Monday, December 17, 2012

Questions for Your Next Book Art Project

The night after I wrote the long post "Where Do You Get Your Ideas?" I dreamed a much shorter way to begin: using question words can kickstart a book art project.

Who. Who is the book about? Who is the audience? 

What. What is the subject? What do you want to show? What do you want to say?

Where. Locate the setting. Use the book structure itself as the place.

When. When does it occur? One hundred years ago? Now? The "now" that happens each time someone views the book? A minute from now? Projecting into the distant future?

Why. Why does this material have to be a book? Why is it important to you?

Which. Be specific, not generic. If you mention a rock, which rock? If you draw a flower, draw a specific flower.

How. How will you reveal the contents? Is the pacing fast? Slow? Are the story, information or images hidden in pockets or behind doors? Presented cumulatively? Shown sequentially? How do you want the reader to feel?

Perhaps it is a shorter way to think about books, but it is still a long process. Start answering and sketching and moving materials around, then allow incubation time!


india flint said...

one of the things that was poetically reinforced for me at Haystack this Naomi Shihab Nye [leading the writing workshop] was
the usefulness of 'actively' writing lists
whether of words or questions or ideas

the notion of setting a goal of writing 9 or 16 or 31 questions about something. it's a very valuable practice.

Christine Linton said...

Love your chook photo - such characters! And the questions are so useful when exploring a topic to interpret as art.

Velma Bolyard said...

in our daily journaling at school, i sometimes have the kids write lists...especially after reading the absolutely true diary of a part time indian (sherman alexie) in which arnold writes lists as lifelines...they don't think lists are writing (and some of my colleagues don't either).