Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

March 20, 2017

Bluewater Shore – Final Development in progress!

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Ready for a Holiday (Bluewater Shore, artist book, self-published, 2017) copyright Douglas Stockdale

Very exciting news; last week I have a sponsor for my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore!

For the past six days I have radically shifted gears to finalize the development of my project: book & cover design (same as Pine Lake), tweaked a couple of the images, created a set of production proofs and pre-production high resolution files, created a set of web ready images and just posted these on my web site, fine tuned my introduction (below) and put together a little press release flyer that provides an overview of this artist book which I was able to start handing out at the LACP open house this last Saturday. Yep, I’ve been a busy guy ;- )

Bluewater Shore Introduction:  A semi-fictional story about an American rite of summer. This is a visual narrative about a women’s holiday, an exciting trip to the shore with friends. This is set in the late 1940’s and investigates a new sense of independence for women that occurred during and following World War II.

The good news is that I have been mulling over this book project for the past couple of years after self-publishing Pine Lake. Sort of had this on a slow-simmer; so the concept and what I want to accomplish was pretty well thought-out, thus when I received the go-ahead, I had the planning complete so I just needed to update all of the files and book dummy.

At the moment I looking at a book launch for Bluewater Shore at Photo Independent (April 21-23, 2017) at which I already have a table reserved. Also starting an interest list, so let me know (doug@dougalsstockdale.com) if this project might be one you would like to support and purchase one of the 99 limited edition copies. Very close to setting the final price, so that will be announced shortly.

Cheers!

 

January 8, 2017

Bluewater Shore artist book update

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Bluewater Shore copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

So if life is not crazy enough, I might be also looking to self-publish in 2017 my photobook Bluewater Shore, the second in my series of Holiday Snaps project (the first being Pine Lake). Honestly, this project took a little holiday when (1) it took a lot of energy to market and sell Pine Lake in 2014, (2) I did not have the investment funds to print it (even after I received a much better quote) and worse (3), I lost (okay it turns out I miss placed it) my completed book dummy for Bluewater Shore. After searching for this darn thing for almost six months I was feeling a bit deflated and although I had all of the pieces to build another dummy, I just did not feel like doing it.

Well that all changed yesterday, while looking for something else in back of my files I spied a little bit of baby blue; could it be?? Yep, there was my Bluewater Shore book dummy in the oddest of files.My bad. But finding this bookdummy was very, very nice!

So I have been back working on the digital files for the interior of this book today while confirming that the sequence that I developed two years ago still made sense. Yep, looking good! The nice thing about the conceptual intent for this narrative is that it is sequenced in a chronological order, much as you would go thru a roll of processed film after a holiday vacation, similar in narrative style of Pine Lake. Second, I now have the funds to go to print and complete that aspect. The limited edition is till going to be 100 copies, which I am still planning to hand bind and then personally inscribe each book. Since I do have all of the parts, maybe I can have this completed for the Spring book season, so stayed tuned if this artist book is of interest.

Oh, like Pine Lake, I am still thinking of adding a few little extras ;- )

Cheers!

 

February 2, 2014

Bluewater Shore & 2014 LA Art Book Fair

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:47 am

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untitled (Bluewater Shore, maquette interior) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Attending the 2014 LA Art Book Fair with regard to spending some show and tell time with the Bluewater Shore maquette was a bit anticlimactic.

First, I attended on a Friday knowing that for these three day weekend events, Friday should be a little slower with a much smaller crowd, which was the case.  Thus if no one was lurking in front of the booth, there might be some time available with a friend for a quick look-n-see of my maquette. This is a sensitive moment, as the folks are primarily there to show-and-sell their books, but as friends, they can make some leeway with their time if they don’t feel pressed. Not recommended for a cold pitch when you have never met the person you want to approach. Nevertheless, after some shop-talk, I did get a couple of look-sees and some very, very nice feedback and interest. That is always nice.

Meeting up with some photobook/photographer friends who are roaming the isles is much easier and safer to approach and share. They usually have something they want you to look at or discuss as well, so a nice give and take, appreciated by both. These exchanges are generating more interest in my Bluewater Shore project.

Another of my key reasons for attending this particular event is to figure out who are the booksellers/galleries that are focusing on the true hand-made artist books. Regretfully there were not many. Let me correct that, I could not find one. Okay, maybe there is hope for one. There are rare book dealers who have created a after market for books that are now out of print, etc, and these books can get very expensive, over $5,000 and for some, well over that price. But although they have a market for high end books, they do not sell new artist books that can be very expensive compared to the commercial trade books. Even Printed Matter in NYC which attempts to be a zine and artist bookstore has a limit on their price point, preferring not to stock books that retail for more than $50.00. sigh.

So the good news, more validation for my Bluewater Shore project. (Since I am a guy, I am going to just ignore the bad news.)

Next week I am going to meet with a printer to discuss their digital versus offset litho printing and look at some options for paper stock. I will bring them the maquette for the design and layout as well as some match prints for the printing. Then they should be able to provide some print/fold/trim quotes for the single two-sided signature that I am envisioning. The elephant in the room is the low quantity of printed signatures that I need.

Cheers!

January 30, 2014

Bluewater Shore – next generation Maquette

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 10:16 pm

Bluewater_Shore_book_dummy_interior_17

untitled (Bluewater Shore, interior with binding) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

A little update on my Bluewater Shore artist book. After the really nice feedback from friends while at photo l.a. a couple of weeks ago, my plan was to proceed to the next generation of the maquette and have it ready for another round of informal reviews at LA Art Book Fair this coming weekend.

So now that I have finalized the selection of photographs and sequencing, I wanted to print a more accurate set of proof pages to replace my drafts. Since I am getting much closer to a final layout, I am ready to replace the paper clips with a little more permanent attachment of the photographs to the page. In my case, that just means I am using scotch tape, not PVA glue, because being a guy, I can still change my mind.

That’s not how this week actually went. First, I was trying to set up my 4800 printer for a special width for a revised exterior cover and the printer was not playing nice. Then I decided maybe I might need an updated software driver since it has been years that I had did any software upgrades as that might fix my problem. Wrong. Things went from bad to worse. The printer would not print anything now. And I worked on this fix for about two days, so I finally gave up and did a uninstall/install of the original Epson 4800 software. Bingo, late, late last night I was printing again. So I went on a printing marathon to print all of the interior photographs for the revised maquette. Done!

So today I swapped out the draft images for the final images and I am now be ready for a walk-about at the LA Art Book Fair this weekend. nice.

Cheers!

btw the above interior view of the maquette shows off my fine skills at manual tying off a pamphlet stitch for the sewn binding.

January 19, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette walk-about

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Artist photobook maquette, Bluewater Shore, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

As I stated earlier this month, one of my short term objectives to finish my first maquette for this artist book was to obtain some feedback on book concept & design during photo l.a. this weekend. In fact, I did manage to obtain a bunch of evaluations on the fly with friends while attending photo l.a., then a couple more afterwards over dinner with a some other like minded friends.

Part of our discussions centered on the book’s design, layout and sequencing with one outlying image as an alternative. There was also some brainstorming this limited edition concept, the series of books that this project will be part of as well as photobooks & photography in general.

Mission accomplished! I think that I am now ready to lock down the selection and sequencing of the images and the related text to fabricate a second maquette for my graphic designer to prepare the pre-press files. nice.

At photo l.a. I acquired Gerd Kittel’s photobook Route 66, to help with the concept of what will probably be my third artist book in this series. What I did not anticipate was a little artist book brainstorming session with the woman who does the hand bindery for the Silas Finch photobooks, a conversation which may lead to a fourth book in my series. very cool.

Cheers!

January 8, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette

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Artist photobook maquette cover, Bluewater Shore, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

A couple of days ago I started a discussion about my next artist photobook for 2014, Bluewater Shore, which I have just finished the first maquette in preparation of getting some feedback from friends at photo l.a. next week.

First, in the photo of the marquette above, the artist photobook dummy appears kinda of chunky, but that is due to my creative process. At this point in time, I have not finalized the selection of the interior photographs, nor the sequence. The image size and margins on the page will be the same as those I used for Pine Lake. Thus after I developed the marquette’s framework, the photographs are being held in place with paper clips (you can see them at the edge of the page) to facilitate changes. Thus, the thickness is a bit unwieldy. When I am pretty sure of the image selection and sequencing, then I will probably tape the images into place.

One change that I am making to Bluewater Shore  is the book binding process of the interior block to the book cover and I am using another manual process; pamphlet sewn stitch. For the Pine Lake artist book, I had used an aluminum prong binding process, almost identical to what was used by Kodak and Ansco for their promotional processing booklets. The downside to the manual prong binding process was the tedious punching of the holes and getting the alignment of the holes correct. Since I was using a hand paper punch, I could only punch three pages at a time. I busted a couple of these punches when I pushed the amount of pages to hole punch. One result of the prong binding was another reason to keep the edition size of Pine Lake to 25.

With the pamphlet sewn stitch, still a very manual process, it is keeping me literally in touch with each and every photobook that I am making. Even the ice pick tool to make the holes for the pamphlet stitching is from the same 1940’s period as the found photographs, or maybe even earlier. A very subtle, essentially unseen, and metaphoric book binding process.

The colors for Bluewater Shore were selected from those used in the same late 1940’s period as my short story is set in. The Canson 300 gm cover is a Sky Blue and the waxed Irish linen thread is a wonderful pink, aptly called Bubble Gum. You can still find these two colors in many of the bathrooms and kitchens of the 1950’s and probably 1960’s houses in the US. My parent’s house in Michigan comes quickly to mind. Oh yes, these were two of my mom’s favorite colors as well, thus another symbolic element.

What I did determine during the construction of this maquette is that my HP desktop printer can not process the 300 gm cover stock. This heavy paper jams the paper feeder and it jams it really well. Thus back to my Epson 4800, which I had suspected that I would need to use and I should have started with it to begin with. sigh. Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

A big change for Bluewater Shore will be that this artist photobook will not have the matching hand made wood frame and cover as did Pine Lake. Since I want to increase the edition size and keep this artist book reasonable priced, I need to make some changes, this probably being one. One thought is to have a large edition of just the stiff-cover book, and a smaller edition of the hand made frame and stiff-cover book. Nice thing about being an artist, I can change my mind on this.

Another change I am making is the printing of the interior pages. With Pine Lake, I had utilized laser printing from a local quick print shop. hmmmm, an area for improvement.  For Bluewater Shore, I will be using an offset lithographic printing process, probably two color. Still working the print, fold and trim details out with a local printer. I will have the printer also fold and trim to a saddle stitch style (without the saddle stitching) so that the signatures will be ready to stitch to the cover. I also plan to increase the limited edition size to 100 or more.

Another draw back to the small edition of Pine Lake was the limited samples available to send out for reviews; there just weren’t any. Thus Pine Lake ended up being under the radar a bit. So for Bluewater Shore, I want to have enough copies to send out to my fellow photobook reviewers to generate some buzzzzzzz. Or at least I hope it will get a little :- D

Cheers!

oh, as to the contents of the maquette, here’s a tease:

holiday_preparations

January 3, 2014

New Year – 2014

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untitled (working title: Bluewater Shore) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

At the beginning of the year I like to think about what I might accomplish for the coming year, with this being more of a bunch of loose-goosey planing objectives. Having worked in corporate for tooo many years, I know how rigid and constricting a plan can get. As an artist, I think that having some objectives is actually a good thing, e.g. to ensure that I try some new things and explore some wild ideas. Allow myself to listen to the faint whispering of my creative muse.

One of the fun things that evolved last year was my first artist photobook Pine Lake. All in all, I am very satisfied with this artist photobook and I had kinda realized that if this worked out well enough (translation: I sold some), that I would do at least one more, if not two. Truth is I did more than just selling some, as about all of the Edition is gone. The response to the Pine Lake book has been delightful!

Even while developing Pine Lake, I was already planning for a second book in this series that investigates memory, family, relationships, nostalgia and loss. Similar to Pine Lake, this will be another semi-fictional short story with this one based on a young woman and her girlfriends going on a holiday to the shore set in the late 1940’s using “found” anonymous photographs that perchance were residing in my family’s old photo albums.

This second artist photobook will also incorporate some lessons learned from self-publishing Pine Lake. I will elaborate on those changes in the coming weeks as I finish the design and publishing as I am still tweaking some of these changes. Nevertheless I do plan to have the actual stiff cover book about the same size as Pine Lake, what I am unsure of at this time is to also include the outer custom frame. I also want to increase the edition size in order to have copies available to send to reviewers, something that I was unable to do with Pine Lake. So this book will be similar but yet different.

For now, I am working on creating my book dummy and to my initial point above, my objective is to have a book dummy to carry around with me at photo l.a. that starts on January 17 – 19 at the LA Mart. In this case, my book dummy is not to share with any publishers but rather I have a number of friends who I usually meet up with at photo l.a. and I want to bounce this project off their creative skulls. And the best way to obtain great feedback is to have a book dummy that they can play with.

So enough of this, I need to get back to printing the test images :- D

Cheers!

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