I've been working on the next spread of this picture book, and it's is a doozy. This is the spread I've been most nervous about because it's so busy and detailed. I guess I was bound to run into this problem while trying to create a book about the whole world, right?
My main challenge for this piece is not even the detail, but varying the depth, texture, and adding in contrast so it doesn't look completely flat and confusing. I will likely be carving those little bitty lines for weeks, but I know it's something I can do. If the print turns out well, the time I put into it will be paid off with a really amazing image. Creating something so difficult and detailed, that requires lots of repetition, and listening to plenty of podcasts to stave off boredom, is honestly a bit of a stunt. It's a stunt in the sense that it really is difficult, but you have the training and practice to pull it off, and the viewers will be wowed if you succeed.
The person who articulated this concept for me was Andy J. Miller in his podcast, The Creative Pep Talk. (I love listening to podcasts, especially that one. I highly recommend it!) He explained it as one of the ways to get people's attention with your artwork. You can take something sort of ordinary, but if you do it to the extreme people will start to notice. Anyone can go jogging, but Forrest Gump started jogging and didn't stop. He ran all the way across the country! So now, whenever I pull an art stunt I think of it as Forrest Gumping. :) BTW, can you believe that movie was made in 1994? Over 20 years ago!
Want to see another Gumpy artwork that I made recently??
This print is 30 inches long and the most text I've carved. So many little letters! It was created at my friend Jorge's request because of his love for this Einstein quote. I didn't know if it would look good, and it was a little boring carving all those letters, but I'm happy with how it looks finished!
So if I start whining about how long this new book spread is taking, remember that I chose this archaic medium and I love it. And I know my process is slow, but if it's going super slow, that may be because I'm Forrest Gumping.