Part of constantly creating work means that every new piece I finish pushes old work farther and farther into the depths of darkness. It gets shoved into the back of a filing cabinet, sent off into a cloud (which sounds magical, but that's only because technology eludes me) or it gets ripped up, given away, sold, even burned. There's something so cathartic about creating something and then destroying it (which worries me about becoming a parent...I kid!) But then there are those moments where you want to harken back to old work to see how far you've come, to see the process which was the beginning. Since my husband and I move a lot, I have not been consistent about compiling a good collection of past work, online or in print, and I feel I might regret that when I turn 80 (and I am planning on living that long).
So, when I was invited to partner with Blurb this past month, I set out to create a book of my most recent illustrations.
I've created books using their tools before but I'd never created a portfolio book of my own. (Exciting!) As I'm not yet eager to destroy any of my most recent work, I'm still smitten enough with it that it felt really lovely to put it all into a printed collection. It feels nice knowing I can look back on 2016 and see what I was making. Now that the book is printed and bound and beautiful, I plan to create a book every year - and then when I'm 80, I'll have fifty books! It is in my nature to take something simple and make a giant unattainable and unrealistic goal but please check back in fifty years and let's see who's on target.
To begin, I thought I'd knock the dust off my InDesign skills I gained a million years ago in Typography 101. As fate would have it, I hate math and rulers and layouts and design and had a moment of panic when I realized how much work it was to actually design a book. Enter BookWright to the rescue! I'm usually not one for templated options but this program saved. my. life.
It was so easy to use - basically, you choose a template per page based on how many photos you want , and whether or not you want text. Instead of dropping each image directly into the template from your computer, you upload your photos to the program and choose which one you'd like to add to each page. It snaps to a grid (thank god) and lets you zoom into the image while maintaining the boundary line. It sets up cover options for you as Blurb offers a dust jacket, a wraparound cover, and a paperback. After you've created the book, you just upload it, they print it, genius navigators deliver it, you unwrap it, you melt a little, and you have a book. I really can't tell you how excited I was when this beauty arrived neatly in its cellophane sleeve, bundled in all its glory.
I chose to include work primarily from 2016, though I did sneak in some work from last year and a studio image from 2013. I also included a short interview and some little Instagram snaps. The book itself is a hardcover wraparound, with light grey end papers and a matte stock (matte for life!) They offer an array of paper stocks, so if you're thinking of creating a book, you can order a swatch kit (which runs a little under $8) and that price is taken off of your book purchase.
After the Holidays, I plan to put some originals up for sale through my site, and am happy to announce that specific paintings will come with a signed copy of the book. How's that for a segue into 2017? Besides, I'd like to sell these paintings before they end up in a filing cabinet or worse - a bonfire!
I hope you guys are all staying cozy and warm - can't wait to catch up with you in the New Year!