Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

September 29, 2017

Book dummy: Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:41 pm

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book dummy, Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Well today I just posted on Instagram the photo above revealing what my book commission is about that I have been working so diligently on for the past three weeks. Not that I was looking to write a how-to, but there are some side benefits to this project. I have been in a heavy writing, now editing mode in that this is going to be published sometime next in mid-October and I anticipate being launched at the Medium Festival in San Diego at the end of October.

The cover photograph of a stack of photobooks was photographed by Scott Mathews, which I will discuss a bit more next week when things calm down. Meanwhile, still in the midst of the heavy copy editing with my Text Editor Gerhard Clausing and getting a technical review of the pre-press, printing and binding text with Craig Evans at Dual Graphics. Sometimes the final editing gets a bit complicated as the various copy versions move back and forth between reviewers, so we are doing a final review of the whole thing today.

Making progress as the final copy should be heading to pre-press for loading into InDesign late today. Yes!

Cheers!

Doug

 

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September 2, 2017

Gabriela Cendoya reviews Bluewater Shore

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Review 2017 copyright Gabreiela Cendoya, screen shot, Bluewater Shore copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Yesterday I woke to find that Gabriela Cendoya, a very well known photobook reviewer in Spain, has just published a review of Bluewater Shore on her blog GabrielaCendoya. Although she will on occasion provide a book review in English, the Bluewater Shore review is provided in Spanish. If your Spanish is a bit rusty, the review easily converts with the use of Google translate.

So I have taken the liberty to provide a few excerpts, but do not let that hinder you from reading the review in it’s entirety!

Las fotografías de Bluewater Shore, en blanco y negro, de finales de los años 40, tienen el sabor de una cierta despreocupación (insouciance, dirían los franceses), pero sobre todo de una libertad feliz. (The photographs of Bluewater Shore, in black and white, of the late 40’s, have the flavor of a certain disregard (insouciance, the French would say), but above all a happy freedom.)

Como en la obra de Shakespeare, el verano es propicio a los encuentros mas diversos. (As in the work of Shakespeare, summer is conducive to the most diverse encounters)

Mas que de memoria familiar, Douglas nos habla de libertad y emancipación de las mujeres, en un relato abierto en el que podemos intuir muchas aventuras. (Rather than family memory, Douglas speaks of freedom and emancipation of women, in an open story in which we can intuit many adventures.)

Bluewater Shore, en su formato encantador, su nostalgicas fotos envejecidas, es un perfecto acompanante al melancolico final del verano, ese momento sonado de gozo y libertad.
(Bluewater Shore, in its charming format, its nostalgic old photos, is a perfect companion to the melancholic final of the summer that dreamed moment of joy and freedom.)

Thanks to Gabriela for a wonderful and insightful reading of Bluewater Shore. I really enjoy the fact that this artist book has a broad and universal appeal and that it has the capability to connect with readers regardless of their background and culture.

Cheers!

This is where I state that although Bluewater Shore is selling at a very nice pace that there are still some limited edition copies still available. So message me (doug@douglasstockdale.com).

August 18, 2017

Books at Arcana: Books on the Arts

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Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book (at Arcana), copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet with Lee Kaplan at his bookstore, Arcana: Books on the Arts, which is located in Culver City (CA) and present my three books; Bluewater Shore, Pine Lake and Ciociaria.

I am now very happy to announce that a quantity of all three of these books were acquired and all are now available for sale at the Arcana bookstore! Very nice!

We had a really great discussion about photobooks, photographers, book bloggers, publishers and other book industry stuff. It was pretty diverse and free ranging discussion as one subject seemed to quickly lead into another.

I also had an opportunity to provide a quick show-n-tell about my book dummy for Middle Ground and discuss whether which is better to call the book design; leporello, concertina, or accordion fold. Kaplan defaults to leporello as probably the description that aligns best with bibliophiles, so I might need to adjust my photobook definitions and defer to the Middle Ground book as being a leporello design. Nice.

So it is now very nice that my books can be acquired locally in SoCal at this unique and impressive book store. I suspect that Kaplan will soon list these books at his various internet book venues.

Yes another very nice day.

Cheers!

August 9, 2017

Bluewater Shore at Photobook International bookstore

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:48 pm

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Another of my projects this summer has been getting Bluewater Shore into bookstores here in the U.S. as well as in Europe. As is discussed at length in the Indie Photobook Publishing Guide that I posted yesterday, once your book is self-published, there can be an almost equal amount of work to sell it.

Thus I am very excited to announce that Bluewater Shore is now available on-line at the virtual Photobook International bookstore, here. Photobook International is located here in Southern California and is associated with Photo Independent, so my submission was a follow up to my book launch at Photo Independent earlier this year. Very nice, and I of course recommend you check it out (and maybe even buy a copy??)

Meanwhile I will continue making some book submissions to other photobook stores here in the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps similar to making submissions for galleries and exhibitions; I need to determine if there might be good chemistry between me, my books and the bookstores owner and their sales market. I can testify that for a self-published artist, this whole process takes an amazing amount of diligence.

In a related article in this month’s PDNews (August 2017), two self-published photographs discuss how they they are continuing to try to sell the photobooks that they released in 2015. Thus the dilemma of juggling my time to sell what I have published with current work that I intend to publish.  It’s all good & just part of having an artist life!

Cheers!

Doug

Artist, Educator and Mentor

August 4, 2017

Bluewater Shore in APhotoEditor

Filed under: Art, Bluewater Shore - artist book, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:22 pm

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Bluewater Shore, Limited Edition Artist Book, 2017, Douglas Stockdale

While earlier discussing my experience as a portfolio reviewer for LACP a couple of weeks ago, what I did not include is that a portfolio reviewer I had the opportunity to do a little networking with the other portfolio reviewers. Emphasis on “little” as the folks with LACP kept us very busy and not a lot of free time. Thus I had some very brief discussions with Elizabeth Avedon (who featured Pine Lake as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2014), Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography (MA), Crista Dix, Founder/Director of wall space Gallery (Santa Barbara, CA) and Jonathan Blaustein who provides book reviews for APhotoEditor and NYTimes LensBlog.

During my discussions with Blaustein, I had also provided him with a review copy of Bluewater Shore as an example of some of my current work. Thus I am very honored that he included Bluewater Shore in his recent recap of the LACP portfolio review events on APhotoEditor today. I must admit, I really like the title of his article: Best Work I saw at the LACP portfolio reviews (part 2).

Thus supporting my theory that you never know when a networking opportunity may occur, but it’s best if you are prepared. It’s not a formal book review, but I really like it as this is some good press for this artist book. I also enjoyed his side comment about my novel slip-cover for Bluewater Shore ;- )

Cheers! Doug

July 2, 2017

Bluewater Shore PR photo do-over

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Books, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:55 am

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Ready for a Holiday (Bluewater Shore) 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Earlier in June I had set up the studio lights to re-photograph the interior of my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore for some bookstore submissions. Recently looking at the resulting images, one of which is below, I realized that as a result of how I had the lights setup to photograph the book’s interior, I did not really get a great representational image. Then is dawned on me; rather than have the back cover of the book facing the lights, I had it reversed and essentially allowing the book’s cover to cast a shadow on the book’s interior. Duh.

What was I thinking? Okay, so I am relatively new to using studio lights and this pretty dumb lighting set-up was pretty much a rookie mistake. So be it; at least I was not screwing up some commercial assignment in the process. I figure that this is just part of my studio lighting learning curve and hopefully I will not make this mistake again (probably another, but hopefully not this same one again).

I also edited the image on my other computer which has a better color managed monitor to ensure that the resulting images are a better representation of the book. Done.

I will update a few other articles about Bluewater Shore with these new images and then right after July 4th holiday I will start pitching a series of bookstores that sell both photographic as well as artist books that use photographic sourced material.

Cheers!

P.S. I still have copies of this limited edition artist book available and if you are interested, please message me doug@douglasstockdale.com

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page_1_Ready_for_a_Holiday

 

June 10, 2017

Preparing Bluewater Shore for bookstore submissions

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:32 am

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, self-published 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago I was preparing to make another series of bookstore submissions for Bluewater Shore, my limited edition artist book. In looking at my “press photos” for this book, I realized that I needed to have a set of photographs showing the book’s cover, with and without the slip cover. So it was time to set-up the studio lights and make a few exterior photographs. I also realized that I did not have any interior photographs of the book that might illustrate how the book and pages work together as a “flip-book”. That extended my studio session by only a little bit and I like the results, above and below.

Btw, Bluewater Shore is still available for sale as the edition has not been completely sold out yet. If interested, check out the book review by Gerhard Clausing and an overview of this artist book that I posted earlier, here.

Cheers!

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page_1_Ready_for_a_Holiday

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June 6, 2017

Mentoring – New service for artists, photographers and organizations

Filed under: Art Market, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:41 pm

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Seagull protest, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In the art business there is a service market segment that I was not really aware of until recently: Mentoring. In my biotech world we would call this same type of service consulting and I have come to understand is essentially the same kind of service; having a skill or expertise that can help others. I suspect that mentoring is just a nicer sounding word and a code word for consulting. I liken it to: “is that person over there nude” or “are they naked”? (hint: Artistic models are nude, they are NOT naked)

That artist, photographers and art professionals are providing mentoring services was under my radar. As I have become more familiar with the term and services, mentoring appears to be more prevalent than I was every aware of and see that this service is offered by many individuals. It’s when you buy a silver Honda SUV you suddenly realize that there are a lot more of this style and color out there driving around than you had ever realized.

My introduction to mentoring came about during and immediately after my LACP book design workshop as those attending the workshop kept asking me about my availability to continue mentoring them on their book project. They in turn told their friends how I had helped them to edit, sequence and layout out their book project which sparked additional inquiries into my availability to mentor them as well. The lights finally came on and it all clicked for me. Okay, maybe I am a bit slow, but I am a biotech professional and I did not come up through the MFA educational mill.

As a biotech design and operations guy with a MBA I have been consulting for over twenty years and I really know that particular consulting world, just not the artistic monitoring world. So I did a quick study about artistic mentoring with some friends who were very gracious to help me come up to speed quickly, especially when they realized that I had a very through understanding of a small artistic niche; all aspects of book design and development.

I am now an artistic mentor! I just had not realized that all of the pro-bono help I have been providing other artist, photographers and organizations for the past five or six years on their book development projects was really providing a mentoring service. The difference is now I have a fee (consulting rate) structure for my mentoring. I currently have three personal clients and one organizational client that I am helping with various aspects of their book programs. Nice.

When I went back to my web site to add mentoring as an artistic capability I realized PhotoShelter, my web service backbone, was not very non-photo friendly. It has great infrastructure for showing and selling photographs, just not very conducive for pages about services. After an inquiry with PhotoShelter during which they admitted this weakness they did provide me a potential work-around that appears to be a good start on how to make my mentoring services available. So I have created a new Bio page and a specific emphasis on my availability for mentoring.

I did check with my friend Susan Burnstine’s website on where & how she advertises her mentoring service to get some additional advertising pointers. Unlike Mary Virginia Swanson, another friend of mine, Susan is somewhat vague and not very specific about her mentoring. Different from my biotech world consulting in which you are very specific about the types of consulting services, skills and experience that you offer. Thus the web advertising is an aspect that is a work in progress in which I am starting out. I think that one of the similarities between artistic mentoring and biotech consulting is “word of mouth”; if you can help make good things happen for someone, the word quickly starts to get around and which I am quickly finding out. Very nice.

So if you have a great idea about a potential book project but realize that you might need some assistance to get your project either self-published or to a publisher, let me know and see if I might be able to help you to get’r done!

Note: the seagull photo above was made at the end of last year on one of my drives down to San Diego and during one of my rest stops along the coast to check out how the adjacent seascape was looking. I found that the juxtaposition of the seagull on top of this specific sign was a bit humorous since this bird was apparently begging for treats from those who were likewise taking in the seascape view.

Cheers!

May 30, 2017

Shipping more Bluewater Shore

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:40 pm

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Bluewater Shore Packages, US Post Office, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Yikes! I was side-lined with the flu for the past couple of weeks and I was finally able to get out of the house just in time for Memorial Day. Today with the post office back in full operation it is time to take the packages over and start the journey to some new homes. nice.

Meanwhile I have a long laundry list of tasks that I need to finish as a result of being sick, nevertheless I will take it one task at a time and what I don’t finish today I will then start on tomorrow. My secret to keep my life in a low stress mode.

Cheers!

 

May 23, 2017

Artist versus Photographer

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Big Raft, Bluewater Shore, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Recent events related to the self-publishing of my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore is causing me to rethink how I might describe myself to others: artist or photographer? Okay another option might be artist/photographer. I am probably reconsidering this whole classification subject because of my preparation on the subject of “Branding” for my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop coming up at LACP in July.

So here’s whats been happening; I have been reaching out to some photographic friends and editorial acquaintances who helped me with the promotion of my earlier artist book Pine Lake to spread the word about my recently self-published Bluewater Shore. I did not anticipate all of the rejections based on the fact I am using family archive photographs as my source material versus the fact that I did not actually take the original photographs. I am not sure what has happened or shifted in the past four years, but it seems that a lot more photographic folks are being more discerning as to what constitutes a “photographic” book.

They response that Bluewater Shore is an artist book, not a photographic book, since I am using vernacular photographs which I found to create my narrative versus being a “pure” photographic project in which I created (photographed) the original photographic source material similar to my book Ciociaria. Or maybe I have pitched my Bluewater Shore story incorrectly? Now that I take a closer look at these magazine and web-zines I see that artwork similar to what I created for Bluewater Shore is not being featured.

So maybe you are wondering; what’s the big deal? For me it might be that I have been envisioning myself as a “photographer” when I made this declaration back in 2008. Realize that for about 15 years before that I was a painter so I thought that this was a big deal that I was dedicating myself to photography as my creative medium. I also did not think it was a big deal to create my two self-published books Pine Lake and Bluewater Shore since I was using photographic material. Wrong!

Turns out what I perceived I was doing is not matching up with the outside world’s perception. I think there was hints of this difference while I was talking with those who attended my exhibit space at Photo Independent for my launch of Bluewater Shore but at the time I was not picking up on it. Duh!

This takes me to the Stockdale Paradox (okay, this was from Admiral James Stockdale, un-related); which states “Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties” while at the same time “Confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, what they might be“. So the brutal facts of my current reality is that I am deemed to be an artist and I am NOT a pure photographer. Which is probably good to know and understand.

This is a not a seismic shift of who/what I think I am; but what this does is to better prepare me for where/who I make submissions of my artwork. I still feel that I am part of the pure photographic community since that is the space I created both of my photo-investigations In Passing and Ciociaria. Nevertheless I will go across those pure photographic boundaries when I am inspired to do so and I need to understand the implications when I do.

Another aspect of this is that curators, art directors and others appear to more comfortable with classifications. So am I an artist or an artist/photographer? I guess if I have to chose one it would appear that I am an artist and one who uses primarily photographic source material, mine as well as others. Done.

Maybe this is a seismic shift after all as I now need to look at all my photographic reference sites, e.g. LensCulture and here on Singular Images, and make some adjustment tweaks to my biography; artist, educator and mentor.

Cheers!

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