I had a vision of the final book being entirely black on the outside, with no detail or lettering. I thought this would look a bit mismatched with the large amount of white space on the illustrations within the book though. When I scanned the images, I opened a few up in photoshop and inverted them, so the empty space was black and the marks were white. I instantly felt like the images had more of an effect then they did previously. At first I wasn’t sure if it was having more of an impact on me because it actually worked better as an image or because I’d just been staring at the original versions for so long that seeing them differently made me happier. I sent them around to people on my course, and some friends from home so that I had a variety of opinions and it was very 50/50. Even the tutors came to the same conclusion.
I decided the best way to deal with that would be to make two versions of the book, and get them both printed somewhere quick and cheap so that I could see what effect they had when they were physical objects. Even the border on a screen can change how the image affects the viewer, so I needed to see them without that distraction.
When they arrived, the general consensus was that the inverted version was indeed the most effective. I showed both versions to the tutors and they recommended changing the cover from flat black to either white, or a colour. This irked me a little at first, although I could definitely see the benefit of having that instead of the black. Having a bright cover would give a sense of entering the mine upon opening to the first page, which would be a black spread.
To accompany my book in the exhibition, I had been working on an A1 full body portrait of a horse, intended to be ‘Fido’ from my book. It wasn’t really necessary and the painting didn’t do a whole lot on its own, but I felt that just having the book wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t a good enough representation of myself and my work. And I know the point of the exhibition isn’t to showcase everything you can do, but I just didn’t want to have work in the exhibition I wasn’t proud of.
So when it came to working out a different cover for the book, instead of going for just a flat sky blue I considered bringing the cloud paintings from my other main project into it. That way it would literally be like ‘being outside’ and then as you go underground you lose the sky and go into the darkness. It sounds kind of lame written down but the contrast looks very pleasing. I scrapped the horse painting I had been working on and managed to produce a new cloud painting over night. I didn’t want to use a pre-existing piece and all the cloud paintings I’d done before featured very intense, predominantly stormy skies and that wasn’t the vibe I wanted for the book.
I wanted something a bit softer, with patches of blue sky visible so that it had the appearance of a generic partly-cloudy day. Going back to my archive of cloud pictures once again, I managed to find an appropriate picture and got to work. I think this will bring my two pieces of work together in the exhibition a lot more coherently then my horse portrait would have done.
Another change I made before sending off the final copy of the book to be printed was the font. As Amelia very correctly pointed out, the font I had been using initially was very ‘ladybird book’, and kind of ruined the atmosphere of the book. I used Georgia instead, because it suited the images a lot more than the sans serif font I had been using did. I also removed the title ‘ex-pony driver’, because it has some dodgy connotations which I didn’t even think about at first. With these changes made, I could finally send it off to be printed.