The Playful Artist’s Book with Julie Chen – Day 1

I just finished my first day at Haystack in Julie Chen‘s workshop The Playful Artist’s Book. My brain is very full.

We spent the majority of the day dealing with development of content. We started with some quick free association exercises involving a chess piece, then the words “game” and “book”. We then found shared connections and did mind mapping.

This is the point where I admit that I never liked mind mapping before. I also get to admit that I never actually did mind mapping before. Sometimes I do things like get stubborn and form opinions about things that I’ve never actually done. The truth is that after doing it, I found it to be rather useful.

Then we did 3 five-minute free writing exercises:

  1. Write your personal experience of playing board games.
  2. Write about a topic or concept that is meaningful to you.
  3. Write about something that you believe you more about than anyone else in the class.

 In a nutshell, here’s how I responded:

  1. Playing Settlers of Catan with my husband’s family.
  2. My dog Wiggum is the best dog ever.
  3. I know how to perform as a costumed character at an airport so that customers don’t get frustrated during times of construction. (I really did that)

We then looked at all three pieces of writing, looked for common patterns and/or themes, and did a mind map of a central idea that was of special interest to us. Here’s my final map:

Mind map

Apparently “purge” is a central idea for me

Then my brain cracked. But it was 9:30 p.m., so I decided that it was okay and I gave myself a break.

I think that tomorrow we’ll be using our mind maps to further develop possible content for the artist’s books we’ll be making and we’ll dip our toes into model-making. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands dirty. Or at the very least, covered in PVA.

I’ll leave you with an awesome quote from Julie:

“The book in your head does not exist.”

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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