Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Another dance, another book...

Susan and I spent a wonderful day together exploring our next collaborative books. The sun was shining and it felt like Spring was nearby, a most beautiful, beautiful day on the mountain.

We are collaborating differently again this time.  We decided that it would be fun to test out Julie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum's Book Artist Ideation cards.  They are a set of cards with several categories and you select one card from each category and then 5 adjective cards to set the parameters of your book.

Image sourced from Julie Chen's website
They offer groups of artists a great way to create similar yet different books; help you if you are stuck; or challenge you out of your comfort zone.

Susan and I selected the following words together - taking turns in picking a card, and agreeing on the one adjective we would "throw back" then selecting another one.

Text: None
Image: Abstract
Structure: Multiple openings
Paper: Multiple colours
Layout: Asymmetrical
Technique: High Tech
Colour: Muted/Pastel

Adjectives: Miniature, Photographic, Personal, Issue-based, Simple

Some of the selections made us happy, some of of them made us despair. Not really, but they certainly challenged us. For example, in the Text category - we got the card "None". Right, like that makes me feel comfortable! Not.

We made our selection ages ago thinking we could mull the options over - which we kind of did but kept getting stuck. One day we got together and agreed to do a mind-map exercise each with our own paper in front of us, and the key words on it, then we discussed how we thought each word could be incorporated. This was really really helpful.  It suddenly opened up a whole new way of looking at some of the options and helped me overcome some of the obstacles where I had a solution for one word; but that solution worked against one of the other words. For example Photographic and Abstract; Simple and High Tech...

We have come up with some brilliant solutions to incorporate the guidelines and are both happy that we are on our way.  Of course, we are aiming for a book that looks complete and beautiful of its own accord - that doesn't shout - "oh this was made to a recipe"; and yet we want to be able to point out the ways we responded to the guidelines.

So far so good.

We spent a good part of this morning mentoring each other - talking through ideas, suggesting possibilities, picking up each other's pages and moving them around until we saw a new way...

Here are some of the points along the pathway so far...

In the afternoon we did a series of proofs on the press to see if our ideas were working out. It was a very fulfilling day and we are both up and running now! The books are due by mid-late August and we both think we can make that happen. Will fill you in more as we go along.


  1. Nothing like a challenge to make you stretch. I look forward to the outcome.

    1. Thanks Jo - this approach really does stretch your thinking and move you along; hopefully it will also produce good books!

  2. I really like the page layout look forward to seeing where you two take these

    1. Thanks Mo - as ever, these collaborations are filled with joy and challenges. I'm pretty happy with this one now I've started to get moving...

  3. wonderful challenge and i can't wait to see where this goes!

    1. I'm enjoying it too Velma - altho there are moments of great fear and trepidation, I am thinking it is going along OK. Go well.

  4. I love the idea of this serendipitous series of guidelines - while guidelines can make things more challenging, I always find it comforting to have some kind of starting point/guidance. The hints of the direction you are taking certainly intrigue, and it will be fun to follow this latest collaboration as the books progress... Enjoy!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.