Here are two new mini-books. It's been a long lag between books, and I thought about why I stopped doing them and realized that I wanted something I could freely spread around. It's no fun if only one or three people see them, but my self-imposed production values on my Itty Bitty Books projects were a bit daunting in terms of time and money (full colour, glossy brochure paper, digital graphic design, etc.).
So I thought I'd try to scale down the itty-bitty books down and go black and white and use pen for spontaneous uncut, unedited originals, and photocopies (pennies) for reproduction. I still spent most of the morning slicing and dicing 20 books, but that's okay. This weekend, I get to leave something fun behind on the gallery brochure table.
One of my inspirations, is Japanese manga art (manga=comic), which is almost exclusively black and white, often sketchy, heavily stylized and yet extremely expressive. My local library has an excellent and growing collection, and the librarian is dedicated to stocking quality work. My latest reading (and I'm sure it has subliminally influenced my two little books) is Nonnonba, by Shigeru Mizuki. It is a memoir of the author's boyhood growing up in Japan of the early 40's. In black and white, the book is still full of colour. With nothing but strokes of a pen he can paint a brilliant blue sky illuminated by a bright yellow sun, there are fields of multi-coloured flowers, yellow straw grass rustling before a weathered dun barn, colourful kimono's, brilliant rainbows, etc. all rendered in black and white. So perhaps, by restricting myself to monochrome, I will stretch my skills a bit.
The 'uncut', 'unedited' part is also creatively important. I can get so bogged down in perfection that I do nothing but stare out the window and never get started. With these little books, I can just scratch away, and those that turn into something share-able will get shared, and the others will be hoarded in secret or recycled accordingly. Hopefully, there will soon be more. Each book folds into an ATC sized 2.5” x 3.5” which means they can be stored alongside any trading card collection.
Click on the pic to see a 72dpi watermarked version of Volume 1, Perfection is Overrated. The books are free, paper copies picked up in person, (I will try to keep at least one with me always to hand over), or mailed out (SASE), or, by request, I will email you a 300dpi jpeg file, along with fold & cut instructions, and technical support ;-) (as in help, how in #%#$# do I fold this #%%$#@# thing!?!), because if you email me, I know you want it, and will read it, and that makes me feel good. Sometimes making art is a lonely job, so feedback is welcome.
3 Cats I Have—Click on the pic to enlarge.
PS. If you are already on my Christmas mailing list, you can be pretty sure that at least one of these will appear in your snail mail stocking. Hints welcome.