This is work I did in art school, in 1990. The assignment was in fact a competition issued by a publishing house. It concerned a book design for Leo Vroman, the Dutch poet /scientist. The poetry hadn’t been published yet and this was to be the design for its appearance.
The idea is a train of thought.
The pages are wafer-thin and glued together into one long strip. The poems are layed-out in a chronological order from top to bottom, tilted 90 degrees, so it becomes one long strip of text. Two fat cardboard squares covered in drawings hold it together, no spine.
Vroman also did illustrations, drawings that could serve as illustrations.
I blended them in between the lines, in a lighter gray.
The bundle is called When I Was Still Alive.
My mentor, Jan Boterman, was shocked when I told him I hadn’t entered it for the competition. But why?! he gasped. “It wasn’t finished,” I hesitated, aware of missing the deadline. It was clearly a big mistake, he just stared at me for a while and then said the deadline didn’t matter – I could have etc…
And this is a lesson I learned:
An idea doesn’t have to be finished, full circle, to be judged. As it shows it’s potential before that.
Leo Vroman died in 2014.