"A Sort of Autobiography" was published last week by Diffusion, a UK-
based non-profit arts, and publishing organization and a project of
Proboscis. They commissioned me to do a piece in their Transformations
series using their online publishing tool Bookleteer. I used their
"storycube" template to make a sequence of 10 downloadable foldable
cubes that are my attempt at autobiography. From their page:
“I have lived like a fool and wasted my time”, Guillaume Apollinaire
A Sort of Autobiography is a possible story of Waren Craghead’s life
projected both back to his birth in 1970 and forward to his death in
2060. Each decade of his life is represented by a storycube as a
rough self-portrait. Drawn in various styles and encoded in
different ways, the cubes tell a story of transformations – of mark-
making, of physical appearance and of a life seen through drawing.
The piece is a revision and extension of a smaller piece for Cafe
Royal. All 10 cubes are available for download for free and are
published under a Creative Commons license which means you can print
and share them all you want.
I should also mention that Diffusion and its parent organization
Proboscis are a great and their Bookleteer tool, which makes books as
well as storycubes, is very easy to use. Thanks to all there and
especially Giles Lane for this great opportunity.
Rina Ayuyang's 2007 book "Doodle Daze" is a collection of sketchbook drawings curated and composed to create a compelling narrative. The book is described as "sketches + notes" on the title page, and it is that - pages of her charming drawings that have the quick quality of a sketchbook. This makes "Doodle Daze" seem like and actual document of life. It's realist in that these pages and images are real reactions and interpretations of where she was and what she saw. There is no pulling back of the camera to portray the artist doing things. We see them with her.
A book like this - a pile of sketchbook pages - can easily turn into chaos and noise where reading is about seeing the drawings and the sequence could be random. Ayuyang, a practiced cartoonist, delicately and subtly puts the pages in order to make reading the book as pleasurable as looking at the images. At several points in the book, after pages of drawings laced with text, descriptions and bits of story she placed a page with a large quiet image. It's an exhale, punctuation, a milepost. A rhythm is made and the pages begin to work as a whole.
Reading doodle daze is like remembering. The dazed reader floats along the surface of whatever has been captured in drawing. The whole experience of the world isn't there but Ayuyang doesn't promise it to us. Rather than show us things, she tries to recall them with us.
Doodle Daze is available at Ayuyang's website for $3.00US.