artist book


One of challenges of being a field librarian at the School of Art & Design is getting to know everyone in this constantly changing sea of creativity. Librarians, like most business people, typically hand out business cards as a way to leave their mark, but in a school where the students, faculty and staff do the mark-making, this just didn’t seem like quite the right approach. I started handing out my business cards and asking people to use the card to create a drawing or some type of artwork that I could include in an artist book. This usually led to a longer conversation and later, when the card was returned, I felt like we had started to know one another. I handed out many more cards than I got back, but the ones that did come back were fabulous expressions that wove their way nicely into this book. I am a librarian, so what better way to document this interaction?

This book is currently being exhibited at the Work Gallery in Ann Arbor. The Exhibition runs from August 12 through September 2, 2011.
Closing Reception: Friday, September 2 from 6 – 9 pm.

    Over the past week I have been working on creating a video from my artist book, The Power of the Indian Stray Dog. Why did I do this, you may wonder. Well, I did it mostly for the shear joy of experimentation. I wanted to see what would happen. I found out that there were things I could do with video that I couldn’t do in the book format – such as leading the reader’s eye and music. But there were things the video missed such as the tactile beauty of the paper. I’m hoping that the video format will help expose the work to people who might not otherwise discover it. And, if nothing else, doing the video gave me a chance to learn a new medium.
    Here are the steps I took to make it happen:

  • I used iMovie, but I am sure there are other programs out there that would work well too.
  • This would probably work best with a book that uses words and images to communicate, rather than a book that uses structure and/or materials to get it’s message accross (such as a popup book or an altered book).
  • The book I made into a video didn’t have a very long script and so I put the text into titles. If a book has a longer text, you could make it into an audio track.
  • I had previously scanned the book’s images and saved them as jpgs, so they were easily imported into iMovie.
  • Control clicking on my images then clicking on “show photo settings” allowed me to edit the photo settings.
  • Using the Ken Burns effect, I was able to start the pan over the image and stop it where I felt it was most effective.
  • I used the transition “cross dissolve” to get the words to flow into the images. The transitions require clips to be over a certain length, so I sometimes needed to lengthen the clip under photo settings (moving the slider from the rabbit toward the turtle).
  • P. recorded the sound track in Garage Band and I was able to move it into iMovie. [note: Make sure to save it with an iLife Preview (located in preferences) or it won’t be usable in iMovie.]
  • Thanks to the help of Dave Liske, I exported the video as a Quicktime file using Expert Settings – selecting Options, Video Settings, Compression Type MPEG 4 Video and Quality=Best.
  • Finally I uploaded it to Youtube.
  • Here is the result:

    Let me know what you think!

Here is a link to my online book:

The Power of the Indian Stray Dog