Buy An Original Drawing from Living on the Earth

The original drawings and layouts of Living on the Earth are still for sale! Kurkku has had two successful gallery shows in Tokyo in 2008, one at its own Jingumae Lab in Harajyuku, and one at Mirai Garou in Roppongi Hills. Another show is in the works for 2009. There are 178 framed pieces all together, and only 30 to 40 pieces can be displayed at one time in a gallery.

Click here for Kurkku’s online store where they are making the pieces available outside of a gallery show.

The images are gorgeously ensconced in handmade driftwood frames. Half of the proceeds from the sales benefit Artist Power Bank, a Tokyo not-for-profit using art and music to teach environmentally conscious living principles, and which is the parent organization of Kurkku.

Kurkku does not ship internationally, so, if you are interested in buying a piece and you are not in Japan, you will need an agent to come to Kurkku’s office in Haragyuku, Tokyo, pay for the piece in yen, and ship it to you. Please contact me via the Feedback button on this site, and I will ask the staff at Kurkku to find a buying and shipping agent who can help you.

Floozy Places Again

December 12, 2008

“Floozy Tune,” the opening cut of my blues/jazz CD, What Living’s All About, has garnered a runner-up position in yet a THIRD songwriting contest, this time as a Finalist in the 100% Music Songwriting Contest.

In summer 2008, “Floozy Tune” received Honorable Mention (7th place) in the World division (which includes jazz), in the Indie International Songwriting Contest. Here’s their profile page on me.

The first award for “Floozy Tune” was in the Top 20 Finalists in the Jazz Division of the Unisong International Songwriting Contest, in 2007.

Once in a Lifetime Chance to Buy Limited Edition Living on the Earth Fashion Clothing from Japan

Aya's Fashions-black print.jpg

Black background wool jersey Living on the Earth print 

August 7, 2007
Now is the time to order Tokyo fashion designer Aya Noguchi’s fabulous Fall 2007 Living on the Earth clothes; the limited edition line is going into reprint, and most likely will not be available later in the year.

Click here to see the clothes. They are all one “free size,” fitting sizes 2 through 10, although anyone can wear the shawl/scarf, and the smock is very generously sized.

Here are the prices (based on today’s exchange rates at xe.com), not including shipping and handling:

In black, brown or beige background Living on the Earth print: 

Wool Jersey Ankle-length Dress with shoulder straps: $278

Wool Jersey Square Shawl/scarf $102

Wool Jersey Kneelength Dress $245

Wool Jersey Peasant Blouse $169

In Ivory, gray or pale pink with Living on the Earth single illustrations: 

Organic Cotton Smock $185

Organic Cotton Hoodie $102

Organic Cotton T-shirt $85

Please email me at alicia (at) aliciabaylaurel.com if you’d like to order any of these limited edition garments. Please indicate which of the three available colors you prefer. I’ll be placing my order for them by August 20, and will need your advance payment to clear before then. There are no returns on these garments.

Floozy Tune Wins a Song Contest

7/9/2007 4:38:10 PM
“Floozy Tune”
Status: Selected
Congratulations, you have been selected as a Top 20 Finalist in the Jazz Category of the 11th Annual Unisong International Song contest. Results are at http://www.unisong.com/Winners11.aspx.

This year featured the highest overall quality of songs, lyrics, and writers ever submitted by far, with the most diverse and varied entries from a multitude of countries representing every continent on Earth except Antarctica (and songwriting penguins out there).

The judging therefore was extremely competitive and to be singled out anywhere in the top 15% of all songs submitted was no easy feat.

NOTE: "Floozy Tune" is the opening track of What Living’s All About: Jazz, Blues, and Other Moist Situations

On TV in Japan!

Japan TV-ABL at Natural Hig.jpg

Alicia Bay Laurel performing a story and music show at the Natural High Festival at Doshi, two hours into the mountains from Tokyo, on May 20, 2007, while being filmed for a show on Asahi Broadcasting Station. She’s wearing Aya Noguchi’s Living on the Earth dress and scarf.

A five-part show about me, my book, Living on the Earth, my music and storytelling performances and my future works will appear on the Eco-Talk Show (Midori no Kotonoha in Japanese).

The show is on from 8:54 to 9:00 pm on Monday through Friday (June 11-15, 2007) on Asahi Broadcasting Station.

The show was created by my friend Setsuko Miura, a producer specializing in environmental documentaries at TV Man Union in Tokyo, with direction by Sayaka Matsukawa and camera work by Jun Maruyama, during my two performances at the Natural High Festival at Doshi on May 20, and also at Setsuko’s beautiful home in the mountain town of Fujino, one hour away from Doshi by car, where I was a guest.

Below: Setsuko Miura flashes a peace sign at the Natural High Festival; Jun Maruyama and Sakaya Matsukawa prepare to film at Fujino. 

Japan TV-Setsuko.jpg Japan TV crew2.jpg

The Original Art and Layout of Living on the Earth is for Sale!

Cover layout with bleed borders and the original drawings for Living on the Earth.

Wow, here they are, the original drawings from which all of the books, CDs, t-shirts, fabrics, magazine illustrations and other printed images from Living on the Earth were born. Partially lettered in Press Type, yellowed with age, and stained with rubber cement and correction fluid (ah, the tools of the graphic design trade back in the late ’60’s), they are wabi-sabi, shabby-chic, framable, and absolutely authentic.

I will be having a gallery show at which the entire layout will be auctioned during the months of May and June 2008 at the Kurkku Arts and Environmental Center in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. 

I created the drawings, lettering and layout for the first edition of Living on the Earth in 1969 and 1970, at the ages of 19, 20 and 21. The Bookworks, Bay Area distributor Book People’s publishing imprint, released it in September 1970 as their second title ever. They sold out the initial printing of 10,000 copies in two weeks. The Whole Earth Catalog’s review: “This could be the best book in this catalog. It is a book for people. If you are a person, it is for you.”


In April 1971, Vintage Books/Random House released the second edition, which became the first paperback ever on the New York Times Bestseller List. Publishers Weekly had never seen a book design like this one before, and published a handlettered review with illustrations from the book to note this. Dozens of books with derivative book designs, illustrations and themes appeared on the market within a year, and continue to appear to this day.


I am preparing to sell the original layout as an archival manuscript (I retain the copyright of the content), and thought you might like to see what the artwork looks like now, after 37 years in the same little blue suitcase inwhich I delivered it to The Bookworks in the spring of 1970. It’s moved to Hawaii from California with me twice.


The pages in the center of the book aren’t as yellowed as the cover and front pages, probably because they weren’t as subject to the acidity of the packaging in which they were stored. The rubber cement used in layout work in those pre-computer days left stains, as did the white correction fluid.


When I updated the information in Living on the Earth for the Villard/Random House third edition in 1999 (which, with minor changes, was also the 4th edition in 2003), I clearly could not re-use the original layout, so I took apart two pristine copies of the Vintage/Random House second edition and used the pages to lay out the revised edition, still using Rapidograph pen, scissors, rubber cement and correction fluid as I did in 1970.


One of the most noted updates in the revised edition was the layout on marijuana and hemp. I realized soon after moving to Maui in 1974 and inhaling the extra-strong product available there, that it made my nasal passages swell shut, obliging me to breathe through my mouth and wonder how long until this uncomfortable side effect would wear off. So I quit smoking pot. When I updated the text twenty-five years later, I had to find and interview someone who still grew it commercially to improve the instructions. I also learned the usefulness of hemp, even without the medicinal effects of tetrahydrocannabinol.  Hemp preceeded petroleum as the material of choice for manufacturing almost everything useful. Canvas, which propelled ships across the ocean, derives its name from cannibis. Some environmentalists think we’ll be back to using hemp on a large scale after Peak Oil.


Living on the Earth was initially shelved in the Library of Congress under Home Economics, Handicrafts and Outdoor Living, but the 2000 Random House edition was categorized under Spirituality and Healthy Living, and the 2003 Gibbs Smith edition as a Reference Book. All of the above, would be my guess. I didn’t create it for a publisher. I made it as a gift to my fellow communards at Wheeler Ranch. However, the Universe had other plans.

If you would like to make a bid on the collection (221 8.5 inch by 11 inch handlettered and illustrated pages plus the cover layout), please contact me via the feedback on this website.