Spark Edition 2017

While everyone is out and about at all the New Years Eve parties tonight, I’ve been home playing fiddle sticks! To translate that, it just means I’ve been relaxing at home – stress free, mind you – watching movies and working on the layout for my new artist’s book edition: the Spark. 

I really despise parties, and as I get older, I haven’t been able to “get over” that. It’s only become worse in fact. My social anxiety is probably worse right now than it ever has been in my entire life – very especially lately. I have not been able to see friends or have visitors, go to restaurants with my boyfriend, go anywhere really, and some days I have a hard time making it to my own mailbox in fear that I may have to wave hello at a neighbor. It’s pretty sad I tell you!

But that’s not what I wanted to go off about on this blog post. But, of course, my private life inevitably comes squeaking and spewing out of my brain down to my fingertips, even when I don’t really want it to. But really was going to check in and tell you something. I haven’t just been playing fiddle sticks, and yes, maybe I haven’t been doing a lot of painting, but at least I have been hard at work on the little artist’s books I will be hand-crafting for the Up to Now flash drive cases. Woo hoo!

I’ll be making an edition 23 books in total. (The last three will be Artist’s Proofs), and my life has been  consumed with working on the overall layout. I consider the long process of creating an art book extremely satisfying. It’s very involved and it’s been really therapeutic too. I talk a bit about the process of making Artist’s books in Today’s Quandary. if anyone is interested, but they are very close to being sold out (FYI). Though, I think I’m having more fun with this one than any other – maybe because it’s so small? I’m not sure. It has to fit inside the little black boxes that the flash drives come in. Get it now? Oh, you already did. Sorry.

To begin the process, I had to determine the size first. That would be the finished size. There must be some allowance for the trim on the right side after the folds (if you’re doing a book with folds, that is.) Or, allowance to chop the left side if you’re making a Hebrew book. There are also books with deckled edges that aren’t suppose to be trimmed and it’s okay if their lengths vary. In fact, I prefer it.

I’m making the littlest of books (around 3 x 4.5 inches), but they are going to be a lot like my 1-SELF book in terms of structure, meaning they will be in “soft” covers, but I’m still using a heavy card stock. I won’t know for sure if I’m using these covers until they arrive in the mail. They are textured linen and look really neat in the pictures on the web, but we’ll see how it goes. I hope they are as cool as they look.

As I structure the book, I am writing and arranging how the pages go. I think of the book as a whole, writing the story as I go along. This one, being about “the Spark” that takes place at the moment of creation: I like to leave the rest of those concept for the viewers and readers to decide. I give examples of how one might apply this “spark,” and they are based on what little knowledge I’ve gleaned from studying Kabbalah, or Jewish Mysticism.  I also like to try to assign double meanings of concepts at different times – for yucks.

I do the writing and arranging partially on the computer in a Word doc. while I physically ghost along a concurrently create rough “dummy” book. It is rough in the extreme sense. Seriously, the first dummy doesn’t even have to be the same size as what the finished book will be; It just has to be in a similar shape and have the same amount of pages. I start with a title page and end with a blank page on the back where I can make a quick doodle in pencil. Behind that last page should be the colophon right before the end. Once the order is satisfying, we staple it all together.

Personally, the way I put the dummy pages together is I lay out the exact amount of pages I will need (when folded in half.) To do it this way, you kind of have to know ahead of time how your book progresses. Or, you do it page by page, cutting all your pieces of paper to size and draw on the front and the back as you go along. You can even cut n’ paste – just like in ye olden times. It doesn’t matter since you’re just going to staple them all together on the edges anyway. If you do stack single pages and it’s hard to open and page through your book, try scoring a vertical line down the front page to the right of your staple job.

Maybe one day I’ll do a whole demonstration on my blog. Would be cool? Even though I have no idea if I do any of these things properly.

Perhaps taking up almost as much time as the whole layout (oh, and making the template too), is writing the colophon! The colophon tells you about the materials you’ve used in the book, when it was made, how, and where. And any other details about the edition that I’m forgetting. Since this little book’s colophon took almost as much time as it did laying it all out, I have to show it to someone! See:


These little, 24-page books, entitled, the Spark, were written and handmade by Carol Es. They were copyrighted and published by Careless Press in ©2017 as a special insert for the six-minute Up to Now (©2015 ) movie in HD presented on flash drives in 3.5 x 5 inch black cases with magnetic closures. The edition is limited to 20 copies only. These books are signed and numbered by Carol Es, as well as Up to Now‘s co-creators, Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway.

The edition somewhat varies because of original touches and unique markings made with Caran d’Ache Pablo colored pencils, Sumi ink, pen and graphite. Then, one original 3.125 x 3.125 inch circle drawing on Fabriano Ecological paper (200 gsm) is loosely inserted into the centerfold of each book. And additionally, there are surprise doodles on the backs of all the colophons.

Calibri text, the “Ladder to Dad” sketch, “Peyote’s Walk,” and the watercolors of “junk” were all printed on Moab Kayenta photo matte (205 gsm) using Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks. The end papers were letterpressed and imported from Italy and the book covers are cardstock covered in textured linen. The books were then hand-bound with a slight variation on a long-stitch with natural waxed linen thread from Ireland.

This is book number:

Now, I just have to make the books! Yeesh. How long will that take me?

Happy New Year!

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