APE came and went, thanks to everyone who came by the table.
I was thinking a lot while in San Francisco. Mostly thinking about money and goals. Whenever I go to festivals, I’m forced to think about my art-making as a business, which I don’t particularly enjoy. I should be happy that people buy my books at all given they could easily spend their money on other talented artists. At the same time though, I don’t earn enough from my freelance gigs to be able to subsidize going to faraway festivals…So no APE 2015 for me next year. I’ll probably come back at some point, but making a San Francisco trip annually is not something I can do.
Beyond the issue of trip costs, I was thinking about what my goals were and if I was achieving them by going to festivals. Like I said before, going to festivals forces me to look at my work as a business, and I don’t feel what I’m doing is sustainable or that it is aligned with what I want to do. First of all, the bulk of my books are handmade. For the past two years, I’ve done editions of 30 for all my books, which makes over 150 books I’ve silkscreened and cut / bound by hands. Needless to say, I’m feeling a little burned out with book-making. People have suggested I make simpler books that aren’t as time-consuming to build, and while this is very good advice, I actually like making complicated books…I just don’t like making 30 copies of said complicated book. Book-manufacturing has another drawback: it takes time away from my working on new projects. This past month, I’ve been busy making new copies of my prehistoric and carousel books instead of working on my newest project “The Carboniferous”. The more festivals I do, the faster I sellout, and then I have to once again spend a lot of time manufacturing. So the answer for me is less festivals and smaller editions.
I had many more thoughts about what my direction should be, I won’t bore you with all of them because I’m still at the planning stage. One thing though is that after the trip, I resigned from the comic anthology group “Three-armed Squid”.