I just wanted to say hello to those of you who joined us here on the ol' Patreon Dirigible this week thanks to Tony Zhou at Every Frame a Painting. It's lovely to have you here, and I'm looking forward to sharing more goodies with you in the months to come! Keep an eye on your inboxes.
Today's post is an investigation of how my new box set collection of illustrations, A Life in Objects, came to be! (If you don't give a hoot about how it was made, but just want to hold it in your hot little hands, it's available in my store. If you'd like to learn more, just keep reading.)
If you recall I tried my hand at participating in The 100 Day Project this year, drawing a thing a day every day for 100 consecutive days from April to July. I documented a bunch of meaningful objects in my life, complete with context—a miniature museum of personal history.
Here are all the finished entries in one big sheet:
All these pieces were drawn in little Scout Pocket Notebooks with a Pilot Hi-Tec C gel pen. I tried not to take more than 30 minutes on any entry, but I occasionally went down the hatching rabbit hole and ended up with a more detailed depiction. I drew entries from all sorts of places—from my house to every day of my five-week East Coast book tour for Baggywrinkles. It was wild trying to do something so consistently over time.
Once the illustrations were done, I wanted to bring them into one location at the same size they were drawn, so I contacted some printing friends of mine at Eberhardt Press and Twin Ravens Press to create sets of pocket-sized replica notebooks and a handsome, gold-foil slipcase to hold them in. Here’s my original mockup of the booklets, with a die-cut cover:
Once I’d figured out the basic format, I went hunting for the right kinds of endpapers. I knew I wanted chipboard for the covers, since that's what the original notebooks sported, and Kristin at Twin Ravens had sold me on the idea of doing gold foil on the boxes, so I wanted something to match:
A lot of frenetic proofing and printing and cutting and folding later, we ended up with boxes that could be laser-cut and -creased, then assembled by hand without any glue! And a lot of handsome booklets to go inside them.
Then my life became a long chain of assembly line time (500 box sets is a lot of box sets). I folded boxes at home, at the studio, at coffee shops, behind my table at SPX, and on planes:
A couple weeks of that yielded shippable box sets that winged their way to folks around the globe, which is my absolute favorite part of the process.
I’m so excited to have these new beauties out in the world. If you’d like one for yourself, they’re available exclusively through my store right now.
Thanks for reading, and I'll be back with some more process stuff later this week.
Love and boats and comics,