4.2 Self-Publishing

Develop a small self-published book based on an idea from your sketchbooks. Produce a small photocopied fanzine or a one-off artist’s book.

Look at your sketchbooks for ideas of work that could be developed into a self-contained narrative or collected together to form a publication. For example, it could be a character you have developed, a particular style of working or a series of drawings on a similar theme.

Giving a title to your work  publications should have a title and a subtitle (sometimes called a strap line). One of these elements needs
to be descriptive, while the other is more about the unique identity of the piece. Usually the title is more evocative than the descriptive strap line. How would you title your work and how does this title feed back into the development of your idea?

Once you’ve finished your publication, reflect on it in your learning log. What sort of audience do you think would be interested in your work?

For exploration of other means of self-publication on-line to make dissemination cheaper and more accessible – though maybe not so profitable – see:

Assignment 4: From the Edge: Aldeburgh 2017  published through a web-page

Assignment 5: Oromia: Journey Reflections using Adobe on-line publishing.

Blurb publications

For this project I developed two books published in Blurb that were submitted with my physical submission for assessment.

While I was waiting for tutor feedback on Assignment 4 I had begun producing the collages and experimenting with watercolour, gouache and Procreate for Assignment 5 Oromia: Reflected Journey and my Critical Review: iPad Explorations for Assignment 6. I became interested in ways of blending random marks into narratives.

I produced two books, published on Blurb from Lightroom, taking advantage of pre-Xmas bargains:

Book 1: Journey    from a large A2 watercolour painting that was an emotional response to burned out trucks on the road to Addis.

Book 2: Deliverance a more biblical theme from a series of gouache daubs and colour experiments.

I did not at the time feel that a strap line would be needed for either book – unless required by a publisher. I wanted the pictures to speak for themselves first, before giving the reader a clear idea of any political or other content.  But, having shown the book to people, I do need to find some way of making the content clearer without overdoing it. This will require now thinking through the narrative first, then revisiting and probably producing some new images. I will revisit the issue of strap-line, though I am still not clear it would add much for this type of picture book.

In terms of audience, the books themselves would be quite expensive through Blurb. Probably development as an on-line digital publication would be more saleable. Also accessible to people I know in Ethiopia and elsewhere who are interested in art and illustration. Probably more as promotion of my skills than publications per se. The biggest potential I can see is further development of some of the images in Deliverance as Christmas cards sold through on-line channels starting with the professional website I am developing for my art and photography going forward: zemniimages.com  where I can add commercial sales. But something for level 3.

Other ideas

For this project I had several other ideas that could also be developed in future. But in all these cases I think a physical book would only be saleable in very small quantities for local markets. Use as on-line promotion of my skills and/or cards would probably be more viable.

These ideas had strap-lines that helped me think through the theme and narrative.

Idea 1: Carnival – the big escape: Using material from Aldeburgh carnival from Project 2.1b Drawing on location .  There would be a possible tourist market in Aldeburgh, attached to the carnival itself and the stall as well as local bookshops. This was the idea I originally submitted to my tutor, working on my earlier sketches as a potential 10-spread layout around the idea of ‘Escape’. I intended to develop it further with some new sketches from Aldeburgh carnival June 2017. However our motorhome broke down and I was unable to go back in 2017. For the exploratory work see gallery and end of post:  Aldeburgh carnival from Project 2.1b Drawing on location . I am planning to work much more on Aldeburgh for a publication and cards – building on things started also in Assignment 4 – as part of my work for Level 3.

Idea 2: Phlomis :   portait of a flower – developing different ways of drawing and illustrating flowers using my work on botanical illustration and digital abstraction from Project 2.3 A Rose by another Name . There is a potential market for such a short book to the many tourists and people visiting the gardens – the abstraction and digital images being rather different from the traditional and very professional watercolour art that is normally portrayed. I went to another course on botanical drawing in November in the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, but this was outside the flowering season. I now plan to buy a Phlomis and other architectural plants for the garden next year and work on these ideas on a bigger scale for Level 3 of the degree.  Both as a way of significantly improving my drawing skills in different media, and for different outputs as cards and eventually a book.

Idea 3: Thin Cities : sticky tales developing the techniques of glue drawingdeveloped as part of Assignment 1: Invisible Cities: Octavia. I would do a series of glue drawings and designs digitally processed as narrative based on the different Thin Cities in the same book. Thinking about this further, I decided this would probably be best as an on-line animation rather than a book because of potential for changing the lighting etc. Or to write my own text for a similar type of narrative and drawing style.