My digital picture frame died. It was my answer to showing examples of my work to clients that came in the shop. There were maybe 250 pictures on it, that would cycle through every ten seconds in no particular order. As an Aquarian I found this to be the perfect way to display photos, it had an SD card, it was electric, it had settings and a little remote control. How high tech can you get? I suppose people thought it was nice, but they were forever saying "Wait! I want to look at that one again!" or "Where's that black and red one, I really liked that one." and I usually knew just which tattoo they were talking about from the description, but the best I could offer was "It'll come around again, just be patient." It really wasn't such a great way to display a portfolio. I even made a graphic about how we do all custom work and use all single-use and disposable needles, tubes and ink caps that came every ten photos or so. I worked hard on that, and while being extremely cool, it just wasn't very effective.
People go straight for Jim's books. He's got a lot of old stuff in there, even line drawings from tattoos he's done in the past. They pore over those books and pass them around. The thing I was missing was that people like something tactile, something that seems real. I'm the one with the love of electronic technology, and not everyone shares it. I learned the lesson that people like things they can hold.
So my frame died, and I vowed to make my own books. Of course mine would all match, not only in shape and color but thematically as well. Since I hadn't updated the SD card in the frame for well over a year I gathered all the photos from various computers that are of newer tattoos and put them all into a file. Then started to sort them. Each category would have it's own file and become a book. Sounds simple enough, right? Now, take over four hundred pictures and put them in coherent groups. "Butterflies" OK, there's a group, but so many butterflies are with tribal, or suns or flowers, and those were three other categories, so which one does it go into? I decided that "Flowers and Butterflies" could be one group. The dragonflies are just ending up in there by default. Then there were the suns. That one ended up grouped as "Hearts, stars and suns" which will have all the planet kind of stuff in that one as well. This goes on and on, and I'm not even done yet and I already have 13 files that make sense. Thirteen books to keep track of is going to be ridiculous.
So I think, Ok, I could have different categories in the same book with divisions that let you know you're moving from one thing to another. Butterflies and flowers could have a divider that says "Hearts, stars and Suns" and then all those pictures could come after in the same book. How am I ever going to get all these assigned to their categories and then do that? This is way more of a project than I knew. I want it to be easy to find the one you saw though, and doing it this way seems to be best for that.
My grand plan is to have them printed on card-stock, glossy, then bound into books at Kinkos that can't have pages removed. That's one of the reasons that I went digital in the first place, people take pages or single images out of books.
Like the late great Billy Mays says though, "But wait, there's more!" I need to crop many of these photos individually. There's no reason that some of the smaller ones couldn't be put two or three on one page with a photo program, and what about the ones in progress like Mel's leg or Michael's arm? Those would be nice to see in sequence, to show how tattoos grow and change through multiple sessions. This project keeps getting larger and more daunting in it's scope, and I think that like most Aquarians, or artists I am a master of making even the most simple thing into something complicated. I'm not even going to think about all the text I'll want to put in there, as public education you know, I just have to get these pictures sorted.
My goal is to have five or six fat books that you can hold and pass around and look at and see what I do and how well I do it. I hope it doesn't take me six months to get this accomplished. I did get my hands on some lovely french oak blank domino shapes yesterday though, and I have some interesting ideas about how I would like to paint them. I have to make some progress on this though, or I'll feel too guilty to paint, and that will probably spoil what I'm trying to do.
So I'm off to move my pile of sand with a teaspoon. I'm nothing if not dedicated and self-disciplined right? You'll say "right" until you see my back desk.