Download Joost Elffers Bio in Microsoft Word format



Joost Elffers
Biography


Publishing entrepreneur, Joost Elffers has been influencing pop culture for almost thirty years. His new book, Teddy’s World, will be published in the fall of 2002. Joost has managed to infiltrate American life so subtly that while many are familiar with his concepts few know his name. Joost’s approach to publishing is simple: he creates works which invite psychological and imaginative interaction and thought. He breaks down the creative process and reinvents it on a very basic level.

With Teddy’s World, Joost again brings together his psychological insights and his creative vision, successfully merging the complex with the basic. “I take a popular culture subject and give it a high treatment,” he says. Though teddy bears are traditionally subject to a rather chipper approach, Teddy’s World addresses the deeper implications of the very powerful attachment that humans have to their teddies. In an emotionally engaging manner, the book dives into the world of this childhood icon. “It is an absurdity and a super-realism at once,” says Joost, “like a looking glass of reality. The last time we visited Teddy, we were children and he was but a servant of our emotional needs. Now, as adults, we return to Teddy’s world, to learn the real story behind our much beloved and sometimes much abused childhood companion.”

Joost first challenged America from his unique standpoint nearly 30 years ago with Tangram. A tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle consisting of seven simple black pieces in the shape of a square that can be rearranged into new shapes and designs ranging from a dancing woman, to a lounging rabbit, to a barn. Together, Joost and Michael Schuyt created 1,600 possible silhouettes and published the Tangram book in 1973, selling well over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.

Joost found success again when he and Saxton Freymann asked us to find the animals in our fruit with Play With Your Food. They showed us that our lemons were just two beans away from becoming a mouse and that there is a critter in every pear, trying to break free. Pumpkins received the most attention, though, as Saxton and Joost reinvented the Jack-O-Lantern by turning its stem into a nose. America’s love affair with Play With Your Food was so profound that the book received national coverage on shows including Late Night With David Letterman and Martha Stewart. The menagerie of fruity friends also appeared in animated form in a Motts advertisement, and one pumpkin even landed on the cover of a CD single by musical artist, Moby.



In 1998, Joost teamed up with writer/historian Robert Greene to present The 48 Laws of Power (Viking.) There are over 400,000 copies in print in the U.S., and it has been published in 18 countries. Again, Joost looked at culture and psychology, this time breaking down and analyzing the laws that have governed the use of power throughout history. As Play With Your Food tapped the essence of creativity, The 48 Laws of Power unveiled what is essential to power. Not quite a “how-to” guide, The 48 Laws of Power served to open the public’s eyes to what power is, and to what the people who have it do to get it. The book was met with rave reviews and landed on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and New York Newsday.

Along the way, Joost has also served as the creative producer behind the bestseller The Secret Language of Birthdays, by Gary Goldschneider, (which has over 1 million copies in print) and its companion edition, The Secret Language of Relationships. Other projects include The Art of Seduction (Penguin), Giftwraps By Artists (Abrams) and The Magic of MC Escher, a landmark book in the areas of production value and design.


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