I used the text from “lost pet” notices on Craigslist for my “lost” book. At first, I thought it would be an easy way to create a book with a common theme. But as I went through the things people posted, it turned out to be much more moving than I anticipated. The things people wrote about their beloved pets were heartbreaking and earnest, written in the moment of genuine panic and loss. It turned out to be some really beautiful stuff, and I was surprised at how depressed I was when it was finished.
For my “found” book, I needed some catharsis, so I used only images of people with their found pets. From r/aww on Reddit, I found photos of animals that had been either rescued or reunited with their humans after being lost. I tried to print the photos as large as possible and trim each to fill the page, eliminating as much white space as possible.
If I did the project again, I would try to get more creative with the text in my “lost” book. I might write it all by hand, or cut the text up more to break up the blocks. For the “found” book, I might try to layer the photos or put more than one on each page. Looking back, it feels a little plain, and I’m not sure how to convey the idea that all the animals in the book were found or rescued. Not writing words is hard sometimes!