AATS24: In the Wings

Five weeks to Go, or Today?

Back in Sonoma County, land of butter and eggs and Butter & Egg Day Parades.

Events stacking up: besides parades and chick contests (above), in the past week See See and I have shot several video interviews for other Art at the Source 2024 artists – this was a great opportunity, because their own open-studio schedules are identical with ours – we wouldn’t otherwise have had a chance to explore and discuss the work of artists Tom Ballard, Cheryl and Mikio of Nichibei Potters, of James Reynolds, Jeremy Calnan, or Jenny Helbraun Abramson – happily I also shot yet more video for my Sebastopol studio host Barbara Harris. The videos produced will be circulating during the show… still editing the 45GB of footage.

But that’s just part of it…

(Previous link in this series: 9 April, Sailing: Eight Weeks to Go, or is it Two?) (Next link in this series: 11 May, Orders & Deliveries: Three weeks and the Fuzzy Front End?)

There are several art events around the bay area this weekend, so taking it on myself to promote at them, independently from the efforts of the AatS team:

  • Sonoma Valley Authors Fest: books are the focus, and since I’m offering books this year, as mentioned in the last post of this series I’ve prepared a promo postcard specifically pitching the books. This was printed via Vistaprint and has arrived at the perfect time.

    While the Authors Fest is a closed, private festival, there is also an open Saturday Authors on the Plaza event – cards will be distributed there, somehow.

  • Petaluma Art Center Idea Lounge: Cards can find a home there, too – or so I thought last night, only to discover that the gallery is being repainted, and the local-artist rack was emptied. Soon!

  • SF Camerawork Book Sale: this surprise-to-me event starts tomorrow the 26th of April, so cards! And I might buy something, heh. Happily Camerawork is in Fort Mason, next to…

  • San Francisco Art Fair: starts today in Fort Mason, a tougher nut to crack. We’ll see! Maybe time for some guerilla marketing.

    I don’t expect a lot of photo-related traffic at the SF Art Fair, to be honest – this weekend also contains the AIPAD show, and dealers who care about photography will be there in New York. (Post-attempt: nowhere to place cards, really, but SF Camerawork were receptive and I got some great book deals)

In tandem with the promo card, there’s now a book-specific marketing page and an updated separate page for each book.

If there are cards left over, I have a list of additional venues.

1000 4x6" Cards for the Weekend

There was some discussion about the card design – usually a studio card is for a sinlge project, usually with a single image. I deliberately broke from that model, since I have no idea what non-art audiences might repsond to (since the card was intended for book audiences), and also – this is a daily struggle – I want to fight against the notion of “typical” single images. If I show a photo, is that all I do? It’s all that’s shown. If I show images from Liquidity, or from Cuba, or from Forgotten Signs – the card would give the limiting impression that this sort of image encompasses all of what you might see during AatS.

P.T. Barnum is the source of two famous quotes and “a little someting for everyone” is one of them.

The card.

Web Changes

The planned switchover to the Ghost platform is still pending – I’d hoped to have it done before this week, but… circumstances. As a temporary measure, the new pages do have a link for contacting and subscribing. What they don’t yet have is a stable method for ordering and purchasing by adding a "mailto:" button like the one here:

Click Here to Receive Updates on Book and Print Availability

Book Designs

The hardcover edition of Forgotten Signs is now on its way.

A hazard for books is that people may browse through an entire book and then set it aside. Now it’s…. a used book. Ive heard about this issue from several small publishers, who don’t sell a book once someone has thumbed it, and then, in some cases, the bookstore sends it back because it can’t be sold.

Given the narrow margins of small-run books (unless I wanted to charge more to compensate – but I’d prefer not) I’m going to borrow a strategy first described to me by photographer Ed Thompson – bag the books. People can look at prints, which are wrapped protectively, or they can purchase a book with a print, or… it stays in the bag.

The hardcover books arrived already shrinkwrapped – the others will be wrapped by hand, each with a signature and stamp.

Another book that might not make the deadline is STEAM.

Card Designs - the Other Kind

In addition to books I’ll be offering some images as cards and card sets. The first is a repurposing of what I’d called The Bear Project in previous entries: it’s now Resting Bear Face.

There will be six cards in the set. In a bag, or with an editioned print.

New Artwork

As planned, I did make an entirely new piece for the Art at the Source SCA gallery show and reception. Not as planned, in the middle of the work I veered to one side and made a very different piece, not quite to my original remit but better as an artwork. I hope you’ll get a chance to see it at SCA.

It was a bit of a rush again – while the work is due at SCA on the 7th, the paperwork for it, including title and dimensions, had a surprise (to me) deadline of 23 April. If I hadn’t also been pushing at a lab’s lead-time calendar, I might not have made it.

Likewise, paperwork for “side exhibits” was due at the sametime. Those side exhibits have tighter size constraints, which prevnet me from offering any of the larger aluminum works – instead I’ve chosen a photo from Havana: Caged Bouquet.

It might seem odd that I would include a more conservative piece like that, but it will be entirely alone in a different venue, miles from SCA. For that particular venue, it felt right. As mentioned in relation to the card: there’s hazard in presenting one picture.

Because Wisdom of the Elders is still awaiting final design approval, there’s a chance to relabel it as Wisdom of the Ages as a related effort to RBF.

Printing

Mats for small prints: acquired.

Paper supply: a little challenged, and B&H is closed for Passover. A minor bump. Also: the hard-to-source printer-ink supply needs a check, to ensure all prints bteween today and the first of June are successful.

Aluminum-plate printing: all on track, says the lab.

Experiments with stamps and stamp ink continue. A dye-based ink called “Memory” is currently leading the pack of reliable stamps on all print types.

The Dark and the Light

Studio Days On-Site Prep

I learned from an author who does book signings at fairs: sometimes people still want to pay in cash. And all they have is a $100 bill. And they’re the first visitor of the day. Duly noted.

In recording video for Barbara Harris’s promo, we spent a fair amount of time in the garden patio adjoining the space where my own presentation will be – very changed from how I first saw it in the winter, it promises to be a wonderful retreat for anyone visiting during the show. If space allows, I’ll move some panels out there, and alter the artwork each day. Everyone who visits should at least depart with memorable experiences. And hopefully some books and prints.

See you at Studio 16B on June 1st.

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