Married Krystina Castella (a designer and photographer). Hobbies and other interests: Hiking.
Educator, designer, photographer. Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, instructor; UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, visiting assistant professor. Designer and producer, Trivial Pursuit Interactive Multimedia Game, Western Technologies, Inc., 1994.
(With Krystina Castella) Discovering Nature's Alphabet, Heyday Books (Berkeley, CA), 2005.
Brian Boyl, working with his wife, Krystina Castella, published the 2005 photographic book, Discovering Nature's Alphabet. The work was inspired by a hiking and photography outing to California's Joshua Tree National Park. The two designers and photographers took photos of Joshua trees in the shape of the letter "Y," and this began a search for other alphabet forms that the pair found in nature. Three years and two thousand photos later, Boyl and Castella had found all the letters of the alphabet, with "Q" being the most difficult. Boyl and Castella gathered their work in Discovering Nature's Alphabet, a "beautifully designed book, which contains at least two photographs of each letter and an index explaining where each letter was found," according to Wendy Soderburg writing in UCLA Today.
Discovering Nature's Alphabet is both a coffee table book of striking images, as well as a children's picture book dealing with alphabet identification. Isthmus: The Daily Page reviewer Amy Brandt felt the work "will be an inspiration to the letter-focused children in our midst." For a Publishers Weekly contributor, Discovering Nature's Alphabet "might spur its readers, young or not, off the couch and into the great wide readable world." Similarly, a Kirkus Reviews critic felt the ninety-two images in the book would serve as an "invitation" to children to seek out their own letters in the natural world. Kathy Piehl, writing in School Library Journal, noted that the picture book was "not for alphabet novices," but would "spark interest in a number of subjects" for young readers, from plant biology to photography.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of Discovering Nature's Alphabet, p. 344.
Publishers Weekly, February 27, 2006, review of Discovering Nature's Alphabet, p. 45.
School Library Journal, May, 2006, Kathy Piehl, review of Discovering Nature's Alphabet, p. 108.
Heyday Books Web site,http://www.heydaybooks.com/ (November 16, 2006, "Discovering Nature's Alphabet, Krystina Castella and Brian Boyl."
Isthmus: The Daily Page,http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/ (October 26, 2006), Amy Brandt, review of Discovering Nature's Alphabet.
MetroActive,http://www.metroactive.com/ (February 18, 1999), Jim Rendon, "Bits, Bytes and Bullets."
Moby Games,http://www.mobygames.com/ (November 16, 2006), "Brian Boyl."
UCLA School of TFT Web site,http://www.tft.ucla.edu/ (November 16, 2006), "Brian Boyl."
UCLA Today,http://www.today.ucla.edu/ (April 25, 2006), Wendy Soderburg, review of Discovering Nature's Alphabet. *