Tea Stain Doodles - from Art to Self-Publication
When I first decided to commit to Elle Luna's 100-Day Project challenge, I hadn't the foggiest notion I'd one day decide to compile the finished art in a book. I recently shared with you what I considered to be great benefits of participating in on online challenge, so I won't do that here, but I will share a bit about the art I created during this particular 100-day challenge.
When committing to making the same type of art for many days on end, I like to be sure I'll have the stamina to see it through. I keep the materials simple and I like it when I can do everything the same size so I can prep the substrates ahead of time. I was drinking a lot of tea prior to the challenge and had started saving some of the brewed bags because they had such a pretty look to them and I knew I could use them for something (you know how that goes) so here was my chance.
I didn't want to create full works on entire teabags but I did want to somehow incorporate the material. I decided to tear the dried, brewed bags into random pieces and collage one or two pieces onto paper. I would then create intuitively from what came up when I looked at the shapes and stains. I always love playing with watercolors, and made the decision to use a combination of water-based makers and pan paints along with a waterbrush. I also wanted to improve my detailed illustration work, so I decided to include Pigma Micron pens. For a substrate, I decided to use handmade hemp paper so I tore sheets that were 6" x 8" (15cm x 20cm) into 100 pieces that were each 3" x 4" (7cm x 10cm). Having a substrate ready to go and a minimal amount of media to work with ensures success. I knew I could do it.
Now, only 77 days after the #100daysofteastains challenge ended, I'm here to tell you I self-published Tea Stain Doodles and it became available on Amazon a couple days ago.
What prompted me to put the art from this challenge into a book? Two things: First, during the duration of the challenge I had so much positive feedback on the art from those watching my daily posts on Instagram and Facebook and more than a few suggestions to sell the originals and/or compile everything into a book. (I still have every original piece and haven't decided to sell anything yet.) And second, I strongly wanted to go through the CreateSpace process for publishing a print-on-demand book so I'd have a better understanding of the details for my new book clients.
What was it like publishing through CreateSpace? I have no complaints; everything went very smoothly for me. I learned some things about what to expect in terms of production costs for full-color books as well as the costs added for various levels of distribution. I was very careful to prepare my files according to their specifications and I didn't have any issues getting things approved the first time around. I'm currently working on a few client book projects and for those who wish to use CreateSpace, I'll be better informed at helping them than I would have been had I not gone through the process.
I'm very happy with how my little book came out and given the relative ease of the print-on-demand process, I could see myself publishing something else—maybe a how-to book this time around—within a year or so.
Have you been thinking about publishing a book? I currently have two slots open in my schedule for the end of the year and if I can support you in any way, I'd love for us to work together! Just let me know how I can help. xo