Evaluation – Self publishing

I’ve really enjoyed this module. I’ve loved making the book, meeting new people and working with them and also being more creative. I like making things, it’s just rewarding when you get the finished product. Yes it was very stressful and challenging, especially when I kept jamming the printer because the paper I was using was too thick and I wasted £30. But it’s just a little speedbump in the progress of the book, it makes the finished product that bit more rewarding to look at and think … i made this.

Why did I make such a wacky idea? I knew from the outset that I didn’t want to use the glue binder as to me it felt really cheap and unpersonal. I didn’t want to make a book that a machine helped me with and I didn’t put much effort into. Another motivation for me was, and it sounds stupid saying it aloud but I wanted to make something that will get praised. You know in school when people show off what they’ve got and they stand up infront of the class going through it. I want that in way. I want my book to be so good and innovative that the tutors will use it as an example as a good creative book to show the lower years when they have this module. It does sound really weird but thats what I was aiming for from the outset and throughout.

The actual production of the book was very fun. It was very taxing at times especially when the printer kept jamming. But it wasn’t that bad, you just get on with it. The problem that I faced was that my ideas kepts shifting slightly. My original idea was to use the metal plates as a cover for the book, then that got shifted back to useing the plates as a sleeve, to using the plates as a cover to using mesh on top of it all to using mesh to cover the paper. As I was cutting the metal, the ideas would change. Kinda bad when you’re cutting expensive materials. But it all worked out in the end and i’m glad my ideas kept fluctuating as it wouldn’t have been as good or as unique if I had stuck to my original idea.

What could I have done better? The sketch/workbook. I was so focused on making the book most of the time that I completely forgot about the sketchbook that needed to be done. So I only had a short amount of time to do it all. I did take pictures of what I was doing when I was doing it. But I wasn’t keeping track of what I was doing. Next time on a project like this I will definitely keep both going. I dont want to rush this sketchbook again as it’s so stressful thinking “what do I need” rather than “what’s going to further my research and understanding of books”.

I used the Hoxton Mini Press book as my main source of inspiration if i’m honest. I wanted the book inside to be similar to that. So I got hold of some paper that was just as thick and with a matted style just like the what was in that book. I was also sad enough to put effort into finding out what fonts they used. Aaron has an app on his phone that can tell you the font in a book simply by taking a picture. Really cool and it got me the exact font online, (which is a font called Bryant regular) Awesome.

Another thing I would do differently if I had the time to change would be to make it a bit less stabby. My hands are currently covered in cuts from the mesh and metal as they were so sharp before I sanded the edges down. It came down to me having to put vynl on the edges of the mesh to stop people from getting cut. It was that bad. I dont like the vynl being there as it doesn’t look good or fit in with the book, but it needs to be there so that people dont kill themselves reading my book.

Overall I am very happy with how my book as turned out. As stated in this blog throughout – I wanted this book from the outset to be original, creative and unique, not made on the glue binding machine. I wanted it to resemble a banger racing car’s door and also be made out of metal. I did this to the best that I could have, though the pain job could be better. If i had more time I would actually take it to Rickies garage and ask him to airbrush a design on the front of it with his signature or something to make it even more unique with a very personable touch.

I have worked very hard on making this book what it is. I feel that from the ones I’ve seen, mine is the most outgoing and original. That’s not saying it’s the best by any means, but I’ve put alot of effort into making it original and different to the rest that I think it should be rewarded. Making the thing was rewarding to me just because I was making something, it felt good and I really want to make more handmade books in different ways now. I imagine that i’m going to spending alot of time in the illustration studios.

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