Thursday, November 17, 2016

She worked in paste-up...

I'm (slacking off from) working on the first issue of our 16th continuous year of print publication.  Woo... that's a serious accomplishment no matter how you look at it, and yes, I am patting myself on the back.  It's come so far, and in order to do that, I had to learn a lot of new stuff.  It wasn't always my choice, and my family often dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the light.  Let me show you...
Some of the covers from the first couple of years.  I didn't have a camera, OR the knowledge of how to do anything with a digital image.  You can click on these for more detail, if you'd like.
This cover is (as most were then) mixed media.  A combination of pen, stickers, illustrations from catalogs, and a lot of glue mixed with sweat and tears.  For the first few years, covers usually took me most of a weekend to assemble, once I got the idea of the picture.  I had 48 hours to get the whole thing - at the time it was a 16 page newsletter - finished.  Since it mailed out first class and I did almost all of the printing, binding, stamping, and addressing, the deadline was just a week before it needed to go in the mail. 

Even though I didn't have enough money for color covers most of the time, I still worked in color.  More mixed media here.  I did the door and bricks in water color, along with the tree stumps, then added details like leaves and cornucopia with stickers.

You'd think this one would have gone quickly, but it was at least half a day.  I cut almost everything from paper of the proper shade, and glued it together.  In the front there is a pile of ground coffee mixed with glue representing a powdered herb.

I'm not sure why I saved a print of this cover on gold paper, because it mailed out in red.  Both looked pretty good, as I recall.  The finished magazine was smaller than usual, maybe 7 x 10, and I remember trimming it down on the guillotine cutter, shaving until it went down to under 2 ounces for mailing costs.  Money is always tight.  Even now we have a very close profit margin.  But back in those days each issue was planned around exactly how many subscriptions had come in - which was exactly how much money I had to spend to produce it.

This may have been the first time a photo was used for the cover.  It was submitted with an article.  Had it been printed in color, it would have been perfect.  Since it was not, I spent a few hours adding background and textures that would make it more interesting in black and white.

In the first year, I took a walk over my lunch hour and picked weeds and herbs that were growing nearby.  They were laid directly on the glass of a color copier, and then on that copy, the names of the plants were written.  Couldn't quite figure out how to add the name of the magazine and the titles of a few articles very well, though...

If you look closely on the white sheet, you can see that the masthead was printed on a sheet of paper, and every single other thing was glued on top of that.  It was a real art, learning how to be sure that no lines showed on the printed pages...

Every so often, there would be a lot of new subscribers, and I would be able to print a color cover.  I wasn't wasting that money!  If I was paying for color, we were getting LOTS of color.  This actually took forever to make.  I had a collection of glorious flowered wallpaper borders, and carefully cut and placed flowers and leaves together to make this riot of flowers.  I still love it to this day.
That was just the covers.
Putting together the actual magazine was another nightmare back in those days.
It wasn't like I'd learned any word processing in my previous work with computers - which consisted of entering stolen vehicles, selling lottery tickets, and entering manifests of 10 digit 4000 pound rolls of paper all day long.
By the time we went to a magazine (32 pages instead of the 16 page newsletter), I had finally learned to copy and paste.  I'd taught myself how to use an Excel file to keep track of subscribers.  It wasn't always like things were on the brink of crashing...
And then my sister offered to help with layout.  EUREKA!!!

Okay.  Now I'll get back to work on the Jan/Feb issue.  I found what I was looking for - lol.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hey Tina - As always, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your magazine. I have been involved in small group publications in the past and I know how hard it is when you have very little other than yourself. You do an amazing job and I hope you continue for a long while (assuming you want to...) Thanks, Carol


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