Per Carmile Zaino’s post on origami, the art of paper folding had a significant influence on my final art book. My concept was to illustrate T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” via found collage (and eventually music) as a pop-up book.
Early inspiration and influences:
I created collages from old books and magazines:
Early mock-ups revealed that inserting the text would be a challenge. The text brought up questions, such as “Should the text be part of drawings?” “Does the text need a graphic treatment?” “Would key words suffice?” “Does the entire poem need to be included?”
I took a break from the pop-ups and explored drawing on the collages and having the book feel like Prufrock’s personal journal.
One day, I put all versions of my collages and their variations as thumbnails on giant sheets of paper.
My Drawing professor, Thomas Bosket, gave me feedback that it felt like a moving still film. He recommended that I check out La Jetee (1962).
His recommendation was a good suggestion, but I still wanted something you could still physically touch but shows movement.
I went back to the poem to see what I was missing. I began thinking about music since the title included the word song in it. I began playing with sketches where I drew and placed the collages in music scores. I also found that Bach’s Goldberg Variations appeared to be a good fit for the arc and experience of the poem. An open source variation of the music is available and this resource also visually matched the music to the notes: http://www.opengoldbergvariations.org/.
I also went back to the lines about tea and started playing with the idea of the book being the shape of a tea cup and the text is written in the inside of the cup, maybe flowing downward to the bottom of the cup. Through image searches on Google, I found Yoshihide Momotani’s coffee cup.
Through researching origami, I found the work of Erik and Martin Demaine.
Their work was influential in helping me see the experience of the poem being larger than a book that showed space, visually the arcs and musicality of the words.
Below are other mock-ups and another resource that I used:
This drawing/moveable sculpture allowed me to have the collages be on one side and the text on the other. The reader can change the shape of the book with their hands.
The process of creating the book: