Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jim Flora greeting cards

Now on eBay:
Spanky new from Jim Flora Art LLC and Yee-Haw Industrial Letterpress, Knoxville: three different sets of four unique cards each. The cards are hand-printed letterpress on recycled paper and come bundled with kraft envelopes in a clear sleeve. Fun to mail, funner to receive, but also klassy-kool for framing.
Above: quartet of 1955 hepcats from the "Plant You Now, Dig You Later" set. Below, the "Deluxe-O-Tone" line of retro-record players (1940s- and 1950s-era):
Here's the "Stardust" series (1954 illustrations):

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

boats, bird

Detail, Baltimore, tempera on paper, ca. mid-1960s

Saturday, October 20, 2007

science geek 2

"Industrial Research in Europe 1955"
Research & Engineering magazine, cover element
October-November 1955

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mardi Gras figure study

Detail, Mardi Gras figure studies
ca. early 1950s, tempera on paper

Sketches, full study, and completed color series
included in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora

Monday, October 15, 2007

Flora Does Esquivel

Almost. The Flora pretzel-ized trumpet that graces the cover of this rare RCA Victor Living Stereo "cartridge magazine" originally appeared in 1958 on the back cover of the LP Portrait of Shorty Rogers. The illustration was recycled by RCA Victor's art department on this 1960 Esquivel package, whose format was the (failed) forerunner of the cassette.

The LP version of this classic album by the Mexican maestro had a completely different photographic cover. RCA also marketed a consumer cartridge recorder, demonstrated here.

HT: Jeffrey (Dr. Ashtray) Ferguson, who discovered this on eBay in 2006.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Jim Flora 2008 calendars

Jim Flora Art LLC is offering three hand-printed 2008 calendars: swingin' sax, boogie-beat drummer, and starlite moon. We have a limited number (30 each) to sell. That's it. It's not a numbered edition — 500 backing cards each were printed by Yee-Haw Industries (Knoxville), but due to scheduling demands, the production team could only finish a few hundred calendars for retail boutiques. JFA LLC received 30 sets for our customers.

Sales are first-come, first-served. Each calendar costs $12.50 + s/h (see below). We accept checks and PayPal (

The backing cards are letterpress printed on recycled stock, measuring 10" x 4-1/2". The attached calendar, with 12 pull-off pages, measures 3-1/4" x 4-1/2". The Jim Flora illustrations date from the mid-1950s. Those little flyspecks you see around the images are a natural byproduct of the hand-printing process.

These cards have been distributed by Yee-Haw to select boutiques, but we don't have a list. One difference: unlike the cards sold in shops, our small stock has been authenticated on the back with the Jim Flora Art LLC seal. Instant collectible. And useful: it contains ALL 12 of your FAVORITE MONTHS, in correct sequence (four years ahead of schedule)! Guaranteed to include YOUR BIRTHDAY as well as those of your family and friends, or your money back! Pin-up hole included at no extra charge!

With the balance of the print run, Yee-Haw will produce the same line in 2009. But if you can't wait, we've got a handful. There's no limit per customer, while supplies last.

UPDATE (10/24): We are no longer accepting orders via the blog. The remaining stock is available thru a 10-day Buy-It-Now auction on eBay, after which the item will be listed in the Jim Flora Art eBay store.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

science geek 1

Illustration, "Human Engineering: Tailoring the Machine to the Man"
Research and Engineering magazine, February 1956

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Demonstrated commitment!

Floraphile Shannon Wade, of Portland, isn't content to admire Flora art in books, on album covers, or displayed on walls. It's not enough for her to wear it. She wants to BE it. Shannon combined elements from two of Flora's more well-known album cover illustrations—the Pete Jolly Duo and Mambo for Cats—into some nifty skin art. Design-in-progress (at right), with color added (below).

Shannon writes:

"This was my first tattoo, and it was done in Austin about seven years ago by a wonderful tattoo artist, Chris Gunn.

"I first saw Jim Flora's work a few years before that in Eric Kohler's book In the Groove. I was hooked from the start, and no one was happier than I when his stuff started appearing on eBay. I've collected most of my favorite covers, but I'm still desperately seeking the Pete Jolly Duo.

"I wanted a tattoo for many many years but was determined to wait for just the right image. Then I saw Flora's work. I asked the artist to combine elements from Mambo for Cats and Pete Jolly Duo. It's a bit simpler in design than the originals, the colors are different and the motion lines have been embellished, but I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. It took three two-and-a-half hour sessions to finish—one black session and two color sessions. It didn't hurt as bad as you might think. Folks ask me about it all the time, which always gives me a chance to spread the word about Jim Flora."

Update AUG 6, 2009: More about Jim Flora images and tattoos.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The weirdest ...

... "Jim Flora" exact phrase search result. And maybe the only time this blog will have one degree of separation from Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Posts about buildings and food

Flora was a failed architecture student. He had to forego a scholarship to the Boston Architectural League in 1933 due to Depression-era financial constraints—he was too tired to attend classes after shifts as a busboy. ("I earned seven dollars a week plus meals and had to work the entire day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This meant that I could not attend classes. Late in October the school said they could no longer hold my scholarship open.")

Throughout his artistic life, many of Flora's iconic illustrations, paintings, and woodcuts displayed an idiosyncratic passion for structures. Above is a slightly edited frontage montage from his 1964 children's book My Friend Charlie.