One of my ambitions as an artist was to make a book.
I had visualised making a book to compliment an exhibition. A few years ago, when I set this as an ambition, I saw this as a far away goal, something to work towards, I wanted it to be just right, I didn't want to rush it. At the time I didn't have a large enough body of work to make a book. I 'shelved' the idea (pardon the pun ...).
Head down and bum up, I've slowly been increasing my personal body of work over the past couple of years and I was heading towards having enough work to put into a compendium.
In anticipation of making a book, I had contacted a well known New Zealand publisher for advice. They were pretty black and white. "We would not take on your book, no offence, we really like your work, but ....." and here it comes ....
"Who in this day and age in New Zealand are buying books?" - not many people
"Of those people, how many are interested in Photography books?" - what's less than not many?
"Of those people, how many are interested in portraiture?" - I'm guessing even less than less of not many?
"Of those people, how many are interested in Wet Plate Collodion porrtaiture?" - I'm probably getting a number that might fit in a Mini?
"Of those people, who would want to buy a book of YOUR work?" - the penny dropped, I was the only person left in this metaphorical scenario - or maybe my mum?
Now I wasn't looking to make a fortune from making a book, I know most people that invest in making photobooks actually come out at a loss, it was more just for the experience of having a physical object that contained my work. Despite the dressing down by the publisher, I was still keen on having a personal book as a collection of my work for future reference, but as I said, the idea was shelved.
Fast forward to 11th May 2017, I get an email from Libby at Momento Pro, a well respected book makers for Australia and New Zealand ......
....... The NZIPP what Awards? Book? I was well aware that the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographer had an annual event of print awards, but I'd never heard of a book category. It was May 11th, the deadline for submission was 31st May and the Book had to be printed and in the hands of the NZIPP aficionados by June 12th!
My self doubt kicked in, there is NO WAY I can curate my work and have it all done in a couple of weeks. Then my self confidence kicked in .... "you always work better if you have a deadline ....".
To cut a long story short, I worked my butt of for 2 weeks solid, editing and compiling my work into a 78 page book called 'Artefact'.
See the video above for an idea of what was involved (oh, and it won a GOLD award).