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The Big Jewcy: Noah Scalin, Design Activist

Noah Scalin is a Richmond, Virginia based artist & designer who doesn’t seem to be running out of good ideas anytime soon. If he’s not creating a Webby Award winning art project honored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (his Skull-a-Day weblog), Scalin is working on one of his two upcoming books: 365: A Daily Creativity Journal and The Design Activist’s Handbook.

Level with me:  you wake up and listen to "Skulls" by The Misfits every morning, don’t you?

Yes, but it’s an all ukulele version, which is a nice mellow way start the day.

When you were on the Martha Stewart Show, did Ms. Stewart take you to a secret chamber and show you her collection of skulls?

I signed a lovely handmade parchment saying I would not reveal any of the secrets of the show, but trust me it’s even better than you can imagine!


Tell me about your forthcoming book, "365: A Daily Creativity Journal" 

I’ve had so many amazing things come from my Skull-A-Day project that I decided to create a tool to help other people experience it themselves, through their own daily project. 365 is a functional journal that includes interviews with several other yearlong project makers (including musician Jonathan Coulton; tips from my own experiences with Skull-A-Day; how-tos for a variety of crafts; and 365 ideas for projects, along with 365 blank spaces to record your own experiences. It’ll be available on December 15th, but is already available for pre-order, so ask for it at your local independent bookstore!

Okay, one more skull question: top five appearances of skulls in movies.  Go…. 1. Definitely the face melting scene in Raiders of The Lost Ark. Amazing what they could show in a PG movie back in the day! 2. The cover of the Evil Dead 2 video box. The skull with a real eye wasn’t actually in the movie, but damn it freaked me out… and yet I still rented, and fell in love with what has become one of my favorite movies of all time!

3. The real faces of the aliens in John Carpenter’s underrated They Live. It also contains the greatest tough guy quote ever, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum." 4. Skull Island, home of King Kong in all his incarnations as well as the Sumatran Rat Monkey that starts the mayhem in Peter Jackson’s brilliant Braindead/Dead Alive. 5. And the ones on top of the amazing animated skeletons, created by the inimitable Ray Harryhausen for Jason and the Argonauts, are pretty hard to beat. 


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