So. This is actually a new photo of an old altered book. Be Afraid was my very first altered book, in the first round robin I played in. I sent this one out in January 2002, but I think I signed up for the round robin in December, moments after reading about altered books for the first time, and joining the altered books group on Yahoo. At the time, there were maybe 2,000 members, and round robins were plentiful.
Be Afraid started life as a child's board book about stranger danger, telling in simple sentences and bright colors how to deal with strangers who come to the door, approach you on the street, or offer you candy. Minus the bright colors, the book's text is extremely creepy, and I ended up letting it show through on some of the pages I worked.
I called the book Be Afraid because it's one of my favorite expressions, and because, without the bright, kid-friendly artwork, the book really was a list of every parent's nightmares. "Be afraid." is often the last line of my short bio, and if you check my profile on Twitter, you'll find it there.
I asked the artists who worked in the book to focus their work on things that they were afraid of, or that made them feel uncomfortable. Five other artists worked in it during the round robin, and I also sent it to someone I was mentoring, so she could work in it, and see a real altered book with work from many artists.
My work in all the books in the board book round robin, including Be Afraid, is posted on a hidden page of my web site.
Happy Thursday, everyone. Be afraid...