Recently Larissa Dahroug, a S. F. Bay Area artist, sent a catalog of her work from her recent exhibition to me. I was really impressed that she was able to put together such a fine catalog and asked her to write a Guest Author post about how this catalog came about.
Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Larissa Dahroug, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No
endorsement or refutation is implied.
FROM THE PEN OF LARISSA DAHROUG:
Self employment is tough. You have to wear so many different hats at once. Being self employed AND in the arts is even tougher, I think. Someone asked me recently why I’m an artist. I told them the truth. It’s the only thing I know how to be. Except for very infrequent, though dreaded, bouts of creative block, I pretty much have got the “make” part of my career down. The part I’m trying to get better at right now is getting an audience for my work once I’ve made it. For my latest series, Sewn Paintings of Light & Love: inspired by 40 dedicated people living and/or working in Santa Rosa, I tried something I’d never done before. I self-published a catalog.
Selfpublishing.com, a company based in New York, NY. Selfpublishing.com was not the cheapest company I found, but they weren’t the most expensive either. They were some where in the middle. In my experience I usually get what I pay for, and while I couldn’t afford the most expensive company I found I knew I didn’t want to go with the cheapest either. I am very pleased with my experience working with Selfpublishing.com as well as with the end product. For around $700 I got an ISBN number, all of my files translated into a printable format, 50 24-page-full-color-glossy-covered copies of my catalog, express shipping and excellent customer service from a real live person, Jacki Lynch.
I created my catalog using my digital Nikon and Mac’s iPages. iPages is easy to use, but unfortunately the finished files were not in the correct format for printing. Selfpublishing.com provides their printing requirements on their website. Files created using Adobe CS are generally ready to print. In spite of how it may appear, I’m actually quite computer illiterate. I don’t know how to use Adobe CS. If I did it would have cost me about $200 less to have my catalog printed. It also would have cost less if I hadn’t required express shipping.
The process of producing the catalog was not without it’s bumps. There was a last minute issue when the printer accidentally shipped my finished job by ground instead of air. Jacki was on it though! She had my job reprinted and shipped on time at no extra cost to me. In fact, it turned out very well in my favor because the original job had already gone out so in the end I wound up with 100 copies of my full-color-glossy-covered catalogs for the price of 50!
I forgot to mention that this series of work and the culminating show were also a fund-raising event for an institution in my community. Planning any art event, but especially one like this can be very stressful. Over the phone (me in California and Selfpublishing.com in New York) Jacki was with me each step of the way, reassuring and soothing me when I was stressed. Customer service like that is priceless.
Larissa is a socially minded multi-media artist. She lives and works in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and five spoiled cats. See her work online at www.spatoochna.com.
The affiliate link (below) to Selfpublishing.com is provided for your convenience. The web site is very interesting. There are many different ways you could approach creating your own catalog or publicity materials. In the next post, I will tell you how I put together two different catalogs for my work.
Page 12 from Larissa Dahroug's catalog "Sewn Paintings of Light & Love."