The design of the Shambhala Sun is largely informed by two elements: dharma, and the intuition of art director and associate editor Liza Matthews and her team. Here, as we celebrate 30 Great Years of Art and Artists in the magazine, along with a Liza-penned retrospective found in the issue (and online), Liza gives us a glimpse into her process.
By Liza Matthews
“Beyond Present, Past, and Future Is The 4th Moment” by Chogyam Trungpa
This design was done by hand on a long piece piece of paper and with two designers, Associate Art Director Jessica von Handorf and myself. We placed elements on the strip of paper and moved them around, made calligraphic marks on tracing paper overlays, and cut up captions, etc. It was an exercise done in Dharma Art workshops called “object arranging.” So the whole article was done as one continuous design, and then divided up across 4 spreads:
This evoked the feeling of the fourth moment, a continuous moment separate from past present future.
Design #2: “Phrases and Spaces,” by Norman Fischer
For this article on Zen koans, I took one Japanese scroll that had a phrase written in brush calligraphy on it, and made scans of details from the calligraphy, to go with the title of the piece, Phrases and Spaces.
Because of the beauty of the original calligraphy, lent to me by our Tea Ceremony master, it was fun to arrange with these elements.
Design #3: “Bob Thurman’s Cool Revolution”, by Michael Valpy
and Design #4: “Weekend at Bernie’s,” by Trish Deitch Rohrer
These are examples of spreads that were easy and fun to design because of the greatness of the photos I was able to use.
In both of these cases, the photos were taken by the brilliant photographer Peter Cunningham, who for many years has photographed the Zen community of Maezumi Roshi and Roshi Glassman.
For more, see also:
- 30 Years of Buddhism in America: Art & Artists — Inspired by the dharma art teachings of its founder, the Shambhala Sun is known for the beauty of its art and design. Continuing our celebration of the Sun’s 30th anniversary, we showcase seven featured artists whose work manifests the qualities of awakened mind. Commentary by Liza Matthews.
- Art & Buddhism: A Special Section on ShambhalaSun.com — Alex Grey, Leonard Cohen, k.d. lang, Alice Walker, and bell hooks are but a few of the talented artists whose lives and work have been enriched by Buddhism. The Shambhala Sun is pleased to present the work of these and other artists.