Can you keep a secret?
July 22, 2010 by redletterdayzine
Correspondents near and far: I have a secret to confess to you.
There’s something that I haven’t told you yet, something I’ve been hiding.
I didn’t want to mention it just yet, because I wanted to have a Really Great Surprise for you, something that would be like Christmas and Easter and fireworks on the fourth of July, all rolled up into one fun and sparkletastic/noisy package. I feel like we’ve come to a point in our relationship where I can be honest with you, and let you in on this secret.
I’m pretty excited about it.
You see, next week I’m going to be out of town, taking part in (what I hope will be) a fun event. It’s something I heard about way back in 2009 (was it really only last year?!), one of those sorts of things that you say to yourself “I’m going to DO that next time — no excuses!”. The event in question? An artist book/zine fair.
Now that in and of itself is not surprising. I’ve done plenty of vendor fairs in my time: whether it was selling vintage clothing in historic venues or working the Alternative Press Expo as part of Pod Post, I’m no stranger to standing behind a table and talking up “the work”. However this fair will be a little different, a little bit more exotic, so to speak.
By this time next week, I’ll be in -wait for it- Tokyo!!!
That’s right. I’m taking part in the Tokyo Artist Book Fair. Imagine if you will: one hundred plus zinesters and book artists gathered together for 4 days, in the same place! I have all sorts of questions that I’m dying to find the answers to: what do Japanese zinesters write about? What sorts of artists books are being made in a place where the artform is still relatively undiscovered? And it’s true: letterpress printing is starting to catch on like wildfire in Japan. Will I see some evidence of this? What is the overall vibe like, at the fair? Will it be similar or different to the DIY and handmade aesthetic which reign supreme at American events like Renegade Craft Fair and the SF Zinefest?
That being said, I’ve been spending the last month and a half putting together paper-y yum yums and mail art tasties, as well as a new zine and reprints of “Red Letter Day” issues 1-3. What follows is photographic evidence of some of the items I’m squeezing into the suitcase, in between typing this entry and waiting for PVA glue to dry…
I’ve been spending plenty of time over at the SF Center for the Book, using their Rossbach perforating machine to put together these mail art seals. If you’re interested, I’ll be teaching folks how to use this baby, as part of my mail art class in August…
My kitchen table leads a double life. During the day, it serves as a workbench — completely covered with all manner of creative detritus and spilling over with ephermeric bits-n-bobs. At night, it turns back into a kitchen table. Dinner is consumed, conversation is had. Sometimes wine is spilled. But (hopefully) not on the in-progress projects. In the morning, brownie sprites have put everything back in order, and the whole cycle starts over again.
Examples of some postcards I’ll be selling individually. I made 60 of these puppies, each one different in it’s own postal way — like an edition of something, but different…
What else is there? Well, some postcard sets. Some sheets of faux postage (Ray Johnson and Mr. Zip). A few — no quite a few — blank journals which use cool papers (ledger sheets/gambling forms/raffle tickets/gocco’d etcs.). I’ll be taking my series of prints titled “Dead Letter Office”. And of course, the new zine.
Ahhh…the new zine.
Because I am so excited about that particular project, I’ll save the details for tomorrow’s post!
You see, I’ve got to keep a few secrets — it gives us all something to look forward to, no? So tomorrow, I’ll regale you with more fabulous photos and tasty bits on the creation of “Waiting/待っています” — ooops!: I let part of the secret slip. You have a title, and soon you’ll have a cover to put with that title!
Signing off for now, and heading to the PO —
PS: I will (of course) be blogging as much as I can while I’m in Tokyo; I want to keep you in the loop! But to be perfectly honest, I’ll be sending out twitter messages a bit more frequently, so if you want up-to-date, instantaneous info, be sure to keep track of me via @redletterzine!
PPS: to all of you who wrote in to me (both virtually and in-person) about the “Junk Mail” show — thanks so much! I heard word this morning that each and every single piece I created for the show was SOLD! (guess that makes me a sell out: heh heh heh…) I’m thrilled, and couldn’t have done it without your support. And guess what? I have plenty more envelopes to create with, so I bet (wink wink) there will be some more security panels in the near future…