As you can see from these pictures I’ve started playing around with fitting my individual pop-up pictures into the more linear procedure of a book. I’ve used the quite unimaginative title of A Walk in the Country to provide a narrative to the pictures.
Butterfly and Tree pop-up pictures in the eBook
The photos above are of my original pop-ups pictures from here glued into a blank eBook as I experimented with size, position and story. The photographs below show my first attempts to convert this into a shareable eBook that you will be able to download and make-up for yourselves. In fact, two or maybe even three eBooks will be needed to make one pop-up eBook.
The first eBook has the bases of the pop-ups printed directly onto the pages – you can see this below. The second eBook will contain the pop-up figures. These will need to be cut-out and stuck to the pop-up bases. Instructions on how to do this will either be in the eBook with the pop-up figures, or possibly in a separate eBook depending on how many instructions are required. Currently I’m trying to think of how to make this whole process as straightforward as possible.
Base for the Butterfly pop-up and Birdhouse pop-up printed as an eBook with cut-out butterfly and bird figures
I’m also mulling over how much narrative to add to the eBook. Leaving the pages without text would allow you to write your own story around the pop-up pictures and I like this idea very much. Another option is to colour the pop-ups and the eBook pages then scan these pages in so people can download and make-up a complete ready illustrated pop-up eBook. Or maybe I’ll offer both options..
Over the past few weeks we’ve been imagining more uses of Diffusion eBooks and StoryCubes, partly inspired by the family and personal eBooks created by our two Future Jobs Fund placements, Karine and Shalene, and partly with the help of Niharika Hariharan, a designer from Delhi (and former intern at Proboscis) who’s been in London recently. Last year Niharika designed a series of bilingual eBooks for a schools workshop in Delhi, Articulating Futures, which Proboscis co-designed and supported.
Earlier this year, in a Pitch Up & Publish event with We Are Words + Pictures, the eBooks were used by a couple of writers to create simple portfolios of their work to show prospective clients/commissioners. Over the years Proboscis has also used both the eBook and StoryCubes formats to create publications that present our work in a similar way. We’ve now come up with two ideas for using bookleteer to create highly personal eBooks about who people are and what they do, Pocketfolios and MeBooks.
We began by thinking about how we remember work by art, design and architecture students at graduate shows (often by collecting business or postcards) and how, looking back, sometimes it can be hard recalling why we might have collected someone’s details without a connection to what caught our interest in the first place. But what if there was a way for the students to give away something like a mini portfolio of their work? What if they could use bookleteer to create simple, yet beautiful, ‘pocketfolios’ with more details about them and their work?
Niharika has designed posters which we’re sending out to colleges to invite students to test out bookleteer for creating highly personal ‘pocketfolios’ – we’re also offering a 10% discount (using the discount codes on the physical posters) for students who want their pocketfolio(s) printed via our PPOD service. We have also developed another set of posters which we’ll be sending out to studios to invite makers of all descriptions to explore bookleteer and the Diffusion eBooks as a way to create personal or product-based pocketfolios.
A couple of weeks ago I took part in a meeting at Islington Council for employers participating in the Future Jobs Fund where there was very positive feedback about the young participants gaining in skills and confidence. However the mentoring and follow-on advice being offered seemed to lack inspiration for much else beyond CV writing skills.
It occurred to me that bookleteer could offer something quite different – an adaptation of the Pocketfolio idea that could be made relevant to people from all walks of life and in different job types and sectors than the arts or design. A personal narrative about them – their story, or MeBook – that could act as a portfolio of their skills, experiences, ambitions, hobbies and interests, what they’ve achieved and what inspires them. Something that helps them describe and share what they feel is the best of themselves that a CV simply couldn’t cover.
We’ve been brainstorming how we might do this (also with input from Karen Martin, resident bookleteer and Proboscis associate) and hope to have a workshop piloted in the next few weeks. I’ve recently met with staff from Islington Council as well as Judith Hunt and her team from Get More Local to hear their feedback on how this could benefit other young people on the Future Jobs Fund and other schemes. Watch this space for further announcements!
We would love to hear from anyone else involved in similar schemes who’d like to offer the MeBook idea to their placements/interns/trainees. Please get in touch to find out more.
The Philanthropist and the Happy Cat is another short story by Saki, and another eBook handmade by Carmen. For this book, like these examples, Carmen printed the paper twice, first with the background image and then with the eBook PDF. However, in this case the background image is a collage of scraps of paper Carmen collected. This was then scanned in and printed over with the text. You can still see the crumpled wrinkles from where the paper has been screwed up to be thrown away.
The Philanthropist and the Happy Cat by Saki: On a background of paper bags, phone directories and receipts.
As I’m not great at drawing I think that collage could be a good way for me to give eBooks and StoryCubes a hand-made feel. I’m wondering how the choice of collage materials affects readers experience of the book.
Carmen has chosen throwaway types of papers and put them together in a haphazard manner that reminds me of rubbish you might see lying on the street. For me this is an interesting contrast to the story, especially at the beginning which describes Jocantha Bessbury’s self-satisfaction at her well-furnished home and complacent life. I wonder how the experience of the story would be altered if the collage had been more figurative illustrating aspects of her home, or made from tea shop menus or books on Hindostan which feature later in the story.
A little while ago I wrote about the integration of electronics and books and speculated about the different kinds of reading experiences this might create. Now I find Electronic Popables by Jie Qi which electronically augments a pop-up book and creates a beautiful series of scenes where sliding, pressing and flipping pieces of paper causes underwater sea creatures to glow, the buildings of New York City to light up and stars in the night sky to twinkle.
Jie Qi created the book with Leah Buechley and Tschen Chew during a summer working in the High-Low Tech group at MIT Media Lab. The High-Low Tech group aims to engage people in creating their own technologies through situating computation in new and unusual contexts integrating high and low technological processes, materials and cultures.
Electronic Popables integrates traditional pop-up mechanisms with thin, flexible, paper-based electronics including capacitive sensors, bend sensors and pressure sensors, and the result looks like a familiar pop-up book but with added electronic effects.
Inspired by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhardt (who I wrote about here) I’ve been working on making a pop-up eBook. I chose the loose theme of ‘A walk in the country’ and selected pop-ups from Robert Sabuda’s website to fit this concept. All of the pop-ups are labelled ‘easy’ except for the pig where I tried out an intermediate level design (woo!). And they really were easy to make. The base and the figures are provided for you to print out and then step-by-step instructions are given with photographs to guide you through the making up process. It would be difficult to go wrong!
At the moment the pop-ups exist as individual pages and my next step is to fit them into the eBook format. Because of the way that eBooks sequence the pages I will need to cut the bases in two so that they span the whole width of the eBook when it’s open.I’m planning it as two eBooks to download, one will have the bases and one the figures. Cutting the figures out of book 2 and adding to the bases in book 1 will complete the pop-up. Keep reading the bookleteer blog to find out how I get on!
Book of Space was made by architecture student Johan Hybschmann while at the Bartlett, UCL. Johan was inspired by Sokurev’s film Russian Ark in which viewers travel through time as they move through the rooms of the Winter Palace. This all takes place in a single shot sequence. Johan writes:
“The distortion of time is, of course, interesting in terms of the timelessness of the spaces – but the interest of the project lies in the way that the camera never looks back. Even though the viewer never sees the full dimensions of these spaces, we are still left with a sense of coherence and wholeness. It’s as if we constantly use the previous space to create an understanding of what should be behind us.”
Book of Space draws directly on the film and transforms two scenes into constructed perspectives cut into the leaves of the book. The elements collide and the nature of the space changes as the user turns the pages.
For me, Book of Space is a fascinating and inspiring match of concept and construction as it explores spatiality and temporality through its content as well as through the book format. And I feel that the fragility of the cut-out pages brings a further reminder of the temporal nature of books as they are used.
Chisato Tamabayashi is a London-based artist who’s made a range of stunning books using cut-outs, printing and pop-ups. I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.
9 – 5 is a book of hand-cut images showing the shape and colour of a tree transforming through the seasons. Alongside this three miniature books nest inside the book cover illustrating smaller transformations of the tree at different speeds and times. The image below is not actually from the book because I couldn’t find any accessible photos of it. Instead these two pictures are from Chisato’s Season series and similar enough to give you some idea of the beautiful colours and delicate nature of the work.
Two untitled images from Season series
queue is designed as a pop-up book and as a fold-out pop-up scene. As a book each page shows a single car that, once unfolded, line up to form a traffic jam.
queue as a fold-out pop-up scene
The last project I’ll write about is branches which combines elements of both of the above (and do check out Chisato’s website because there are many more fabulous works to see!) branches is a pop-up book that explores the transformation of a family of trees in different seasons and of different generations. Like queue, branches can also be viewed as a fold-out scene showing all of the trees simultaneously.
I find these books completely inspiring and after looking at these I’m impatient for my next session of bookleteer experiments (last week I played with pop-ups and I’ll write about the results of that soon). I would love to see what Chisato would make out of the bookleteer eBooks and StoryCubes..
So far I’ve mostly written about eBooks but bookleteer also makes StoryCubes, and to inspire my experiments I’m thought I’d write about this cube of cubes created by Sydney-based illustrator Matt Huyhn.
During the Perception Peterborough project Matt worked with Proboscis to create visual representations of Proboscis’ research. These images were put onto each side of eight storycubes which were then connected together to create an object that can be opened, folded and turned to hide and reveal various themes and elements drawn from the research work.
There’s something quite hypnotic about playing with this cube object and seeing different images come and go in your hands.
From Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Robert Sabuda
I came across the work of Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart when I was investigating the idea of making an e-Book pop-up book. Robert and Matthew’s books don’t just pop – they also spin, slide and grow! While the subject of the books is often aimed at children the construction is most definitely for adults. The pop-up of Alice growing inside a house, or the tornado spinning across Kansas in the Wizard of Oz have me mystified!
The spinning tornado in The Wizard of Oz by Robert Sabuda
From watchingthe video I learnt that Robert began by making white pop-ups and this became something of a signature style for him. The construction seems simpler in these books and is matched by the simplicity of the style to create something I think is beautiful.
Cover and Page 1 of the cut-out version of Dusk by Saki
Another bookleteer experiment I thought I’d show you is another version of Dusk by Saki. This short story is set in the West End of London around Piccadilly and this time I illustrated the eBook with a cut-out of a map of this area.
bookleteer eBooks are made by folding and cutting sheets of A4 paper and slotting these together to make the final A6 size eBook (see here for a detailed video of how this is done). One sheet of A4 paper makes 4 eBook pages. Thanks to the folding technique pages from one sheet are not included in sequence but are interspersed throughout the eBook.
For the cut-out eBook I marked up one A4 sheet with 4 A6 size boxes and put a section of the map into each leaving a reasonable sized border so that the final eBook pages wouldn’t be too flimsy. Once I had cut out the map I cut the A4 sheet vertically down the centre (you would cut the sheet differently for different designs of eBook) and inserted it amongst the A4 translucent sheets onto which I’d printed the text.
Dusk cut-out eBook deconstructed
Because the map was only printed on one side of the A4 sheet the flip side of the cut-out pages is blank. I really like the effect of seeing the text through the cut-outs and the fragile quality that the cut-outs give to the book.