I think that I very much preferred making my lost/words only book, and in asking myself why, I think the primary reason is the form. For both assignments, I practiced making each of the forms that we learned. As a result and also because of my limited time during the week, I don’t think my finished products were all that elaborate. When I saw what everyone brought to class I was blown away by the detail and time put into each book, and I felt a little silly about my work. Moving beyond my need to step it up, I realize that I’m really not a huge fan of most of the forms we learned in the second class. They don’t appeal to me visually, and that may be a matter of making them better, but I just kind of despise the idea of junk. When I think of making a blind-style book, it makes me physically upset because I know it would just be clutter somewhere in someone’s possession with no reasonable way to be stored. It’s really hard for me to wrap my head around putting a lot of time into something that I will have no use for but will feel guilty getting rid of. I totally feel like a jerk saying that because I am really excited to learn how to make books, and I do make them in my spare time, but I know when I get my found tunnel book back, its purpose will have been entirely served.
Considering the question of words vs. images, I enjoy both concepts. I realized in making these books that it might behoove me to move outside of my go-to visuals. For instance, I can’t go a day without drawing these alien-esque black stick figures I call creeps, but when I made my found book, it was a serious effort not to use them as the images. When it came to my lost book, I did fall to my old standard of using the same five or six handwriting styles I have to complete the assignment, but I tried to stretch the text by using other languages than the obvious English and personal favorite French to which I have grown accustomed. In both books, I totally avoided using the computer in any way whatsoever, which is something I know I need to work on, especially if in the end I want my product to look really uniform and professional. I know for the mid-term in the interest of time, sanity, and uniformity, I will have to actually print my text instead of writing it by hand. Overall, I think I get the most satisfaction when I can use both words and images. This is really exciting to me regarding the mid-term because the text I’m using is very image-heavy.
As far as the technical aspects of making the books went, I need a lot of practice with an exacto knife. Making books is something that requires more time and patience to actually do well than other crafts that I enjoy and more trial and error. Frankly, I don’t like having to do things over and over to get them right, and it’s a huge challenge for me to sit down and do it again when I didn’t get it on the first try. Cutting things and putting holes in them is pretty high risk compared to other art forms. Often, when you draw or paint, you can keep drawing over or erasing or painting over the parts that you’ve messed up. If you miscount your stitches crocheting, you can just pull it out and string it back together rather quickly, but cutting and folding and gluing are things that I don’t have the muscle memory for yet if that’s even possible.
So to sum things up, making books is hard. I like flat, space-efficient forms better than awkward ones.