Works in Constellationism

By the book

Added on by Matthew Gantt.

Hello all and happy Wednesday!
Last week, I was chatting with Rhonda Lanclos, a fellow tenant at Winter Street, and she showed me this wonderful little book she had which was basically a little, spot-cover portfolio.  It was perfect for carrying around and to show people her work.
I know we're in the digital age and all, but sometimes it's better to view things like that on something a bit larger than a mobile phone and not all of us can afford touch-screen tablets.  So after seeing this, I was excited about doing the same.  After all, my studio mate, Paula Hawkins, had suggested I self-publish a coffee table-type book on several occasions. 

So I did some research and compared online publishing sites like Shutterfly, Blurb, LuLu, and even Apple's iLife to find that, aside from various additional services offered by each site, pricing was pretty close across the board.
First, I created a portfolio book of all my work, from 1996 to present, and soon realized that these things get expensive, fast.
That lead me to rethink what the book was actually for, am I printing a one-time portfolio, or should I do a smaller, "best of" style portfolio?  
When I spoke to friends about it, many seemed excited and suggested that I do the retrospective book with some thoughts about the process, psychological and mythological aspects, and favorite quotes of mine that pertain to art and maybe a nice essay from me.  These same friends suggested that I could sell the book at events and online.  Great idea, but after seeing the costs involved in publishing each unit, I am feeling discourages.  Would collectors and/or fans really pay $60-75 for a coffee table book of my art?  Something in me says thats a bit steep.

Sure, the price comes down with large order numbers, but, it still isn't cost effective for me as I have to put the money up front and recoup my costs through sales, nevermind shipping or a dollar or two in profit.

A book prototype I make in iPhoto.

So I returned to the idea of just publishing a smaller book (about 30 pages) of what I consider my best work, with only my artist statement at the beginning and a bio blurb at the end, with about 25-28 pieces in the middle.  And although a couple of these would be to have at the ready to show folks, a handful would be saved to send to galleries if the opportunity should arise. 

So in the end, I chose Shutterfly, for no other reason than they are having a big sale due to Father's Day and have reduced their pricing by 30% (on the format I'm using).  The book is all ready and sitting there, but I cannot bring myself to actually order the 8 I was planning.  With shipping, it's over $200, and I'm wondering if this investment would be a wise one.  I'm sort of stuck.  so I thought I would blog about it.


On another note, I was thinking of doing a calendar at the end of the year.  I could sell those and give them as gifts!  Would anyone like a Constellationism calendar for 2014, filled with my favorite work from this year?   Thoughts?  I would love the feedback.

Click here to view this photo book larger

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