Inquiring minds have been asking about the pros and cons of using Blurb for publishing a book. I see only pros for myself and this is why:
First of all, Wild at the Edges: Inspiration from a Creative Life is a book I wanted to write. I can’t imagine this is a book that would be attractive to a commercial publisher. There are no projects or how-tos, unless you count a little tutorial on how to write haikus and why writing poetry might be good for your art practice.
The books I stack on my night stand tend to be of the rare breed that tell me as much or more about the artists than their artwork. I am fascinated by the influences and inspirations of artists. Books that provide a behind-the-scene look at an artistic life inspire me to dig deeper and create more art. That is one reason I created Wild at the Edges: Inspiration from a Creative Life.
But the book is also a clear statement of my artistic intent. I tell (through sixteen short essays) and show (photographs of art, nature, my studio) what drives my artwork and my creative life. My artistic life is woven together by photography, writing both prose and poetry, adventuring, and making art. Wild at the Edges shows how and why this it true.
A major element of Wild at the Edges are details of my artwork shown beside Boundary Waters’ photos that clearly demonstrate that I work from very specific visual and emotional content.
I love this photo of a “Mother” rock stranded in the midst of the forest by a receding glacier. The rock is both surprising and enduring. The trees create a perfect frame. It is a photo that can stand alone as art.
But the detail from Boundary Waters 31 (North) appearing on the facing page in the book adds to the power of the image by drawing attention to a small part of the photo, the mosses and lichens growing on the North side of the trees and rocks, and making it the focus of this fiber artwork.
Both the photo and the artwork, on a deeper level, are about about we as humans enduring, about being the rock in the woods, the life forms that can endure even in the cold and the shade. You can enjoy both works of art as surface image alone or dig a little deeper for a hidden meaning.
In addition to the above considerations, Blurb allows me to create a book and return to my studio where I belong, not become a shipping center, donate part of the profits to the American Cancer Society, and take advantage of a print-on-demand service that has to save a few trees. For this book at this time, Blurb is perfect.