Tea Stain Doodles - from Art to Self-Publication

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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.

teabags

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. 

Torn teabags bits adhered to 3" x 4" hemp paper. Prepping several at a time was a time on the weekends was a time saver. Then, I got to simply create the art on a daily basis.

Torn teabags bits adhered to 3" x 4" hemp paper. Prepping several at a time was a time on the weekends was a time saver. Then, I got to simply create the art on a daily basis.

The same pieces after the art inspired by the torn bits was completed.

The same pieces after the art inspired by the torn bits was completed.

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. 

Each spread for all 100 works shows the work at original size, the number of its day created in the challenge and a title (of sorts). I wanted a very minimal look.

Each spread for all 100 works shows the work at original size, the number of its day created in the challenge and a title (of sorts). I wanted a very minimal look.

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

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