I’m in a new book: The Pulse of Mixed Media

Some three years ago, I taught the one and only class of my career, a 12 week program at the Open Center. I learned a lot and met a number of interesting artists over the weeks. Seth Apter was in my class and I began to visit his sumptuous website, The Altered Page , and to talk with him about drawing and art and the creative process. He interviewed me for his blog and again, the conversation broke new ground for me/
Last year, Seth began work on a book, The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed, and invited me to participate.
Now, I have been a part of a number of books that collected the work of many artists, and generally it’s a simple and painless affair. In fact, while putting together An Illustrated Life and its upcoming sequel, An Illustrated Journey, I found myself in the reverse position of having to badger other artists to join up and then send me pages from their journals and answer my questions. It’s a fair amount of work but one learns so much by shepherding this sort of book.
Anyway, being a part of Seth’s book was more than I initially thought when I signed up. That’s because Seth really demanded that I think a lot about myself and my process in answering his questions, think in ways I’d not been asked to do before, not even by myself. He’s a psychologist and he challenged me to really explain the many things I take for granted in my work, the media I use and the ways I use them, what defines my work and what does not, He asked me questions like “What three words do not describe your artistic style?” and “If you could sell one piece of art to anyone in the world, whom would you want to buy it and why?”
Seth asked these sorts of questions of me and many, many other artists. From what I’ve seen of it, the resulting book is a rich and beautiful tapestry that explores the deepest aspects of the creative process, and provokes and inspires over and again.
The Pulse of Mixed Media will be officially published at the end of this month but apparently it’s in some stores already. You can also get it direct from the publisher.  Meanwhile, Seth is doing all sorts of things on his site to dimensionalize the content, with samples and peeks inside. Seth has promised me that the actual book will be in my hands any day now but my trips to the mailbox have been for naught so far. I hope to share a deeper dive between its covers in the near future.
Meanwhile, if you get a copy, do let me know what you think.

Peanut sale.

Aside

My heated entrance into online publishing has proven a tepid success. So far, a small handful of excellent people have bought the paperback of my masterpiece, Peanut, despite the shipping costs. And, as for the Kindle version that was so loudly demanded by some, well, the electrons are still taking up space in the virtual warehouse. Apparently a few lovely English people (probably distant relatives)  have downloaded it but I have yet to hear from them either.

I’m not griping, just chastened. The funny thing is, this book is really good. I know I’m biased but those who have read it have been ridiculously effusive about it.  Nonetheless, my dreams of sitting on a tropical island prodigiously writing books and uploading them directly to my readers without a publisher’s craven intervention, seems to be dimming.

In a last ditch effort to get it into a few more hands, I have squeezed my partners at Blurb and Amazon and lowered the price on the paperback and ebook versions. If the price is still too high to be worth your while, well, then I give up.

Actually, I dont really. I’ll be releasing another book, a completely different one, in the next day or two, using the same channels to get the book out.

Hope springs eternal and I’m a dreadful entrepreneur.

If you are curious about the future of publishing, and like a great bargain, buy Peanut:

Available in paperback from Blur:

And as an ebook on Amazon.

PS If you bought Peanut at the original price and now feel like you were ruthlessly conned, send me a note and I’ll try to make it up to you.

Super cool and exciting: A new book! From me!

When Patti was pregnant, so was I. Pregnant with a book that turned our endless nine months+ into 250+ pages of memoir. I have been working on Peanut in various forms ever since, if you can believe it. It’s tried being a regular book, a graphic novel, and an online serial. And now, finally, here it is a readable form you can carry around with you and read until your are fully entertained and edified.

Back then, I was terribly interested in the experience of becoming a father and I just couldn’t find much that was practical that had been written about it. After the book was written, I came to realize that it was tricky to fill this void in the bookstore in the standard way. Because books need to be shelved in particular sections at your local Barnes & Noble or even on Amazon, no one knew quite where to put my book. It was sort of  a memoir (back in the days before memoirs were routinely bestsellers) but more specific. And it wasn’t really appropriate for the pregnancy section because it was about a man’s experience. Anyway, it got kicked around by a bunch of publishers and finally got punted into the weeds.

I always felt that was  a shame as I really liked it; I think it’s by far the funniest book I’ve written and re-reading it as I have been recently, it cracked me up over and again. I think it’s also very insightful, about what it means to be  a parent and yet remain the child of one’s parents and grandparents.

It’s also a shame because it helps to explain an awful lot about me, about the family forces that shape my view of the world and the uniques experience I had as a kid. Slowly but surely, the most important events in my life, good and bad, are becoming books — Everyday Matters; my new book on Patti’s death; and this, the prequel, Peanut.

Anyway, I have had it with trying to flog the book in the traditional way. But I really do want people to read it. So I have decided to have a number of copies printed up to see if you, the people who have supported my work for years, might be interested in reading it and maybe helping me birth it in some form. It’s a little paperback, decent quality with one of my paintings on the cover. It doesn’t contain any drawings or even the word ‘drawing’ but if you like the way I write and share my perspective on the world, you might find it entertaining. And if you’ve ever been a parent or a child, I think it’ll be right up your alley.

The book is available now —and you might want to act now. This may sound like a hucksterish pitch (though it’s 100% true, I swear) but the printer just told me they will be raising the price by a dollar in the next 48 hours. I think the book is worth that additional dollar but, if that gives you pause, please order it today or tomorrow (May 18th). Or wait till the weekend and spring for the extra buck. Your call. Or, better yet, get in under the deadline and order yourself a dozen or so copies and sell them to the neighbors for an additional 50 cents and pocket the difference. I won’t tell.

Order PEANUT here

If you get it, let me know what you think. And how you think we can collectively make it into a bestseller that will transform parenting as we know it. I welcome your collaboration and critique.

Thanks to everyone who supports my book and has ordered the book so far. If this experiment is successful, I will publish more books in this sort of immediate, hand made way in the future. 

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From The Private Sketchbooks Of Artists, Illustrators And Designers

ill-life1

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers is my newest book, a collection of illustrated journals from 50 different artists. It’s 272 pages of four-color inspiration at an amazing price! Buy Now From Amazon