Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Street Markets

Another chapter of "MY BRILLIANT CAREER". Did you see that Australian movie or read the book? On a shoe designing trip to Spain, I went to Morocco. I fell hard for the souks and bazaars and dreamed of doing a coffee table book. Ever practical, I figured do a European market guide 1st. My shoe company sent me to London, Paris, Rome so I piggy-backed on flea market research. First day in London's Bermondsey Market, I met darling Graham, a free-lance dealer, my new flea market assistant. What did I know of antiques? The illo above was for Mademoiselle magazine. I had no typewriter. I hand-printed everything.

Grossett & Dunlap saw the Mademoiselle article and asked me to turn it into a book. I went off to design shoes with Graham along to explain silver marks and dealer tips in the weekend flea markets.

Here's a spread from the Paris Puce section..

Next I approached Mademoiselle on the souks and bazaars idea. They were thrilled! A book contract followed from Grosset. I'd earned my street creds. This time I was comped by the tourist offices as a guest travelwriter in their countries - all expenses paid. Comped in Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Isreal. In Iran I joined a group of travel agents to eat my fill of pistachios and caviar. Pas mal.

No "research assistant" for this project I used my imagination to come up with stories on the souks of
Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Yugoslavia, Iran. I did have terrific help from Abrams book designer, Robert McKee (we met in graphic design class).
The book went to "blues" (the first publishing test run used for correcting errors etc.) But
the Iran hostage crisis caused on the Med book to be shelved. 

A US flea market guide was next. First for Mademoiselle and then a 3rd book for Grosset. But problems surfaced. I don't drive, so it became all writing and little drawing.

Articles for Art News and others followed. Plus an illustrated column for a travel magazine. I accumulated a lot of antique junk in the process. But time to move on to another career.
To be cont.


somepinkflowers said...

get out!
you are so ***amazing***

the ~Med book~ that went to ~blues~
needs to be rediscovered and printed,
even now,
OK, maybe you might need to change
the text a bit,
it might be used as
or something...
peaceful shopping...

if you ever make it to florida,
i will drive you around,
and be your **research assistant**


PS--it might cost you macarons...

Asia Jacyna Divakaran said...

How fascianting you are and your career moves......nothing like not moving in life in a straight line!

I think there was a reason why you did not have a typewriter.....your imagination is your constant companion, Carol!

Anonymous said...

I am speechless. You just keep amazing us. You have traveled far and wide in the Art's. Way to go.
Cris in OR

Blame It on Paris said...

I love it! Seriously, you ARE amazing. You just--get up and go with things! No holds barred on life. I love it.

Patsy Terrell said...

I'm planning to go to Morrocco... would love to have that book. Your public demands the publisher give it another go. (OK, that might not be the best approach with a publisher, but I'd buy a copy!)

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thank you PATSY and EVERYONE!
Grossett & Dunlap is no more sadly. I'm just parading here my past lives..there are so many :)

Anonymous said...

Will you STOP!
Too, too much
Too talented too :)

FrenchGardenHouse said...

you have had a seriously diverse and fun life so far, and worn many hats. :)

I love that, for me, even in business, if it stops being fun, it's over. who knows what's around the next bend??

Anonymous said...

Love your drawings of the Babouche.
All I can say is your the best.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this type of book. I will be happy to collaborate you sometime on such a fantastic project.

And the 47 cent price on Amazon - none left! I just spent $12.65, a price that is well worth it!

Anonymous said...

ooh - forgot to say that my friend is going to Morocco in October and I'm giving her the book!

Olga Norris said...

A lovely idea - and perhaps there is an opportunity to do such articles but on textile treasures for Selvedge magazine ( who do travel items. I write for them from time to time, and the editor is Polly Leonard (

In one of my past lives, in the early 80s I wrote a leaflet on Lovely Loos in London, but unfortunately it was text only.

Anonymous said...

I love when you open your bag of magical tricks and adventures.
What will you pull out next to share?

savvycityfarmer said...

what a sweet little the sketches of toys

Di Overton said...

You wear me out. How can you pack all this into one life. Are you sure you haven't been reincarnated??

The Paris Apartment said...

how many lives we lead! yours is wonderful and so is your work. i'd be happy to assist you anytime!

Anonymous said...

Your article is amazing.
I was in Morocco 5 years ago, your article and your pictures made me to remember all memories and impressions about this fascinating country. thanks ,good job!

Tamakikat said...

Inspirational! I've wanted to do something like this for the area I live in. Now I just have to give myself a kick up the derierre and do it!