Narratives: Bookbinding

I had to go to a bookbinding workshop in order to bind the pages I had printed off myself, and although I had done this once before, I still found it tricky. I’ve usually been pleased with the end result, but as I’m making a book I tend to doubt myself and struggle to see how the finished product may appear. The same was true in this case.
I have attached some photos of the process underneath, and annotated them.

It’s a process that I find stressful in trying to align everything perfectly- yet I realise that it is extremely difficult to do, and in some way this can be a manually bound book’s appeal. It seems to me a lot like cooking, in how sometimes you have a wait a while, and others you have to be very fast. I took quite a while trying to make my book correctly, but I think I would speed up with more practice. It is a process I would like to try again, if I find a good opportunity to use it. I would like to find time to experiment with it in my own time, to try the different techniques (such as box-stitches etc).

As well as the glue being tricky to control, because of how messy it was, I had a lot of trouble in trying to cut out parts with a retractable knife. Also, despite measuring it with 3mm either side and 5mm less for the spine, I ended up with only just enough card for the covers, to actually cover my pages. But in the end they seemed to work, and I think the slight thickness of the cover material helped with this slightly.


Narratives: Research – 17th Nov’ onwards

I was inspired by this video for my initial story.

Then found totem animal illustrations in a journal (see sketchbook)

Led to native american stories

Watercolour techniques
Videos I used to practice techniques:

Video on using salt – look like snowflakes

Video set of watercolour techniques

Using salt…

Blizzards in Watercolour

Inspiration/references I found online, to help with my illustrations

Narratives: Evaluation

I have an interest in the culture of native americans, and of totem/spirit animals in general. Through researching illustrative styles, I came across illustrations of spirit animals, so this captured my interest. I began to explore this theme, and I found the game Never Alone. I chose to base my story heavily on Never Alone’s, but I didn’t want to spoil the game’s story for myself, as I was interested in playing it. Nor did I want to blatantly copy it.
I researched Inupiat native american folklore, in order to get an idea of how I might create the middle and end of my story. Through this, I was able to create an informed world. I also thought a fantasy-like story would be interesting to illustrate, as there’s room for experimentation.

I looked for visual styles which could resemble a blizzard and native american art styles. I felt watercolour would work well, because of the possible techniques. I had never used it before however, so had to research techniques and experiment. This was difficult because of a lack of time, and I would’ve liked to practice more.

Despite this, I think my illustrations were successful; my feedback has been that people like how they look, and that they like the way I have communicated the blizzard. It was hard to use the watercolours sometimes, due to their unpredictable nature. Especially when I tried to ‘take paint away’ in order to create lighter/white areas or lines, for the text to sit in front of and to communicate the wind. I would’ve liked to have used salt, but through experimentation found it too complicated and difficult to time correctly. Although unpredictability was good in how it gave an organic quality.

I also learnt not to put pages that aren’t a double-spread image on the same paper, incase I need to move one of the pages. I had to move one in Photoshop, to give my type more room on my InDesign document. This meant patching up the blank top by copying similar parts of the paper onto it. But I was pleased with my drawings, because I managed to maintain consistency, something I was worried I would struggle with. Using tissue paper as a basic guide for scale definitely helped, and it is something I have learnt as a technique.

Narratives: InDesign + Experimentation

2nd InDesign Session notes

Indesign 2_20150120_0001


Click on the images to read annotations