Thursday, February 10, 2011

Well, what would you do with it?

Several years ago, I was given a project at work: managing the artwork and printing for a huge, sprawling series of archaeological reports. This being a well-funded expedition, the reports were to be in color. This, and other factors dictated that we have it printed overseas.

I got to design the dustjacket. Now, each printer and bindery has their own way of doing things; one uses thicker cardboard here, one uses a different kind of paper there, and it's no good trying to guess at what the exact dimensions will be. So I wrote a note asking for the dimensions of the soon-to-be book. What I expected was a dozen numbers, or perhaps an Excel worksheet; what I got, express-mailed from Singapore a few days later, was... a book.



724 pages, using the exact paper they'd use for the final product. And every one of them was blank.


They included a sample stamping on the cover that I found amusing. Sure, who wouldn't want a book like this?

So what would you do with it?

It served its initial purpose quite nicely, and then sat on the corner of my desk for several years. I knew what I wanted to do with it. And so, finally, after all this time, I've gotten started: I'm going to practice my chops at drawing in pen and ink. I'm going to fill it up, and work on my skills. So what if it takes me ten years....?


The first drawing. I've had this walnut shell sitting in a little basket, just waiting to be drawn.


One page down, 723 to go.

1 comment:

junglewife said...

Wow, that is neat! How crazy to get a completely blank book, just for dimensions' sake! I would probably have had the kids draw a picture every week and then it would be a record of their artistic abilities (or lack thereof!) over the years as they grow!