Here's my newest book. I love the square format because it gives the option of working one square page or working rectangular 2 page spreads. Purple is not a color I automatically run to, but I do love it depending on how it is used and I think it worked very well for the outside of the book. Especially with the upholstery fabric I chose for the tapes.
This is a 14 signature book, and while you might think that the inside pages would be purple by looking at the spine, they aren't. I covered the spine of each signature with a special purple tape prior to construction, and with each signature glued to the next, the signature spines are hidden from the inside of the book. When you open the book and flip through it, you see only pages.
Every bit of this book was designed and constructed by hand. The covers are painted and stenciled canvas, hand stretched over hand cut boards. Even the colors were carefully mixed to produce just the right shades of purple and indigo, further enhanced through multiple layer glazing. Each page (to be shown in a later post) was hand-pieced from a carefully chosen array of papers. The tapes were cut, reinforced and edge-stitched.
All these steps took significantly less time than previous books with fewer steps and less attention to detail. Why? Practice! The more you do, the faster and better you become at procducing work of increasing quality.
It pays to jump around, learning and practicing lots and lots of things. I firmly advocate doing and trying as much as is humanly possible and not harmful. But (there's always a caveat), when you find something you love, do it over, and over, and over, and over! Find every possible pleasing variation. Go for quality. Go for numbers. Go for variety. Tweak it. Then tweak it again.
It's good to practice art vertically, building knowledge on top of knowledge, and technique on top of techniqe. But this should never take the place of, or be done at the expense of working laterally. When you find something that you love and that interests you passionately, you must take that thing you love and work again and again, producing variation upon variation, until you've milked the last drop of ingenuity and variety that your heart and soul has to put into it. Then it's time to move on to something else.
Of course this shouldn't be done at the beginning. A foundation of tools, techniques and experience should always precede any serious attempt at a lateral series, unless you don't mind being mediocre. I personally would hate to taste a variety of souflees made by a chef who didn't own a whisk, had no idea how to properly whip air into eggs, and was content to feed his concoctions only to those who didn't know better. But for me personally, I like knowing better. And I enjoy the study, practice, time, patience and experience it requires. I also enjoy people who think it's a valuable thing to acquire these virtues and are passionate about it. But then I enjoy people and art, so enough said!