(coming soon!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Alan Rapp on Editors & Publishing/Self-published

Alan Rapp, the remarkable former Chronicle Books editor whose last work for them was David Maisel's evocative book, LIBRARY OF DUST, has joined Hey, Hot Shot! as Associate Director of Jen Bekman Projects. His thoughts on self-publishing AND the need for an editor - "all content benefits from editing" - is right on point here.

The collaborative process is incredibly creative and fun, especially when you have the right editor!

Staying up late nights to create and upload a MagCloud magazine before I leave for an East Coast trip, without time for proper editing although not quite finished and looking forward to some good editing before it is formally published, I am totally in agreement. More later but here's my cover.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Always Change

I have learned that the work of promotion is to keep your name and your work in front of those whom you feel can be helpful to your career. To this end, promotion should remain fresh and current. A static website, one postcard a year, will not accomplish this.

Promotion is a challenge to the writer or photographer/artist as the creative process involves not only new projects but updates or revisions to the old. It requires us to be constantly thinking about how this work is presented to others, even while the process of creation is ongoing. While the general rule is that the work should be in its best and somewhat final form whenever a formal presentation or pitch is to be made, bringing a project up for some sort of "public" examination during the process can be a helpful way to hone a project. The task is daunting.

I am immersed in this process now: finalizing a presentation for a gallerist to see how my work is exhibited (see my post of 22 July); preparing several pitches for children's books and two different proposals concerning my Chinatowns project in preparation for a trip to NYC to see publishers and art galleries and museums; following up on a proposal sent, at their invitation, to a museum of photography for inclusion in an upcoming exhibition; gathering - and hopefully organizing - marketing information and ideas constantly with respect to the chinatowns series and; cleaning up my studio!!!!

Much of this is the reflective process of creation, edit, produce and then revision. But promotion is always a concern for ultimately, the writer and photographer wants the work to be seen and experienced. Rather than tacked on at the tail end, in today's world the writer/artist must factor in presentation both as an editing tool and as a necessity for the final-end product, if in fact there is an "end," for the work and approach is always so fluid. For me, thinking about promotion helps the creative.

What this has meant for me:
1. The Photo Website:
Yet again, an update/review of my photographic website for that is the easiest portfolio to which to refer people to take an introductory review of my photographic work.

a. The Chinatowns project is presently working. I have added only a few new images in the past few months and feel confident about the work at this time, helped in the Spring by Paula Gillen of Gillen Edits, terrific photo editor and consultant.

b. The Gridlock project- still being photographed - needed an update. With a static perspective - shot from the car while trapped in traffic on the freeways and highways - many newer images take a different approach, adding more figurative compositions to those of detritus and concrete. That said, they remain focused upon abstraction and curiosity about what is unseen or left behind. I have been printing in 20"x30" on Hahnemuhle's amazing art paper, the PhotoRag 308 gsm. The rich matte brings out the grittiness of this series.

Once again, I am consulting with Paula Gillen by email and ftp, and once again, she's come up with a better approach and critical review than I was able to make alone. See www.sarajaneboyersphoto.com and the screenshot above introducing this post.

c. I am also considering whether it is time to add my photographic resume to the website. Many photographers do. I had always been reticent but now, I am feeling more confident about the recognition my work has gotten.

2. Fine Art Presentation of the Chinatown Prints:
a. Trying out several image sizes - printing a lot - to determine how both the portrait and landscape images work together. Determining the size of the white surround border - deciding I did not want a pure bleed - part of the artwork as opposed to adding a mat in the framing stage. In long conversation with a framer about the frame itself, finding that my preferred frame - a natural maple - may work well for one print, but not to unify the whole and thus reluctantly, although they are beautiful, choosing black for a consistent exhibition look.

b. Choosing the two images I plan to frame: one portrait (vertical), one landscape (horizontal). Chosen not only for their own integrity but because, like the website and like a portfolio, these two are intended to best show what I do in a complete/final form. That process is not easy.

The size as well: Although today's economics may require a smaller format for exhibition and I am more than willing to listen to this - who IS selling right now?????? - I am printing and framing my preferred exhibition size. We can go up or down from here but there are moments when the artist makes a statement and here is mine.

c. Using my publishing experience:
a. Just like a book - pictorial, a novel or non fiction -the flow of the work tells its own story. Even if each image is unique in subject matter or presentation or creator, when combined with others for exhibition, website, portfolio, there are several stories about the work, the artists, or those simply standing in front of it and those must be woven into a dramatic narrative that is both visual and emotional.

Just as a writer during the revision/editing process may take a mss. and read it aloud to himself/herself or others to understand the cadence of the language/narrative flow, it behooves the photographer to continually review the order of the work presented, to ensure that one image flows to the next and that the themes inherent in the prints spell out the totality in an evocative manner. For me, this is a powerful tool, especially in a project as large as are the Chinatowns. Every time I do this, I gain further insight into my own work.

3. Promotion and Procrastination, or what I started this with ...
a. In the midst of this, I am again looking at MagCloud to create a leave behind for meetings. A great example: My friend, Ann Mitchell's, first magazine, DESERT DREAMS, Issue 1: Diptychs .

b. I started SaraJaneBoyersAloud on the premise of procrastination. As well to feed my need to write, the companion career that this year or so has taken second fiddle to the photographic one. The need to write, to journal, yet matches the need to capture the world with my camera. For the moment, this blog is helping me continue the periodic, if not the required daily, exercise of that skill. But..... enough today. Whether writing or photographing or editing... where it all comes down to... it is time to return to the work! More later...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Samuel Freeman Portrait

Am delighted to see that my portrait of Bergamot Station gallerist, Samuel Freeman ("Samuel Freeman in Holly Mascott"), has been published in the Blue McRight catalogue from her 2009 exhibition - no one you know - at the Samuel Freeman Gallery. http://www.samuelfreeman.com/nav/a_mcright.html

Blue speaks about "personal residue" from not only the trailers ("embedded histories") but also from vintage songbird model kits.

I am drawn to this work perhaps because in her own style, the artist too seeks what it seems I am searching for in my continuing photographic exploration: lives lived and so often evidenced in the items that we design and sometimes, never notice or leave behind or, have been designed around us and sometimes for us, but not always with the sensibility and understanding of who we are.