Creative Consumption: An Artist Draws Our Material World

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Kate Bingaman-Burt's blog turned book, Obsessive Consumption, captures the author's purchases in beautiful ink drawings

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I've been a longtime fan of Kate Bingaman-Burt's Obsessive Consumption project—a wonderfully illustrated visual record of personal consumption running since February 5, 2006. So I was delighted when last year Princeton Architectural Press (of The Map as Art fame) added the project to this running list of blog-turned-book success stories and published Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?—a charming illustrated chronicle of Bingham-Burt's adventures in a material world, spanning 200 pages and three years' worth of selected ink drawings from the project.

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The project is particularly interesting examined in parallel and contrast to Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff, which also uses black-and-white line illustration but explores the flip side of personal consumption by exposing the dark underbelly of the seemingly innocuous products we buy.

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And while Obsessive Consumption may at first seem in stark contrast with my advocacy of collaborative consumption and having more by owning less, its underlying message is one of introspection and insight, of paying closer attention to how we make sense of the world and our place in it through "stuff" and, in the process, becoming more mindful consumers.

You can snag an original drawing by Kate over on Etsy.


This post also appears on Brain Pickings.
Images: Princeton Architectural Press

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Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

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