Sunday, June 14, 2015

On how we never know what will work ...

There are people (I hear) who use blogs for promotion. As you can probably tell by the frequency and tone of mine, that's never really been the point for me. When you get down to the bare bones, I'm not really sure why I blog. I know I have a few lovely friends out there in the world who read me (you know who you are, right?) but I've never sought to bulk up my followers list, or getting insanely rich from my creative endeavours (as if!). But despite my lack of any dedicated action in that direction, I seem to have stumbled into print lately, and I thought some of you might like to know ...

Mr. B., who is naturally cynical, is wary of situations where someone (particularly someone who doesn't actually *know* you) appears to be doing something to "make you famous". His main criteria is whether or not you PAY to be published. He therefore does not count any of my contributions to The Sketchbook Project, where I paid a fee to have my books digitized and posted online. He's right, of course. I could've literally stomped on each page with a muddy boot, send them the money and *voila!* ~ famous online!

I would argue (in my favour) that I *could* have done that ... but didn't. Each Sketchbook Project book was patiently created by hand (twice ~ since I always make one for myself), and with perhaps a little reservation about this year's book (not my best), I'm pretty pleased with the results. And (as much for my own convenience as anyone else's) here's the list:

Time Traveller, Builder of Bridges, The Science of Story, today i am inspired by ..., and lastly, this year's contribution: the sum of one's parts. If I'm a little less pleased with this year's effort, it's only because I was *so* going in a different direction when I started, and had to start again when my first *genius* idea hit a fork in the creative road. I know I will get back to it when I figure out how to bring it to fruition. All I can say is watch this space ... eventually.

So, apart from paying to be famous (can you say vanity press?), there are the other kinds of being published, and I've been lucky enough to have two (2!) recent appearances in bona fide actual published books that other people can buy on Amazon (surely, Mr. B., *this* qualifies!).

The first is:
Art Journal Kickstarter
Edited by Kristy Conlin

One of my favourite journal spreads  from La Musee d'une Vie Inventee appears on page 20.

As it's one of my favourites, it'll be no surprise to find I've already talked about here on the blog:

My second appearance is:
A World of Art Journal Pages
Edited by Dawn DeVries Sokol

I've got two pages in this one on page 42, (or maybe a double spread counts as three?). One of them again a favourite. The other not so much. Not that I don't like it (I do), but of all the pages I submitted, I didn't think it was the best, or even one of the best ~ I threw it in for variety! Which leads me to my point: it's really hard to know what other people will like.

And if you don't know what other people will like, there's really no point in trying to please other people artwise. The best thing to do is what *you* like, and if you keep doing what you love often enough, eventually you'll get mad skills, have gobs of followers and be made insanely rich as everyone clamours to publish you everywhere. The last part of that sentence was a test, by the way ... all you really want are mad skills and to be able to do what you love. Well ... that's all I really want. You can want fame and fortune, too ...  if you like. Wink.

And a big shout out to all those folks I know who also appear in these books ... a surprisingly long list of  dear friends, people I've taken art classes with and people I've been taught art by.  I never imagined we'd be in print together ... my dreams are humble. I'm sure Mr. B would approve.


George Wright said...

We just want the money, no fame, thanks. Fortune would be nice enough! Congrats on your non-vanity-press entry into being published. Your work is fabulous, every drip of it, if you ask me.

Rose from PR

Mary said...

Aah! Where did this week go?
First of all, congratulations on your publications! Your art definitely deserves to be seen and appreciated, however it finds its way into the greater world. No one could accuse you of being ego driven!
I think social media has really driven and supported the creative process. For all of us who dreamed of beings artists when we grew up, and followed more mundane pathways instead, it is really inspiring and encouraging to find such a big collective out there who have similar dreams and artistic desires. You also get more insight into the person doing the work.
I don't care so much how art is offered up for consideration, but my own response to it. If it excites me and I say "I want to do that" or I want to buy the book or magazine, then it doesn't matter to me how it got into print. Maybe that's just me though.
I can see that having your peers value and appreciate your work would be very validating, but at the end of the day it comes down why you want to make art in the first place. For the fun of it, as in play, or for fame and fortune.
Your talent is pretty evident and I hope you have more occasions to say "I am published in.... or I am being interviewed on....".