Self-published author Michael Adams is excited to have his book, “Help Yourself to a Blue Banana, Awakening Your Eyes to Art, Design, and Visual Living” gaining national distribution in widely know places including the Smithsonian Institution, the Tate Museum of Modern Art in London, and the Strand Bookstore in New York City.
He is even more excited about his recent success since the book has been available for sale at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland.
Adams, a Montville resident for the past 15 years, owns his own local business, Behind the Scenes Marketing, which has been in Montville eight years. The company specializes in graphic design for marketing and advertising clients.
Adams' dad was an Air Force pilot from Washington and his mom was a Pennsylvania native, so having the book available in Carnegie was a big win for him.
As a professional graphic designer for 25 years, Adams has also been an adjunct professor for 16 terms at five colleges and universities including Montclair State University in New Jersey. “Help Yourself to a Blue Banana” is based on a lecture series titled the "Nine Lessons of Light" taught as a required course for freshman at Montclair. The book is also sold at the Montclair Art Museum.
The book is a primer about the basics of visual expression, art, and design, and one that readers of all levels of artistic background can understand.
“You don’t necessarily have to be an artist to appreciate visual expression. It makes going through life more enjoyable,” Adams said.
“Help Yourself to a Blue Banana” shows how inspirations are often “hiding in plain sight” and incorporates the wisdom of more than 30 of history’s most famous artists.
Adams uses modern examples of his own design work to expand upon the classic art philosophies throughout the ages.
“The book is filling a void because the nine lessons of light are the building blocks of understanding visual expression. It’s the foundation for design, photography, architecture, and any of the visual occupations,” Adams said.
The distribution of Adams' book has been self-generated. The first edition was published in 2005 and was also sold in an art museum in New Jersey for several years. Based on those sales and the excellent feedback he received from readers, he started contacting book buyers in museums and his efforts have really paid off.
The book is now in its third edition and has been updated with more current examples and the distribution continues to grow.
“I am hopeful that additional prestigious outlets for the book, like the Carnegie Museums, will be found,” Adams said in a press release.
Adams studied painting in Germany, architecture and economics at Catholic University, and graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. He has also held senior creative positions in design studios and advertising agencies and traveled internationally as design director for leading hotel chains.
“Help Yourself to a Blue Banana” is available at the bookstore when you visit the Carnegie Museum of Art.