Posted tagged ‘Year Review’

Another New Year – Goals

January 25, 2012

A few press-realted things I’d like to get done this year:

  1. Tintern Abbey, for launch at the Grimsby Wayzgoose later in April
  2. Another goth fable, maybe a golem/frankenstein type story similar in format to the Vampire & the Seventh Daughter
  3. Collaboration with Holly (a book called “LibrAries”)
  4. A type sampler (in booklet form this time)
  5. A series of wood engravings
  6. A series of linocuts
  7. Business cards!
  8. A broadside poster
  9. Complete a family history design project
  10. Maybe a little Shakespeare

Another Old Year – Achievements

January 23, 2012

Well, it’s rolled around again, and again I’ll do my  brief summing up. Overall, I didn’t stroke much off the big list of major projects. Work and life got in the way. But as usual, when I add up what I did achieve, it surprises me. A lot of work on marketing this year, and my first exhibition of prints and books in a gallery setting!

Last time, I set the following goals:

  1. produce ten books in five years
    I’m not really on schedule for this, since the current book project, Tintern Abbey, was pushed into 2012 by a sudden and welcome flood of work in the studio.
  2. step up production value
    What I did produce this year certainly shows more confidence, in keeping with the “get serious!” theme of the next 5 year phase of the press.
  3. marketing: on-line presence, adverts, launches, more shows, book sellers
    Some of the ground work on planning and pushing the books paid off, with some books winding up in special collections. We hired a marketing consultant late last year, and I am determined to stop whining and learn to love social media.
  4. intensify illustration: my own, but working with other artists as well
    I’ve got some irons in the fire with work from other artists, and my own frontiers have opened up with my first efforts on wood engraving (see previous blogs).
  5. form working alliances with writers, illustrators, printers, bookbinders
    I approached a Queen’s University prof to write the intro for Tintern Abbey. He said yes, so that is about to be set in type possibly within days.
  6. further my studies in book design and typography.
    That is an on-going project indeed. I did spend some free time trolling through book spreads on line, making some observations but it’s hardly a concentrated study!

What I did do this year was a lot of little things done, including:

1) a new years card – I’m silly late this year, though!
2) Pondered reorganization, and made some minor progress
3) Tintern Abbey book got pushed, although my Wayzgoose anthology contribution made for an early study of the idea
4) Two rare commercial jobs, both invitations
5) Did the usual shows, organized one of them
6) Saw the work produced by Saint Lawrence College students from the printmaking course I taught the previous fall at their year end exhibition (That was a highlight!)
7) Collaborative calendar with the Ottawa Press Gang – (I’m April)
8) Wrote an article for Ornamentvm on the Canadian fine press scene
9) Took professional advise on marketing
10) Produced a broadside type sampler
11) Tried out wood engraving, although rightly that belongs to 2012
12) Spoke to the 2nd year architecture students at Carleton University about book arts
13) Had my first gallery show in Kingston at Studio22

Almost everything mentioned above is covered in some form or another in the previous couple dozen blog entries.

Looking Back at 2010

January 2, 2011

The natural thing to do on a blog is look back. At the beginning of 2010, I blogged a wish list of goals and projects, and it gives me a good measure on the year. My list last year included the following longer-term goals:

1) produce ten books in five years;
2) step up production value;
3) marketing: on-line presence, adverts, launches, more shows, book sellers;
4) intensify illustration: my own, but working with other artists as well;
5) form working alliances with writers, illustrators, printers, bookbinders; and
6) further my studies in book design and typography.

Over the past year, I’ve completed (to varying degrees) the following projects:

– Graven Images – prospectus
Signature for Wayzgoose
Exhibition promotional broadside
wood engraving self portrait
Tenebrismo regular edition
Graven Images
– linocut series – 8 prints
– Taj Mahal illustration commission
– CNQ keepsake

It’s good to look at a list, because I really don’t feel like a did much this year, but looking over the list I feel much better about how things have gone. I’m not close yet to producing 10 substantial books by 2015, but I’ve set out on the road, at least. With Graven Images, I feel I have stepped up to improve the quality of my work, and worked harder on promotion and marketing, with good results. I’ve have begun working with Holly to analyze the work of book designers who I admire in an effort to further improve my own critical understanding of type design and page design. Working with other binders, artists and writers did not happen last year, but will in 2011.

The art and illustration aspect of the press is still problematic. I tend to be harsh about my own illustration, but when I do produce linocuts they show evidence of an emerging style, one that I like very much. That style is a bit playful and warped as I loosen up a bit with the cutter. I tend to like my work to tell a story of some sort, and these are the prints that sell best of all. I’ve begun drawing a little almost every day now, which will provide lots of fodder over the coming year.

As evidenced by this entry, I am blogging semi-regularly, which is an achievement of note for someone who would be more at home in an anti-social network. Can’t say the same for FaceBook….

Wrapping up, I landed by good luck a 2nd year college (printmaking) teaching gig in Brockville at St. Lawrence College. Amazing students gave me an amazing experience, years ahead of my own teaching plans. I’m hoping to have the opportunity again, but without doubt, teaching is now part of my life’s landscape.

Happy New Year to all! I like Neil Gaimon’s new year sentiment, so I’ll link and log out….

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