I took an introduction to artist book class at the San Francisco Center for the Book with Matt Runkle and that was fantastic! I always wanted to make an artist book and I learned different ways of binding and crafting books. I created a pocket accordion book from the Making Waves: Intro to the Accordion Book class I took with Chang Yuchen at the Center for Book Arts. That was also really great. So with that pocket accordion book, I decided that I wanted to involve fortune cookie slips like I always longed for in an artist book for well over a year.
The fortune cookie slip will be the prompt and I would take an instant photo using my lomo’instant automat in response, as well as write a conjoining text on a piece of paper that covers the polaroid. I’ll use a paper fastener in the upper corner so I can swivel the paper and reveal the photo. Still not sure how to afix the fortune cookie slip: on the pocket, above the photo, or something else. My classmates have suggested to sew it, use a flag structure, and a really good one was to swivel it from the pocket so it’ll be revealed and then hidden away. An issue I have though is that the photos on the back fall off.
The video goes over how I picture my artist book and a glimpse of a draft inspired by the back of my slip: “Be Full = băo 飽” It’s a list of encouraging affirmations on blue paper, which reads:
“of curiosity, of daring, of humor, of resilience, of hope, of eagerness, of possibility, of boldness, of song, of life, of hope, of heart, of goodwill, of love for you”
Though I decided while I was first presenting my artist book to switch it up and write about how I love my full, chubby Asian face despite the white European beauty standards that are shoved in my face every fucking day of my life. It’s not a constant love, but it’s getting there. And I think taking a self-portrait with a full on grin would keep me in the right direction.
Not sure how the other fortune cookie slips will play out. I have selected the most striking ones from my collection and a few extras in case I change my mind.
On a black and gray table top are fourteen fortune cookie slips in rows of 3 then the final one as 2. From top left corner, they read:
A good friendship is often more important than a passionate romance.
Do more of what you love.
4, 13, 17, 26, 62, 53
The greatest risk is not taking one.
LEARN CHINESE – Be Full
Lucky Numbers 41, 53, 11, 16, 17, 18
It’s not the end yet. Let’s stay with it.
The object of your desire comes closer
Lucky # 78, 45, 16, 13, 8, 2
Learn Chinese: Milk, Niu-na 牛奶
It isn’t our position, but our disposition, that makes us happy
The fun side of a relationship begins to unfold.
Lucky # 10, 20 38, 29, 17, 3
Learn Chinese, Beer, pi-jiu 啤酒
That thing will come into your life at the exact time that you need it.
7, 18, 43, 49, 59, 65
Think highly of yourself, for the world takes you at your own estimate.
A new voyage will fill your life with untold memories.
If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything.
We are what we think.
The class agreed to take photos of their finished artist book on December 1st. And a classmate is judging an artist book show which closes on November 30th. It’s at The Artery Gallery in Davis, California and you can submit here. I’m gonna go for it. I don’t know if I want to sell it but the idea intrigues me. The exhibition runs from January 8th to February 1st. I wish I could see the artist books in person, it’d be so cool to see my classmates’ works in person.
I’m excited to see what these next weeks will bring me inspiration wise. I think I’ll try a different method of attaching the fortune cookie slip in each pocket. And in terms of writing, I wanna try to do flash fiction, even speculative fiction. Maybe a compact love story or a burning question I’m too scared to ask/know I wouldn’t be satisfied no matter the answer. An unsent letter. Perhaps a doodle or collage, it doesn’t have to be solely writing. Maybe I can take a photo and paste it on the paper and the polaroid could reveal writing though I haven’t had much luck with making it legible. I could make the handwriting thicker and bigger though, maybe then it could work.
In any case, I want the artworks to have a wide range. I want them to be a surprise. Maybe they can connect somehow? Like a flow of thoughts… hmm. I like the idea of there being an arc to it. But I want them to each stand alone. I also wanna try to leave a pocket where they can make their own. An empty plastic pocket that they can interchange fortunes, a few paper fasteners, some fortunes to start them off. They’ll just have to supply a photo, though it doesn’t have to the mini or regular size at all. I want them to enjoy it. They don’t have to use a photo at all. And maybe I shouldn’t make the fortune cookie slips permanent in case they want to change out my artworks too. No, I think one spare pocket is enough for them. If they really want to alter it, they totally can. But I want to explore this accordion book fully. I’ll figure it out as I make it.
I think these bite size writings and creations will be really good for me. There’s a bunch I need to work on this month, but I’ll write about it in an upcoming blog. These would give respite between the long stretches of writing and longer days at work. Hmm I think I’ll have the post focus on what I want to do during these final months of 2020. I don’t want to be daunted though so I’ll try to be terse. And I wanna compose it real soon cuz these are opportunities you can do too. Feels wrong to keep it to myself if it can help you succeed as well.
This was my first time creating a video like this PLUS captioning it. I highly recommend AutoCap which I used on my iPad. It’s pretty intuitive and very easy to use. It took a long time to caption 7 minutes, I underestimated my perfectionism haha but it was worth it. I wanna try to make a junk journal with me or a book review video. Or perhaps a book haul. I mean I have all this space on my own domain, I should utilize it better. If you have any ideas on what videos I should make, let me know. I’m open to suggestions. Also feedback on how to improve my captioning and videos overall would be great. I’m a total novice but I’m willing to learn.
I have a lot of ideas and projects brewing and it’s killing me not to post about it haha. Though I will admit it’s holding up the creation process which isn’t good, at least in my bookstagram. Self-imposed rules should boost your creativity and output, not hinder you. So I’m gonna start posting there again and fuck the order that I thought of haha. I’ll share the page once I have some new posts on it and I’m more consistent. I also want to write a conjoined book review on here.
Despite the hellmouth that is 2020, I’ve grown and changed a lot, for the better. Still need to handle stress better but I’m learning and breathing through it. I think creating art like this will help me be more hopeful and more resilient. Building other areas of my life that aren’t just my job will keep me stable and happy. I’m sure of it.
I hope you’re at work with something you love dearly. I hope I caught you growing and thriving in your own way. There’s still good wonder in this year—our world—and part of it resides in you. Wishing you internal blooming and external glowing, take care.
Dream sweetly tonight, and may your next morning give you nothing but light.