On the Record Pop Charts Book Katrina McHugh 

This edition of ON THE RECORD focuses on Pop Charts: 100 Iconic Song Lyrics Visualized, the brand new music centric book by my brilliant friend Katrina McHugh. Pop Charts, published by Harper Collins is a collection of beautifully rendered infographics based on Katrina's fine art print project 100 Days of Lyrical Natural Sciences. Popular song lyrics are paired with images of nature in an almost field guide style, brining to light the beauty, complexity, and often times humor behind some of our favorite songs. I chose a few of my favorites above, see if you can name that tune! 

As a first time author, accomplished graphic designer, and cofounder of the branding studio Flight Design Co. (they created all the ZR branding btw), I thought Katrina might have a few words to share about what keeps her inspired and motivated.  I asked her to share with us her #thesethreethings, life lessons that have stuck with her though the years. Here's what she had to say:

1. When I think about working on a personal art project or side-project now, I don’t want to settle for anything less than falling in love with it. Our time is so limited. So much of the day to goes towards keeping the wheels moving. Treasure the bits of time that you have to work on your art and create something that makes YOU feel good. Let yourself be drawn to it. Fall into it. Look forward to it. Feel like you need to make it. If it doesn’t make you feel that way, try changing something about it. If it still doesn’t make you feel that way, let it go. Something else will if you let it. And I believe you absolutely need that spark - it's the energy that keeps it going.

2. “Remember everything is right until it's wrong. You'll know when it's wrong.”  (Hemingway). Personally, I think the knowing happens in your body. Listen to it. This can be difficult. There is often only a very subtle difference between “holy shit, this is such a big opportunity it makes me want to throw up … but in a good way” and “holy shit, this does not feel right.” I’m still working on that.

3. One of my favorite song lines is from a Neutral Milk Hotel song: “What a beautiful face, I have found in this place, That is circling all round the sun. What a beautiful dream, That could flash on the screen, In a blink of an eye and be gone from me. Soft and sweet, Let me hold it close and keep it here with me.” I think of it reminder to stop and appreciate the people and moments that are beautiful and right in front of you. It can be so easy these days to compare yourself to others or feel like you aren’t doing or being enough. Sometimes when I feel that way, I open up a notes file on my phone and start chronologically listing every single thing that I think or see in front of me that feels beautiful. Even if I am sad or in a shitty mood, those notes can fill up surprisingly quickly. And that becomes a thing you can hold on to.
Thanks so much Katrina! Be sure to pick up a copy of Pop Charts wherever fine books are sold. Lucky you, Harper Collins is offering a chance to win a copy of the book along with a Spotify subscription, you can enter to win here. To celebrate the launch of Pop Charts Katrina is offering a limited number of art prints from the book! You can sign up here, while supplies last. And don't forget to join us for the Pop Charts book launch party Thursday July 12, at The Bindery in San Francisco. To get your ticket visit here
You can follow along with Katrina McHugh on Instagram here. And see what she and Flight Design Co. are up to here. 
All images above from Pop Charts are credited to Katrina McHugh. Photo portrait of the author by Karen Santos. 



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