The Project

It’s all about the project. It’s not like I’m just now realizing that, I’m just telling you. That’s what it’s always about.


I think before I was guilty about it, and now I am more accepting of it. It’s like, now it’s all okay with me. I don’t know why I used to feel guilty, for always being on a project, for always being busy, for always doing, for being ambitious. I mean, that’s who I am, and why should I apologize for it? I think it’s been because I’ve always had a couple people in my life that I know have/had been judging me about it. They wanted me to feel ashamed about it – for whatever reason, I do not know, but fuck ’em.

Today I spent the day with one of my besties, artist, Rochelle Botello. She and I can talk about art, process, and art projects until the cows come home. What does that saying mean, anyway? Why were the cows away from home, and why is it that the time it takes them to come home is supposedly really lengthy? I understand, “until the sun comes up.” That means a lot of hours, but what’s up with those cows?

Anyhow, she and I had a good day. It feels good to be able to talk to someone else that understands all the ins and outs of the life of an artist; things like naming an exhibition, or expressing narrative in the artwork both while in you’re in the process  of it, and while you’re driving down the street – kinda like texting while driving! Or even talking about where you are on your current projects. I use this blog for that a lot (obviously).

Speaking of Rochelle, and projects, we were just at a book symposium on Sunday at Otis, which was super interesting. I was also finally able to see my show there. I was blown away with how my book was displayed in the same display box with Nikki de Saint Phalle, Laura Owens, Paul McCarthy, Dieter Roth, Anat Shalev, and Carolee Schneemann! The box next to me had an amazing Kara Walker book too. Crazy. Plus, there was a beautiful Nikki de Saint Phalle accordion book out and displayed on top of one of the boxes.


otis1 otis2

kara nikki

The symposium had a few good speakers and a poet. Most interesting was book artist, Sarah Bryant. She had a number of books in the show and spoke a lot about her process and her different projects past, present, and future, and even did a book demonstration on how to do an accordion type folio. She made me feel so much better about being a book artist in general. Everything from how much trash I made, how fussy I am, to self imposed deadlines. I’m not the only one! I felt like I was probably in a whole audience of people just like me, and the key speaker was making us all feel like we weren’t all freaks.

Her books are all very “graphic design” looking, to me anyway, but there were a few that had such lovely elements that reminded me of old-skool typography mixed with modern, abstract minimalism. It was very aesthetic and clean, but not antiseptic or anything like that. Go to her website and check out her books. They are cool. I especially love the cut-outs in this abstract book the most.

And so speaking of books, I’m still fussing with the Monographie book. Always little “problems” I run into, and things to fix, plus shit I change my mind about. Now I’m going to bore you with some of it, because, well, why not? If you get sleepy, have some cocaine.

I decided to have one color page in the front, but not full color, just spot color. It’s such a small detail to make a large change over, but I was already making some other changes at the time, like the fact that I had spelled “foreword” wrong in a couple places (I spelled it “foreward”). I had to fix that typo anyway, and a few drawings needed changing as far as what kinds of files they needed to be.

Remember I had to learn Adobe Illustrator and InDesign “real quick” before finishing this book? Well, I realized that not every file looked “good” once they were a vector image. Drawings with lots and lots of small scribbles in them don’t work as vectors. They only work as super, high resolution jpgs, like 600 DPI, otherwise, as vectors, those scribbles lose detail and wind up looking like ink splatters.

So I had to change a few of those drawings. I also had to reformat some of the text that is in there, albeit, there isn’t much. Michael‘s foreword is barely three pages, and I only wrote a few paragraphs in the back, otherwise the whole book is just drawings – more than 60 now. The entire book is 154 pages total.

And that’s the final count. It’s done. The PDF is finished, formatted and ready for the printer, and the front and back cover plates (for letterpress) are being ordered tomorrow. And I’ll be dammed if I lift another finger, other than signing and numbering them!

I used to do all my own letterpressing, but Bill will take it from here. I just need to put together a few bucks.

And speaking of a few bucks, that brings me to my Kickstarter project…

Okay, I’m tired. To be continued! Oh, I’m not done yet. I’m never done.

(All these photos were taken by Rochelle Botello.)

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