something really nice), He Said, She Said was well worth the agony of worrying if I had enough money to go home. I actually counted from 1 up to 10 before I picked up the book from among those in the bargain bin. Heaving a sigh of relief after finding one 50-peso bill and two 20-peso bills among the coins inside the battered coin purse I bought from Vigan, I paid for the tome with a smile of anticipation thinking of the countless hours I could spend dissecting and enjoying the art (I love Booksale. I love Booksale. Oh how I can say that a million times over. Hehe). Well, Miss de Villeneuve, you got yourself a fan.
Illustrations were scanned from the book. Copyright by Daisy de Villeneuve.