MCBA Visual Journal Collective’s Not-So-Blank-Page Collaborative Project—Details and Deadline

February 23, 2013

Please see the full post for details.

Above: Suzanne Hughes demonstrates the before (my background on the left) and after (her altered page on the right) in our new spiral bound journal project. Read below for details.

The Not-So-Blank Page Project:

On Monday, February 18, Suzanne Hughes and I unveiled the new collaborative book arts project for the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. We are going to make collaborative custom made "smash" journals. Participants will then fill the journals from April through December 2013. At our December 16, 2013 meeting we will have a special simultaneous, continuous, really fun viewing experience (you'll just have to come and enjoy it with us).


Each participant will make two pages of background following the specs given in "Details" below. All pages will be collected at the March 18, 2013 meeting. Pages will be copied, punched, and assembled and returned to participants at the April 15, 2013 meeting. Participants will cover printing and binding costs at cost (again, see "Details" below in the full extended post). April through December 16, 2013 everyone will work in the journals until our December meeting when we'll have a viewing.


The following examples are provided to give you an idea of what you might create for your "backgrounds." Possibilities are of course endless. Besides the opening example of Suzanne's sample you will see in these examples Roz working on Suzanne's pages and vice versa. There are also some unworked pages just to give you additional ideas. See "Details" below for specifics on how the pages must be prepared.

Click on any of the following images to view an enlargement.

R130207FrameLeft: Roz created this frame by collaging strips of painted paper onto chipboard. (Note: Suzanne found that darker backgrounds like this made working on the copied images a little more difficult. Keep this in mind when designing your pages.)






NSBJ example page ChickenLeft: Suzanne used the frame background as a foil for her collaged sketches. 









R130207SquigglewithBandLeft: Roz created this squiggle pattern with and without the blue vertical strip. She left open areas in the design where it would be easier to sketch or paint. (Suzanne worked on Roz's background by placing a piece of white paper on the dark area to allow for sketching ease. Suzanne's completed version is not shown here.)





R130207StencilLeft: Roz created this background on a piece of cream Stonehenge paper using rubber stamps and stencils with rubberstamp ink.








NSBJ example page pearLeft: Suzanne created this journal page by painting and sketching in pen on the top of Roz's stamp and stenciled background.








R130217TapeALeft: Roz used tapes and Japanese paper to grid out a decorative background.









Ssquares-pageLeft: Suzanne collaged patterns together on gridded paper for this background.









R130215_NettlesonSuzannebackLeft: Roz collaged a sketch onto Suzanne's gridded background. She used rubberstamp ink around the image and a piece of metallic Japanese paper on the edge.









Left: Roz used paint and found text collage to create a simple background.









NSBJ example page HeronLeft: Suzanne sketched and collaged over the text-background Roz made.









Sart-sprialLeft: A stamped background pattern prepared by Suzanne.









SWatercolor-Background-1Left: A watercolor background created by Suzanne.

As you can see from these examples the possibilities are endless. Each artist will bring a different set of ideas to the background you create—we'll get to see all our different approaches to visual problem solving.


Now that you see just some of the fun that can be experienced you want to know how to participate. Here are the guidelines. Please follow them when preparing your artwork. Remember all artwork must be delivered at the March 18, 2013 meeting of the Collective—or received in the mail by Saturday March 16, in order to be included.

The Not-So-Blank-Page Project

This will be an 8.5 x 11 inch coil-bound journal, bound on the 11-inch side. Each artist will contribute 2 pages of "background" art to the journal. Printing and binding will be handled by Suzanne and Roz to ensure uniformity. Each artist will be responsible for the cost of the printing and binding of one journal. Journals will be delivered to contributing artists at the April MCBA Visual Journal Collective meeting. All artists will then work in the created journals between April and December 2013. There will be a viewing party at the December 2013 meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective.

Contributing artists need to follow these guidelines:

1. Create TWO separate 8.5 x 11 inch pages of art (each on it's own sheet of paper).  

2. Allow a printing margin of 1/8 inch all around your art (the copier we're using will not print edge to edge).

3. All pages should be VERTICAL in orientation (Portrait orientation, not landscape). Keep this in mind when using any word stamping or text elements in your background design.

4. DO NOT sign your artwork. Any signature on your "background" art would likely be covered by the other artists. Instead, neatly print your name on the TOP BACK of each piece of art. (Once the journals are collated a contributing artists list will be generated listing artists'  names and contact information in order of page appearance in the book. This will appear as the final page of the journal.) Placement of your neatly printed name on the TOP BACK of your piece will clearly identify the orientation of your artwork if there is any question.

5. Since each artist's two sheets of art will be printed back to back by the project organizers it is important that you also label on the BACK of your two sheets  "A" for your right-hand page, and "B" for your left-hand page. For example the back or each piece of art will read either "Roz Stendahl A" or "Roz Stendahl B." Keep in mind that on your "A" page will appear as a right-hand page in the book and that there will be a "waste" area running vertically on the 11 inch tall LEFT side of the page where it will be punched and bound. For your second piece of art labeled "B" there will be a corresponding "waste" area running vertically on the 11 inch RIGHT side of that sheet. Keep essential elements of your design out of that area. We guestimate the waste area will be about 3/8 inch. Something between 3/8 and 1/2 inch should be sufficient for main design elements to clear.

6. Due to the nature of print production for this project all artwork must be FLAT. Collage is totally acceptable, but it must be flat. No dimensional elements may be included. (If you wish to add dimensional elements to your design please scan your dimensional elements, print them out, cut out the prints and use those prints as your collage materials, thus creating a FLAT piece of art.)

7. When creating your background artwork keep in mind that another artist is going to have to work on top of your background. Realize also that your favorite element of a page design might be covered over by the artists working on that page.

8. Use only materials for which you own the copyright. Do not use the photos or artwork of others including famous works of art (even if you are getting the images from some "copyright" free disk). There are too many issues with releases and usage and we can't be burdened by gathering all that and acknowledging them in this project. If you are using printed items it is safest to use items created before the 1920s. Bits of ephemera from your daily life can also often work. You can of course read more about copyright law at various sites on the internet. If we have concerns we may ask you to provide substitute art.

9. Artwork is due on March 18, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. If you need to mail your work in because you can't come to the meeting you need to mail your art by Friday, March 15, 2013, for arrival on Saturday, March 16 at Roz Stendahl, P.O. Box 141434, Minneapolis, MN 55414. (Roz doesn't get mail delivery before the Collective on Monday so she needs to have your artwork in hand on Saturday to ensure you're in the count.)

10. Copyright of the journal and resultant artworks: Participating artists agree that copyright for the unused background designs remains with the creator of that background and unused pages can not be copied (with any method) or repurposed or shared in any other way without prior consent of the background creator. However, participating artists agree that copyright of the completed "altered" page once the "background page" has been decorated/altered, will reside with the artist who worked on that page. Example: Suzanne creates a background page in the book. Suzanne has copyright of that page and no one can copy that page and use it for another purpose. Roz then paints on Suzanne's page. The artwork created by Roz includes the background information from Suzanne, but Roz now has sole copyright to the completed, finished piece. Please take this into consideration when you are incorporating elements into your backgrounds.

11. No pages can be removed from the journal due to the way we will be viewing the finished books. If you create work you aren't happy with cover it with media or collage and start again. 

12. Printing and binding is being charged each participant at cost (there is no mark-up on the project and significant donation of time on Suzanne's part). Roz is donating the paper. Payment will be worked out in the following manner: $.50 x the number of participants + $2.75 for binding. (If 30 participants are involved the cost would be roughly $18.) Please note that there is a possibility we will be able to cut $2.20 off the binding cost. Roz is currently looking into that.

13. Payment is due when you hand over your art. We will know what the payment is at the March 18 meeting when participants can be counted.  Please bring cash or a check that can be made out to Suzanne Hughes.

14. Mail-in-participants (participants unable to attend the March meeting) will be notified of the final cost on the evening of March 18 and need to respond by March 19, 6 p.m. that they are still participating. They will need to send a check for the agreed upon cost to be received no later than March 25, to Roz Stendahl, P.O. Box 141434, Minneapolis, MN 55414

15. If you cannot attend the April meeting to pick up your journal you will need to arrange to send a check to cover postage as well. Price to be determined. 

16. Three additional copies will be made for archive purposes. No additional copies of this book will be made for resale.

  1. Reply

    I don’t pass along things often, but this one is well worth the chance. It’s called the Best pep talk ever – given by a kid. I’ll try to include a link, but I’m not very tech savy. Here goes. I hope it brings a smile to your face. Your blog certainly does that for me. Oh, and you are totally on the path to awesome.

  2. Reply

    What an absolutely adorable kid—except he’s got it wrong about Robert Frost. Thanks LizzieBo.

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