Dawn DeVries Sokol


The Making of 1000 Artist Journal Pages

{The Process Begins}

When I was first told that I would be authoring 1000 Artist Journal Pages, I really had no idea what to expect. I knew I had to collect a VERY
large number of journal pages! I prayed I'd receive more pages than I
needed—heck, I prayed I'd even receive 1000 so I could fill the book! I
was nervous, anxious, excited, and overwhelmed with the thought of this

came, as did Artfest, an art retreat held outside of Seattle. I knew
that it was a great place to start the call for entries. So I e-mailed
my editor at Rockport and asked her if that was OK and if we had any
submission guidelines already set up. She sent me a form that I was to
rework for this book. At the time, I thought that it would be best to
divide the book into categories, such as edgy pages, graphic pages,
fiber pages, sketched pages, and others. It made the call for entries a
bit easier as well. I knew that journal artists would wonder just what
to submit if I wasn't somewhat specific (as it was, I still got a lot
of questions about what was appropriate)...

the call for entries was written up, I printed out a couple hundred
flyers and took them along to Artfest. I shoved them under doors in my
dorm...I asked Teesha and Tracy Moore (founders of Artfest) if they
could announce something to the attendees at the festivities the first
night (which they did and I was SO
grateful)...I left a huge pile of the flyers in the Common Building
where everyone goes for meals...I handed them out at the Bonfire
Journaling Party...I just didn't want to take ANY flyers home...I think I took maybe 25 back to AZ with me...

the call was officially out. First deadline was May 15. And the call
wasn't over yet. I scouted for journaling groups on Yahoo and Flickr
and announced it on those lists. I asked various blog writers to
announce it for me on their blogs...I hoped to get as much coverage as
I could. Even as entries started coming in, I still pushed to get the
word out.

I had started up another Yahoo e-mail address JUST for the entries so I could keep them all straight. Journal artists from as far away as Iceland were e-mailing me lo-rez jpegs of
their work. I grew ever more excited as I received submissions from
Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, and so many other countries. I still
sought out
MORE artists, as I reached journal artists around the world through Flickr...Every
day I would hop on Flickr to look for more, and scour as many nooks and
crannies of the internet as I could. I extended the deadline another
month. Would I have enough?

{1000 AJP Continued}

I sorted through submissions until about July. It took a while to
download all the jpegs from the Yahoo e-mail, organize them into their
own folders and keep track of everyone's info. In the meantime, the
publisher wanted a dummy, which is an 18-page mock-up for the sales and
marketing team. This is also the stage where the designer gets to lay
out interior pages of the book to get approval from editorial on design
direction. For this, I wrote an introduction and also had to decide how
I wanted to section the book. Originally, the idea was to split the
book into categories of pages, and to possibly feature one artist for
each opener of those sections. But I began to quickly realize upon
selecting journal pages for the dummy that I couldn't categorize them
in any way. There were so many pages that crossed over into different
categories. Out went the category idea.

were also working on a cover and I sent some journals to Rockport so
they could shoot them for the dummy. Once my art director saw those
journals, she e-mailed me to ask what I thought of shooting them in
various ways for the cover. I thought it was a great idea and told her
to run with it. She decided how to shoot them and gave me such a great
array of shots. There were about four shots that were recommended I
try. I mocked up three covers with three various shots and sent them
over to my art director. I think the decision of which one to run was
pretty unanimous and it happened to be my favorite, too, even though I
try not to marry myself to anything I design or tell the client ahead
of their decision which one I favor. The publisher's only stipulation
about the cover was that the "1000" in the title be large enough and
the type be appropriate to allow the die-cut, which enables you to see
through the cover to the endsheet, the paper that runs in a book before
the title pages. The "1000" series had started with Rockport's graphic
design books and had carried over to their crafts books with 1000 Artist Trading Cards.
All of these books have the die-cut in the cover. With this mock-up,
Rockport could then drop it into their catalog they were designing for
that season. Covers are usually the most important part of the book to
determine...The cover design allows me to move on to the interior
knowing how the design should look. A book really should be consistent
in it's use of type, color palette, etc. What you see on the cover
should give you a hint as to what's inside.

felt the design of the book interior should be kept minimal. The type I
used for the title is conservative and classic and doesn't overpower
any elements. The journal pages were the star of this book, and NOTHING
should compete with them. I felt it was important to credit each
journal page with it's artist's name and country. That would display
the internationality that is represented in the book. I chose pages for
the dummy that not only showed the range of the submissions' geography,
but also diversity of styles and mediums. I selected pages from Brazil's
Claudio Gil, United States' Renee Plains, Kathy Welsh, Lenna Andrews, Nancy Baumiller, and Lydia Velarde, Japan's Joei Lau, Scotland's Judy Scott, Israel's Andi Arnovitz and New Zealand's Diane Bahler.

{More 1000 AJP Process}

With the cover and dummy approved, I moved on to selecting journal
pages from the submissions. I think I had about a couple hundred
artists submit (I didn't really count, so that's a guess!)...I did seek
out SOME
journal artists to send pages...But overall, the response I received
was awesome. Most of those artists who submitted were able to send me
digital scans at the resolution we needed for print. There were some
who sent me their original journals, which was INCREDIBLE.
It's one thing to see the journal pages on the computer screen, but
quite another to hold them in your hands and feel all the layers and
texture. I sent journals for shooting to Rockport little by
little...didn't want to overwhelm them. As I decided upon pages and
received the digital files from the artists, I logged them all into a
spreadsheet file, numbering them for tracking sake. I would
continuously do counts through the Excel file so that I would know when
to stop! I was getting closer and closer...And at about 100 away, there
were still a few artists I wanted pages from. A couple of those artists
had journals at Rockport already—they were being shot for another book.
So I corresponded with the author of that book to get those journals
sent to me for a looksy. I didn't want to use any pages the other
author was using in her book, so we had to work that out...

I felt a little like a detective last summer. Tracking down journals—finding the right pieces to this 1000 AJP
puzzle. In a way, the book I gathered was done selfishly. I wanted a
book that I, myself, would pick up for inspiration. I've had years of
experience in art direction, so I know how to select art. My goal was
to gather a wide variety of styles and views. 

{More Book Process}

the dummy is designed, a book interior design moves pretty quickly. But
I hit a roadblock toward the end of the book, and it threw me. And I
grew angry with myself!

along, I placed 8 images of pages that for some reason, looked REALLY
familiar. At first, I thought that I had just seen too many journal
pages and I was hallucinating. But I double-checked the Excel sheet
just to be sure. And there it was. I had duplicated these pages!
AAAGGGHHH!!! The production director told me not to worry, I could fix
it and what did I expect with 1000 pages? She said the book had gone
extremely smoothly up until that point. Of course, she was right but I
continued to beat myself up about it. So I ended up doing something I
thought I wouldn't do: I included some pages of my own. I had been told
by some contributors that I was crazy not to include my own journal
pages—after all, they said, I was the author of the book! But I hadn't
felt right about it. I wanted the book to be about OTHER journal
artists. But with the clock ticking, my deadline looming and 8 pages
short, I knew it was the only solution. So I sent my Black, White and
Pink journal to Rockport for shooting. And that is why you'll see 8 of
my journal pages as the very last ones in the book.

the design was done, the interior pages were sent over to the publisher
in PDF format, they printed out sets for everyone involved to peruse
and the editing process was underway. Editors, my art director,
creative director, the project manager, and the publisher all looked
over the pages and made their correction marks on the lasers. Then all
corrections were combined to one set of lasers, which were then sent to
me. I made corrections to the Quark files, sent those back as PDFs to
the publisher and the proofs were looked at by everyone again. There
were a few design tweaks to be made, such as consistency of placement
of credits and spacing between images. As this was happening, the
Directory of Artists was created from the lasers and the Excel file.
There were a few questions of where this person was or that image was,
which is a great double-check. The Directory was flowed in during the
final stages of design corrections. Once everyone was in agreement on
the design and editing, I sent the Quark files and fonts to the
publisher. From there, they sent those to the printer. We checked
through proofs from the printer and a few more minor corrections were

And then I waited.

the meantime, the publisher looked at more sets of proofs for color
correction. Some contributors who had sent in their journals for
shooting e-mailed to ask where their journals actually were. I e-mailed
production and was told that they really needed to hold on to all the
journals until color was corrected and production was satisfied with
all of the images. Almost a year is a long time for an artist to be
without their journal...I can understand that. But the publisher wanted
to be sure all the images were true to the originals and were presented
in the best possible way. I believe a few pages were re-shot at this

On May 2, I received this e-mail from my editor:

“Hey Dawn!

you get your advance copy? Mine just arrived. WOW. The book looks
stunning. The cover and endpapers are just fantastic, and well, the
interior speaks for itself. I think anyone interested in journaling is
going to want this book, without a doubt. Thanks for collecting and
laying out so beautifully this fantastic collection. You should feel so

e-mailed back to say thank you and I hadn't received my advance
copy...WHERE was it?!! My editor told me it should arrive in the next
day or two, and then later that day, I received it.

wow. To hold almost a year's worth of work in your hands is a little
overwhelming. And a bit humbling. I always come into a book's process
near the end. I'm given the text and art and am told to make it look
wonderful. This was a different journey altogether, but one I would
never trade.

show the book to my family and friends has been interesting. Some
aren't familiar with journaling but then see the book and understand it
better. Unfortunately, there's one person I can't show it to and that's
my dad. I'm told he would have been proud. I think he would have
browsed through it slowly, page by page and then told me what an
accomplishment it was. And he would have stared at my name on the cover
and said that he didn't have to go looking for the copyright page to
find it...
I  dedicated the book to him.

Make sure to get your copy! ;-)

Dawn SokolComment