Artist book: On the line

Despite plans to share a post about my most recent books, this post is about my favorite of my artist books. This book is an accordion folded series of prints of a lithograph I made in a printmaking class. Imprinted via letterpress on the sturdy, yet soft paper is a short story I wrote.

This book, titled “On The Line” was made in 2012. When I began trying to include my book arts in my artist statement recently, this book led me to discover the similarities between my books and my paintings. Just as I document body language and relationships through chairs, this book outlines a relationship through in a brief moment of time, specifically a phone conversation. This book, like my series of chair paintings, also uses a repetitive visual motif: the utility pole. Two images alternate on the page pairs: one of a series of utility poles in a line and one of a lone telephone pole. I made these from one lithograph containing two rectangular drawings stacked on each other. I created this print with the intention of turning it into book pages. The lines stringing from pole to pole line up so the book is one long string, both in the imagery and in the form of the extendable accordion. On the backside of the pages, utility pole shaped pieces of paper hold the separate pages together at the folds of the accordion. A friend recently mentioned that someone told her that no matter what you create, it will be in your style. This book reminds me that that is so true. I wonder sometimes why I try to merge my painting and my bookmaking because maybe they’re already connected?

Below is the text of the short story. (And yes, this call is using a landline! I did use those! I miss them! It’s stressful to be on call at all times!)

“You answer the phone, voice full of question, “Hello?”

I’m unsure of what response to offer, there are so many things I have to say. The tangled phone cord twists to my feet—a manifestation of my unease.

Suddenly the power goes out; my throat catches as I try to speak. “Hello?” You seek to fill the void, but not with me, while I memorized your number.

Just as familiar with the beeps as I dial as the red marks left by the waistband squeezing your flesh. Such imposed beauty, the smooth interrupted, like utility poles cutting through a soft landscape, structure contrasting the curves.

“Hello?” I put the phone back in its cradle; there’s nothing I can say to change your mind.

Powerless, I embrace the safety of the dark, stumbling forward until my eyes adjust.”

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On The Line

Front cover viewpoint

2012

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On The Line

Inside viewpoint

2012

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On The Line

Backside of pages

2012

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From precious seed to hipster plant.

I’m here to shed further light on Hipster Plant because, well, I take everything seriously and my goofy Hipster Plant Greeting Card endeavor doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense.

First of all, I LOVE making people cards. Homemade cards and presents are very meaningful to me. So if you ever receive a card from me the whole writing area will be full. I see it as an opportunity to share what I think that I may not say regularly. It’s one way I make sure folks know that I care and they can look at it in the future and recall that I took the time to write them that nice message.

A few years ago, I considered starting up a custom greeting card business, but decided I didn’t want to because my cards were all about how personal the cards were, plus I didn’t want to sell that part of my soul. It is still surprising to me that I followed through with the Hipster Plant project. This Hipster Plant collection percolated for a year or two after I crafted my first Hipster Plant birthday card for my brother (after which followed a Hipster Plant Christmas card and a Hipster Plant thank you card for him.)

Some darn devil sits on my shoulder telling me it was an idiotic idea to turn this idea into a line of greeting cards. Probably the part of me that surveying the mound of boxes with Hipster Plant cards and supplies waiting for new homes says I should listen to that bugger. But my sappy side wins the battle! The reinvention of Hipster Plant has a facade of sass and weirdness, but underneath these cards come from my homemade, caring heart. They are my attempt to share some of the messages I send to my family.

Someone advised me to drop the “and I will long after.” portion of the I Love You card that reads, “I loved you before it was cool and I will long after.” As a testament to my sentimental card writing, I kept it. These cards happen to use hipster culture cause it’s just silly to put glasses and a mustache on a plant. Plus an opportunity to play with words and let my boyfriend help me with puns.

Amid the murky brain grumbling about how they’re stupid came the realization the process of their creation has actually had a profound affect on my art path. My friend, boss, and studio peer Angel, was a huge support in figuring out how to make the cards and package the cards. She is familiar with making packaging decisions, especially eco-friendly ones. I discovered that making informed decisions about my environmental impact is important to me and I find myself beginning to address some of these ideas in my studio practice. Can’t wait to share where that path takes me.

Reference my website and Etsy for further pictures and description.

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Thank you and Christmas Hipster Plant drawings for my brother

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The line of Hipster Plant Greeting Cards

Cards from left to right: Congratulations, Happy Birthday, I love you, and Thank you

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The congratulations greeting

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The happy birthday greeting

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The I love you greeting

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The thank you greeting