Zines

Selling art is hard. Not very many people manage to make a living, even a poor one, selling art. I’m no exception. Thankfully, there’s a day job.

Art prices are generally high. That might be part of the reason for low sales or it may just be that few like my art enough to buy it. In any case, sales are few and far between. When they happen though, it’s better than sex. Not really, but it is better than pizza.

Last year, my friend and colleague, Michael Rosen, asked me to share a table with him at the San Francisco Zine Fest. For that we’d need to have some zines. A chance to price the art low and see if it would sell.

We decided to print the zines with Blurb. Science kicked in and we decided to determine the best processing parameters to use to prepare images for printing by making a test book with the same image processed in many different ways. When the book came back, we tore the pages apart and laid out the images on the table and studied them. We finally determined the best processing parameters. Everything was going to be perfect.

Turns out that Blurb printing is not that repeatable. Subsequent copies don’t look exactly like the first. But it’s pretty good for a low priced zine.

The upshot was half a dozen zines of 10 images each of different projects ready for the Fest. Here are a couple of samples:

I sat there all day and sold 6 zines. After subtracting the table rental fee and discounting the cost of the unsold inventory, I made about $0.05 an hour. Guess I’ll keep the day job.

Being obstinate, I’ve made more zines. There’s one (or two or three or four) for most of the projects I’ve done. They are available for purchase through Blurb from the Books link on my web site or you can just send me email. Click on the cover to be taken to the book preview. If you order from me with email, I’ll inspect and sign the zine before sending it to you.

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