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Re: [BKARTS] artists books/places to sell them



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 Stone Eye - An Exhibition of the Midwest Chapter, Guild of Book Workers
  For information about the exhibition, and to order your catalog, see
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Dear Lurker:

Regarding your attempt to enter the artists' book genre: you inquiries were
very lengthy, but I can offer some input on some things.

First, you'll find that the term "artist's book" is very loosely defined,
depending on whom you ask or where you look.

What I find missing in your query about the photocopied book is the question
of quality, whether in content or production methods or both. You say you
have produced a book using a photocopier. Nothing inherently wrong with
that. Many great and highly collectible artists' book have been produced
using a copier. My question would be: is the copier the best method for
reproducing your collage work--(copiers can add an interesting dimension to
original art, but mostly they degrade quality, so you must be sure that
degradation is what you deliberately WANT for some aesthetic reason or
otherwise it is just degradation)--, or is it just the cheapest and easiest
method? If the latter, that will become obvious first thing, and it may so
detract from the quality of your original collages that you will turn
readers off instead of on.

If you want folks to buy this book, have you given them something they will
take one look at and go "wow!" for one reason or another? Or will they look
at it and go, "Oh... another ho-hum book done on a photocopier..." You
should know that those who sell artists' books are just like everyone else;
they are bombarded every day with mediocre work. They have to think of their
audience and what will make buyers want to buy. To get their attention, the
work must stand out, either through very interesting or very excellent
structure (form), interesting or excellent content, or something else that
makes them say "wow!" (like you are very famous and they would buy a book
from you no matter what it looked like!) And also keep in mind that people
have very short attention spans. A 100-page artist's book is a VERY LONG
ONE, and unless each page is dynamite, you will probably lose that attention
very quickly.


Sounds like you research has been a bit slim and more learning is
prescribed. The best way to learn about artists' books is to view them first
hand, preferably at a place (library or gallery) where you are allowed to
also touch them, since most include important tactile factors in addition to
visual and verbal ones. Trying to understand artists' books by viewing them
on the web is like trying to learn about love from eating one of those
little candy hearts...




Katie Harper
Ars Brevis Press
Cincinnati, OH
513-233-9588

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