AATS24: Sailing

Eight Weeks to Go, or Maybe Two

Cherry blossom season: this post is largely written on the 1PM ferry between Tsawassen below Vancouver to Swartz Bay above Victoria.

This is the week I’m away from my usual computers, studio, and so forth. The previous week, therefore, was a rush of activity, much of it expended on finalizing (some) book designs for Art at the Source 2024.

Previous link in this series: 22 March: Sprung: Ten Weeks to Go

Book Designs

I gave myself until Friday and the printer gave me two days less – three designs were complete enough to send off to meet that accelerated deadline: Forgotten Signs, but only the softcover edition; both hard and softcover versions of Dancing with No One; an update to No Photo Merci; an complete redesign for CHAMPIONS and earlier, an update to Sooner or Later Someone Always Gets Hurt.

The works to be completed in the next days are the final hardcover Forgotten Signs, which is easy, and the very difficult and complex foldable design for Market Hours.

Still to come if I dare to risk limiting proofs: Wisdom of the Elders, and the newer projects I’m calling Cryptotheology and one I’m temporarily calling The Bear Project.

It struck me, thanks to comments from See See and designer Eddie Lee, that I might benefit from getting some of these titles in front of the attendees of the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival – even a shorter deadline, it begins on the 26th of this month!

With that in mind, the most I can hope to complete is a postcard with some titles, cover art, a QR code back to the website and an option for pre-orders. This is still a whole suite of quick-burn efforts: getting the selections, designing the card (in InDesign or Affinity Publisher – I have dummies for both), getting it turned around by the 25th (Vistaprint, most likely), and distributed somehow to places around the Author’s Festival.

Web Design

The card also needs another QR code to track those specific visitors (to let myself know if this worked at all), and – the biggest lift – a move of the entire website that will allow subscriptions and online pre-ordering.

At this moment, this looks like a move from the current Jekyll web platform to Ghost is the most flexible and quickest.

The shift will be in stages, with essential content moved to Ghost before switching the DNS A entry, verifying that email services haven’t been upended, then trickling-in all the missing articles one by one once the most-important URLs – key articles that get more traffic, AATS and book links, Chartthrob and other tools – are sure to be working (alog with appropriate aliasing for old URLs which will have new URLs).

This means that some older posts (there are hundreds) may be offline for a bit – posts with complex animated embeddings and slideshows are the most challenging but important to get right.

New Artwork

The size limits for the Art at the Source gallery show and reception are 1000 square inches – seems like a lot – enough for a 24x36 inch print – I’m thinking that I might build an entirely new piece just for the gallery, rather than some “greatest hit” (ha!) from the archives. Something that will be more than “representative” and will work to bring people into the open studio gallery too. More on this plan soon: what I’m imagining might be a bit different from typical AatS fare, the ideas need a bit of percolation.

The new artwork needs to be ready by the 7th of May and related works (that connect it to the studio) would only have another week or two.

Studio Days Presentation

The works for my internal promo video need to be clearly identified and labeled and the video including those label codes produced. This has been less urgent than book designing, but needs completion before mid-May because it coordinates other tasks.

I’ll need to sort my payment-acceptance regimen (including online) and will start collecting the necessary paperwork for a printed “gallery list” at the site: that is, a paper listing with image thumbnails, prices, and the occasional “sold” marks, should any be needed.

Printing

Photo printing, matting and bagging will need to go into production mode after the 14th or 15th. My current estimates are for around 100 new prints. At four good ones per day that’s a month of printing, so I do need to raise my output rate.

Prints usually involve editioning and various marks of authenticity, ranging from a signature to elaborate holographic cryptographic keys. We’ll skip the latter, but I’m experimenting with both hand-stamped and hand-embossed brints or book pages. If they look good.

AatS Support and Bureaucracy

Bits and bobs: the AatS catalog has been proofed – and changes requested. Their website: changes requested. Festivals and farmer’s markets: upcoming. It’s a lot of work for everyone, especially given the addition of more artists from new parts of the county for 2024. Those paper catalogs should start appearing in venues around the bay around the same time as the Author’s Festival.

The overall event is manned by the collective of participating artists: I’ve also got upcoming promotional work for the collective coming up, probably in the form of video production. Should be fun!

See you at Studio 16B on June 1st.

Next link in this series: 25 April: In the Wings: Five Weeks to Go, or Today?

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