LearningJournal: Beyond The Book

Dot. Dash. Beyond the book. Artist Book. Immediately I think of morse code. It’s too obvious though. Books and codes, morse, hidden meanings, it’s right up my street but it’s far too obvious. I don’t think I could do the idea justice in artist-book form.

I assumed that artist books were bound versions of a portfolio, and was pleasantly surprised I was wrong. According to the V&A an artist book is a book “made or conceived by artists”. Well erm, thanks for that! It seems to be that an artist book can be a book, or not a book. The word ‘book’ is whatever the artist wants it to be.


Our first class regarding the new brief, we looked into communication. Rather, how to convey a message. Each of us wrote down the last text message we received and they were then rearranged to create a story. I’ve chosen to present my “story” in three ways in my sketchbook (pictures to follow). First in a collaborative piece, then by sending the messages from one phone to another to create a screenshot as if it was a ‘live’ message conversation, and the third I’ve translated the messages into different languages. I guess I’m stuck on the idea of code, and a message being hidden. I am also interested in the idea of context, and how something can have a specific meaning but if used in a different context it is meaningless. I want to research this further for my sketchbook and project.


Conceptually I want to think outside the box. I want to do something grand, something creative and something that people remember. I struggle with doubting my artistic ability so I want to try and compensate for that with my ideas. After thinking about how to go about the project, and rejecting the morse code idea, I watched a Banksy documentary. I love street art and graffiti, and whilst it’s not something I’ve ever done, it is something I really would like to do. So I’m going to combine the idea of street art, with a code. I’ve been researching QR codes, and I think I’m going to create an image, maybe even a brand. like Shepard Fairey did with Obey, or Invader did with space invader imagery.)

Part of the project is visual merchandising and marketing, and I believe I can combine the two. So my product isn’t really a product, it’s more of a tag and a brand. But the very act of stenciling it in public places is marketing. I was also thinking that the code, or puzzle hidden in my pieces around the city, could lead to the final piece… An artist book. It’s a bit ambitious and will be labor intensive and time consuming but I am very excited about the project.

I need to register a website, research street artists, do some test pieces and sketches, contact a lot of people about both the art work, artists books and also marketing.

Stay tuned for more news on the project itself!


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