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Have you ever had an idea that just circles in your periphery, pops up occasionally to say “hey! I’m still here! Work with me!” but you haven’t found the right way to give it form?
That was me for a few years with this one tiny, but exciting thought that I just couldn’t shake.
I was on a plane that was heading towards Santiago, Chile. The pale gray fog laid heavy over the Andes as we descended, burning into vapor in the sunlight and obscuring the land in the shadows.
Undulating color and pattern stole my breath and I took a gratuitous amount of photos out of the teeny window. In addition to it’s raw, abstract beauty- I was struck by how much it looked like my desk, covered in balled up paintings.
That was 2015 and I’ve been collecting balled up paintings ever since.
It took me three more years of thinking about this moment, this spark that I found looking out the airplane window to finally find the form it needed.
I made a book!
If you haven’t used Blurb yet, they are an independent book-making / self-publishing platform that makes it easy to design, produce, and sell all sorts of book and magazine projects (both print and digital!).
I started designing the book on paper (as I do with all things) making sure that my idea is fully explored and properly mapped out. I chose not to add words this time. I was speechless the whole time the plane flew above those mountains and I felt like adding words was untruthful to that moment I was seeking to honor. It would be picture book only.
Once I had a skeleton of the project together, I started photographing the paintings I had been saving for at this point, years, and started to think about the final layout. I picked a landscape (10 x 8) orientation and opted for a nice shiny softcover and premium matte pages.
One of the reasons I love Blurb is the number of tools I can use to access their platform and design my book. As someone who is very familiar with Photoshop and Lightroom, I really appreciate the ability to use these programs for exceptional creative control over the process. In this case however I used their service; BookWright to design the entirety of the project. It’s super straightforward and allowed me to think more about the content of the book while they handled the finer details of the creation.
Just about a week later, the book was in my hands!
It was exactly what I was hoping it would be. The paper was rich and smooth, the book had a beautiful weight to it and my photos printed perfectly. I was elated, flipping through the velvety pages for the first time; each one reminding me of a landscape from memory.
Thanks to Blurb for getting the ball rolling on this, I’m so in love with the final product. It is a creative weight off my back, finally being able to set this idea free in the form that felt right.
What about you? Have you made a book of your work before? What’s your favorite part of the process?