“Writing is a beast to tame, an energy to transform. Whip that toad into a prince and French kiss it to life. We start at the top but keep looking down, from macro to micro, from what could work to what does—but start with the dream. Nothing is real apart from the clouds, and all clouds pass with life in their wake—some rain thoughts.”
I have been doing some research; the aim of which is to find a suitable book template for my next project. Alongside an art collection that I am working on, with my cousin Ray, I am aiming to make a ‘coffee-table’ book of our art project. Formed of a variety of articles, information, anecdotes and a great deal of imagery, the book will be a way to showcase the art collection and it will serve as another way to creatively display our work. I am also hopeful that, because the art collection focuses on a particular town; that of Sandown on the Isle of Wight, local people in Sandown may be interested in buying the book as a keep-sake about their beloved town.
One of the key drivers, for me, in wanting to create a book to accompany the art collection, is that this type of book would be a whole new experience for me. I have not created a book in which imagery will be the main focus, rather than words, before. As someone who sees himself as a writer, first and foremost, this makes the book particularly challenging. O that basis, this project has even more about it that I enjoy; where there is challenge, there is growth, right?
The question is whether or not to build the book as I go or whether there are existing templates that I can use; no doubt more professionally designed in structure than something that I might create myself. Here, with this idea in mind, is where I question my own integrity as an artist and writer. I recognise that I have an expectation on myself that anything that I create must be completely designed for the project, or for any project, that I work on. This, rather than something ‘off the shelf.’ Yet, all that I am seeking is an ‘outline’ or a ‘guide’; something that somebody has already trialled and put together to do the very job that I need to complete.
In fathoming this out, I can identify that it is not my need to design a book template. In fact, I see this step as a rather onerous task that has very little benefit. It sits right with me that I simply need to focus on what I do; write and create art. I then want to simply upload my written work and my artwork onto a template that has been beautifully created by designers of such things. My part is all about the content and I do not want my focus to shift.
Have you wanted to find a book template for your project; whether written, visual imagery or a combination of the two? What did you do to resolve this and how did your final book turn out? Do please share your own experience, in the comments below. It would be interesting to see how someone else has approached this and also your experience may help others to find their way forward.
I will post further updates, as the project develops. Meanwhile, here are some teaser images from the developing collection:
(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2020.