You have heard of shoe-string budgeting
? Well now there is shoe-string publishing! That is when you publish in an appealing way, for minimal costs.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding things for me this year (2004) has been seeing the altered books
that the Grade 3, through to Year 12, students have made in each of the schools I have been working in.
I took along a bag of altered books and showed them what students of mine had done. The challenge was to guess what each book had been in another lifetime. Even I had not realized that the gold sprayed book, that looked like a glamorous album, had once been a standard desk diary. The book that the kids really loved was made by Angeli - one of my Year 7 students. She had taken a business directory and meticulously covered every page as only an artist could. The pages were seamless. She had glued pages, in six page lots, together and then covered them with pages from glossy magazines. It blew everyone's mind away when they saw what she had done and the teachers and children were fascinated with the transformative element of the project.
Upon my return children screamed with delight and tripped over one another in the rush to show me how they were transforming books that would have gone to the paper recycle place. I was gob-smacked as I looked at how enthusiastically the kids had taken up my suggestion. These books will be treasured instead of being discarded. These books will be treasured instead of being discarded. They are being filled with responses to exercises that I have presented, personal photographs, incredibly moving pieces of writing, symbols, images of their favorite things, dreams and hopes. That warmed my soul. It felt like a sauna embrace.
I call this Shoe String Publishing because you can literally publish at little or no expense, 'publish on a shoe string'. At the end of the year we will be wrapping these books up in Christmas wrapping. I cannot think of a better gift.
Have a peek at what these students are doing. Be inspired and make albums by using recycled magazines, directories or old books, to store your art and writing in. Remember that the Visual Journal Lounge
has lots of tempting links to support this addictive art form.