Codex 2019

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Well, it looks like the last post on this blog dates back to the previous Codex Book Fair, that occurred two years ago. It definitely has been a while… Art updates on Instagram and Facebook have taken over, and this site has been neglected. I am planning on fixing this moving forward. Although, the above mentioned platforms are great for keeping folks informed on what’s going on in the studio, it is extremely hard to keep things organized, or find something from just a few months ago. Besides, I would really love to share the art process with a bit more of an in-depth look behind the scenes. And that’s what this blog was designed to do. There are quite a few things to talk about. At the moment I am working with three different Presses on several book projects, as well as my own Wild Pangolin Press creation. I will be posting about this as the work unfolds.

On to Codex 2019. As always, this was an amazing time to get together with fellow book artists and printers, see old friends, make new ones and share some recent work.

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The turnout was amazing. By many accounts this was the biggest Codex Fair yet. Among the new work that I presented were the recently completed (almost) illustrations for Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, commissioned by Centipede Press. The publication date is yet to be determined. More on this project in the future posts.

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Among other recent things was the mock-up of the new project that I am currently working on – Lewis Carroll’s Haddocks’ Eyes. Four spreads from the book were printed and displayed. This one is at the very early stages and many things, like binding, edition and some of the content, are yet to be determined. The plan is to illustrate and typographically interpret the whole poem, which at this point, will consist of 16 page spreads, plus there are other things that I am considering including in the final edition. Here is a quick look:

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Besides the Book Fair itself, there were numerous Codex-related events happening throughout the week and the schedule got pretty hectic. So it was especially great to find some time and connect with good friends, the Fine Press printers that I am working with at the moment. To my left is Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press. Currently I am involved in illustrating the new edition of Kenneth Grahame‘s The Wind in the Willows, that Chad will be publishing under the Mad Parrot Press. To Chad’s right are Peggy Gotthold and Lawrence Van Velzer of Foolscap Press. I am working with them on illustrating the limited edition of Andre├» Makine’s novel Brief Loves That Live Forever.

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More updates on all those projects (and others) will follow shortly. In the meantime, I am getting ready for the Manhattan Fine Press Fair that will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2019. If you are in the area, come by and say hello! More info about the event can be found here.

Photo credits: very top – kavalerka, one bellow – Dima Sayenko, bottom one – a very nice waiter of a very nice Mexican restaurant in Berkeley, CA.

Excerpts from Nikolai Gogol’s The Diary of a Madman – 10 years

 

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This book that I’ve created as a Grad student at Central St. Martins’ is celebrating 10 years! The experience of creating it was magical and it opened quite a few doors for me. This was my entryway into the publishing, illustration, letterpress and Fine Press book world. The book was handset with metal type, the illustrations were done with linocuts and everything was printed and bound by hand in the college’s print shop and in my tiny room in an East London flat. It took about 7 months from start to finish and I made enough prints for 20 editions of the book. Since then, those books have been exhibited and found their new homes all over the world – England, France, Netherlands, different parts of the States (one of the last ones was on it’s way to Missouri last week).

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I’ve done quite a few book projects and have a few in the works right now, but the experience of doing this one is always fresh in my memory. Everything was new. The feel of metal type, sounds of proof presses, smell of printing ink, finger cuts from lino cutters… That feeling of uncertainty, trial and error, constant mistakes and revisions, something completely new, unexpected and real.