Week 52 of 52

And that’s the final week done. A year of work, and a year of weekly blog posts.

In the last week I was mostly occupied with getting the new Derby Daze photography eBook done, and submitted to the iBooks Store. Development was substantially faster than the previous one – all the work I put in developing templates is now paying off. I’ve also been working on the eBook versions of Surfing The Deathline. With the templates done, they’re coming together super quickly.

Sometime during the next week, I’ll put up a final year wrapup post.

Oh, and someone in Europe bought The Metaning this week, which was nice.

Week 51 of 52

A lot of printing results came back this week, some of it great, some of it disastrous.

The Derby Daze [squareformat] book came in looking great, the printing looks nice, everything cool. Sadly not so much for The Metaning.

This brings up a bit of a problem – it seems like it’s not actually possible to get the work I’m doing printed through Apple’s Aperture printing

Looking at the options, it seems Blurb might be able to do the job for The Metaning, though it’s always irksome to have to pay a 25% premium to get rid of the Blurb logo.

Week 50 of 52

This week has been dedicated to working on the print versions of The Metaning, as well as the print version of Derby Daze [squareformat]. Both have been ordered, and are awaiting delivery.

Other great news is that the new update to The Metaning on iBooks has been approved, and is now live.

There’s also been a whole bunch of administrative stuff surrounding my various accounts within Apple’s systems which I’ve been trying to sort out – it’s amazing the number of accounts I’ve accrued over the years

My plan for the next two weeks is to try and get one major piece of work finished each day. I’ve got the next Derby Daze ebook, and the first three parts of Surfing The Deathline to create.

Week 49 of 52

This week was dedicated to a couple of interesting admin-type stuff things.

An update to The Metaning was pushed out to correct some problems in the previous versions. Additionally, work continues on the print version in Aperture.

Speaking of Aperture, a lot of time was spent on studying the videos for Apple’s WWDC conference, and the future of aperture, which hasn’t had a major update in years. Suffice to say, things are looking good.

Finally, we had the UWS Peoples Choice award presentation, where I found out that efforts are being made in earnest to get my work sold.

Week 48 of 52

It’s been a bad week.

I got news that I had missed out on a grant for which it would be hard to imagine I could have been any more perfectly suited. As a result, I’ve had to pull out of Sculpture By The Sea Bondi 2014. I simply don’t have the cash to make the work, nor do I have the time to think about crowdfunding etc.

This is a real blow, as I’d been planning for and working towards this work and exhibition for over a year. Unfortunately none of the other works I have in reserve were considered acceptable substitutions, as they were too different to the original. I feel like somewhat of a fool, having been telling people for over a year now that I was slated to exhibit.

On the plus side, I’ve learned how to make big changes to the layout of Aperture printed books, and as such I’ll be able to move ahead with the fine art print version of The Metaning, which turned out to be a lot cheaper than going through a local printer. The inability to easily edit layouts on a global basis was a major problem with Aperture’s book layout engine. Its master pages setup is quite opaque compared to something like InDesign, but once you discover the knack there’s a surprising amount of flexibility enabled.

Another bit of good news is that I managed to figure out what was causing a bug in The Metaning when read in iBooks on a Mac. It seems Webkit on the iPad is a little more forgiving of errors. Problem fixed, there’s just a little bit of cleanup to do, and a new version will be submitted.

Week 47 of 52

This week was spent on admin and comics. I’m still trying to get prices for printing. It’s looking reasonably good, except the photo books are larger than a digital press can do for their covers, so that’s going to be problematic.

I made what may turn out to be a reasonably big decision with regards to the final part of Surfing The Deathline. Originally slated to be a 66 page volume, I had a fresh look through it, and realised I could split it into 32 & 42 page episodes, taking the series to 5 parts. Since all books need to be a multiple of 4 pages, I had to add 3 and 2 content pages respectively to each book in order to get the pagecount to work. Below are the extra page roughs from what will be the new Surfing The Deathline 4:

What’s most important about these images is that they’re entirely digital – drawn in ProCreate from Tasmanian company Savage Interactive, using the Adonit Jot Touch stylus on the iPad. Sketching rough pages like this was a bit of a revelation – the ability to zoom, move, apply transforms and duplicate panels while drawing on the screen itself, brings an entirely different sensation for writing.

I also tried something I’ve not done before – tweeting each image with at-mentions of ProCreate and Adonit – both of whom at-mentioned me back with messages of support, so that’s an interesting experiment in social media.

Another change was to finally upgrade my Mac to run the current Mavericks version of Mac OS X. I held off till now, waiting until Apple added back the ability for iOS devices to sync contacts & calendar information locally, rather than having to send the data to the other side of the planet in order to move it 30cm.

That done, the new system seems to be pretty stable.

Another thing, I was approached by an iPad keyboard vendor to review their product. It’s pretty interesting bit of gear, so we’ll see how it goes.

Week 46 of 52

So the main accomplishment of this week was to photograph the UWS sculpture. The 4am wake up for dawn photography was pretty brutal, but the pics were worth it.

Another part of this week was spent on getting together the specifications for a bunch of printing projects, which is a part of my ArtStart year. I’ve found a printer who seems to be able to function as a print on demand provider – something I’ve been looking for locally.

Continuing on the comics theme, I’ve been looking at the idea of splitting Surfing The Deathline #4 into #4 & #5. This has involved adding a few pages, so I’ve been sketching the pages using ProCreate and the Jot Touch on my iPad. It’s a pretty amazing drawing experience.

The week closed with more photography – the March In May protests in Sydney.

Week 45 of 52

It’s been a quiet week largely spent recovering from making the UWS piece, letting my shredded hands and forearms heal, cleaning the studio, packing away the welding gear, and getting the drawing equipment ready.

One annoyance was the need to replace my modem / router / VOIP box, after the VOIP function up and died on me a month or so back, leaving me without any landline phone. The new modem seems to be pretty nice. It syncs at a higher speed than the old one at least.

The major bit of writing I did this week was to get together a guide to producing and selling EPUB comics, specifically within the context of the iTunes store.

With just 6 weeks left to go on my ArtStart Grant, it’s time I started thinking about what comes after. Hopefully the next grant I’ve applied for will come through, otherwise there’s some serious questions to be asked about how I can go ahead with Sculpture By The Sea. Over the next few weeks I need to:

  • Organise a print on demand provider for all of my photo books
  • Organise a print on demand provider for my comics
  • Produce EPUB versions of Surfing The Deathline 1, 2 & 3.
  • Draw Surfing The Deathline 4.

It’s quite an ambitious schedule, but assuming nothing else comes up, it should be doable.

Week 44 of 52

This week saw the bumpin of the UWS sculpture. A pretty momentous event. It was the first time I’d hired a ute, and done the whole thing myself, without a professional mover involved.

The whole process was remarkably trouble free. The whole task took around 3 days. First bringing the sculpture to site, and situating it in place, then returning the next day to add the leaves, then a third day to add a leaf that had come home for repairs. Here’s hoping the work sells.

Week 43 of 52

Everything is finished. Hard to imagine, but working up to the last minute, everything was ready. There were some hiccups with getting the branches connected after braiding, but I eventually discovered a way of connecting them that avoided actually cutting the braid. The first wrap up of the braid around the branches didn’t quite work out the way I wanted, and ended up with big knots over the joins. So, I unwrapped and re-wrapped, creating a much leaner, smoother appearance.