I've come to realize, as I've worked on this book project, that it's been writing itself for years. I know the subject matter well. It flows. The difficult work has been in choosing the form. I've always been a storyteller. You've likely been with me long enough to know a story can be just two inches tall. My 'go to' form is sculpture. I can draw with pencils, or paint with brushes. I can even sing a little. Still, if you can believe it, I can sculpt a poppet faster than I can draw one. It's simply a matter of experience and practice. Could I sculpt a poppet with my eyes closed? I don't know. Hmmm.....
I'll think about that tomorrow.
I can write a few words or a lot of words. In writing, the tool I reach for most often is an image with a few words, e.g. just last week.
Or I can write a lot of words about the experience that brought me to there. (I'm working on it.)
The former can be very effective and even lasting. These stories are iconic. The latter sort is more immersive. We can snuggle into it. Either can stick with us. Either can deliver the message.
The question is, what kind of a book do I want to make? We know already that it will be some combination of words and images. Drawings, paintings, photographic images of sculptures? Verse, anecdote, fiction?
I'm looking through the work I've done so far and honestly, the best answer seems to be not to choose one form, but to mix it up. That would create a new challenge - how to take what could look like a garage sale and make it visually cohesive. Already this seems a reasonable challenge, even if only because I haven't beaten my head against it for three months.
It seems to me that I've danced long enough with the old challenge. I've chosen over and over and just can't stick with my choices. It seems the best way to go is to try another approach. It works in sailing and herding cats, why not for creating a book?
I'm having this conversation with you before I have it with the publisher. Which, in my mind, makes a great deal of sense. After all, I'm your artist and this will be your book.
Tell me what you think. It matters to me.
It's Sunday. I'm in my ratty old robe, there's a lukewarm cup of forgotten coffee on my desk and I'm surrounded by cats. I laugh at myself. Stereotypes aren't created out of thin air.
Hope your Sunday is good.