Lectures

Laura is available to give the following talks:
Chapters: Building a Life in the Book Arts
Marketing 101 for Book Artists
Pricing Principles for Book Artists
Photographing Artist Books

Chapters: Building a Life in the Book Arts

Lecture Description: Starting with that first spark that lights a fire for book art, many artists wonder where to go with this binding passion. Are you destined to be a happy workshop wanderer? Is there a path to fund your habit? Can you make a living in the book arts?

In this inspirational and aspirational talk, Laura Russell starts out with her own path from book artist to gallery owner and back to book artist—spending lots of time celebrating 23 Sandy’s past and future. She will cover the “chapters” of a life in the book arts and the many ways to participate in our burgeoning, creative field.

For artists content to create and connect, learn how can you make the most of your opportunities to learn and grow and how to continue growing when all of your friends and family have enough of your books. For those who might want to make a little money, or even make a living in the book arts, you’ll learn how to build a name for yourself as an artist. Find out how exhibitions, exchanges or collections expand your creativity, your purpose or your business.

This information is relevant for anyone in the field, including new or working book artists, calligraphers, bookbinders, printers, papermakers and more. Come prepared to explore your path through this rich, diverse field of book art and discover how to make your mark.

Length of Lecture: Actual slide lecture is about 45 minutes plus time for Q&A.

Handouts: None.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I can either bring my own laptop or put the presentation on a flash drive.

Marketing 101 for Book Artists

Lecture Description: So, you’ve made a few artist books, now what do you do with them? Come learn how to send them out into the world and maybe make a little income to pay for future book ideas. Laura Russell combines her 15 years of professional experience in the world of marketing; her venture as the owner of 23 Sandy Gallery; and her experience making and peddling her own limited-edition artist books to talk about the art of selling artist books. She’ll discuss marketing plans, pricing, promotional materials, internet sales, book fairs as well as how to approach dealers, galleries, institutions and collectors. You’ll go home with a list of resources and some great ideas for promoting yourself and your books.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is about 45 minutes plus Q&A time.

Handouts: A two-page handout of resource listings accompanies this lecture. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I can either bring my own laptop or put the presentation on a flash drive.

Pricing Principles for Book Artists

Lecture Description: Painters have it easy. The gallery world has a standard formula based on square inches that is used to calculate the retail price of paintings. Sadly, there is no such formula in the complex world of book art. How can a book artist be compensated for the untold hundreds of hours that go into the research, design, printing, binding and other countless processes involved in crafting a unique bookwork or editioned masterpiece?

Join us to learn pricing strategies, research, the market values of artist books, pricing pitfalls and formulas, how to raise prices, pricing ethics and offering discounts. This lecture will be based on Laura’s many years of experience selling artist books both as an artist and as a dealer plus a previous career as a professional in the field of marketing and advertising.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is a full 60 minutes plus time for Q&A.

Handouts: A two-page lecture outline handout is provided. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I can either bring my own laptop or put the presentation on a flash drive.

Photographing Artist Books

This four hour demonstration/talk is designed to help book artists take better photos of their artist books. We begin with a step-by-step demonstration of setting up an inexpensive photos studio and shooting photos followed by a demonstration of all the Photoshop work necessary to deliver clear, sharp, color-balanced and striking photos of books for use in juried show submissions, web sites and portfolios.

We will cover: how to set up a backdrop for photographing books; lighting techniques; camera settings and operation; transferring images to the computer; organizing images; Photoshop color correcting, sharpening, cropping and sizing; preparing images for print and web usage.

Laura will bring the following: A 4-foot rolled gray paper backdrop; tripod; set of 3 hot lights; DSLR camera; card reader; laptop with Photoshop installed; digital projector. Will demonstrate shooting first, then work on editing images walking through a step-by-step checklist.

Knowledge level: This workshop is designed for artists who have a basic knowledge of photo editing software. Artists who use other photo editing programs will be able to follow along, but only Photoshop will be demonstrated.

Length of workshop: The demonstrations run the full four hours. If time permits students will be invited to shoot photos of their own books using the lights and backdrops we have set up—if they bring their own digital camera. With two to four extra hours (extra fees apply) we can allow students time to Photoshop their own images on their own computers while Laura walks around the room to answer questions on images and procedures.

Handouts: Step-by-step handouts are provided. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Workshop vs. demonstration: This event isn’t so much of a “workshop” as it is a “demonstration.” With only four hours we just won’t be able to have everyone working on their own computers. Plan on a demonstration of how to do the steps involved on a laptop computer, projected on a big screen. Most people will find it easiest to watch the demonstration and take notes on the handouts provided and then go home and noodle around later. Given the variety of software packages, versions, operating systems and oh, so many painful variations, it would be impossible to have everyone working along.