The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories

Whilst browsing my Amazon recommends page, “The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories” came up. I took a look and went ahead and purchased.

Whilst waiting for the delivery, I looked further into the creators of this book “hitRecord”. HitRecord are a production company set up by the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which encourages collaboration with a range of different media. They have an app, which I have downloaded, where you can upload your work, which then can be altered and be used by others on the group to create their own work or be inspired by it. They also allow you to take part in and post projects, which other users can contribute to. As they are a production company, hitRecord also create tv shows, albums, books, merchandise based on uploads. If your work is used in one of their productions, the contributors get paid fairly for their work.

I have downloaded this app, but have not yet contributed any work. I will browse and get a feel for the app and how it works before I do that. But I thought it would be a really good way to work with and collaborate with others on a wider network. I have already searched the tags “invisible illness” and “fibromyalgia” and there is a fair amount of interesting content from many contributors. There are some great writers on there, that articulate their experiences so well and would look to incorporate some of their work in my own. I can do this, providing I upload my creations onto the app.

“The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories” is one of these projects. One of the users named “wirrow” put a project together where users contributed very sort stories, often a sentence long. They were then illustrated by other users and made into a book by hitRecord. This is volume one and there are two other volumes in the collection.

When I received this book, I really liked its compact size, hard bound with screen printed cover. It was really cute and felt precious. The contents are entirely in black and white. Each double page spread was a single story, unrelated to the one before and after it.

For me, I immediately felt that this kind of story telling could really work for my project. Each story I have to tell is short and in no particular order. I have been hung up on non linear narrative, essentially because of how each story doesn’t necessarily relate to each other. But does that mean that they can’t sit next to each other? Why am I getting so hung up about this? I have started to mind map some of these ideas out and will do a separate blog post on that.

This book seemingly had no theme to the story other than that they are short. I really liked the variety in them. Some were very sad, others thought-provoking, some just very sweet. I felt that connection in the stories I have to tell. I think a variety is really important in my work, especially for my audience. I don’t want it to be depressing. I want others to feel a connection to the stories.

In terms of layout, often the stories were on the left page with the image on the right. So the first thing we see is the image and then the text. Depending on whether I want to see the text or the image first, the layout will change. Some pages incorporated the text into the image over a double page spread. If I were to do this, I have to be aware of the centre fold, as not to lose any of the image in it.

Also, because the images are created by different artists, there is no continuity in the styles. I am getting really hung up on my style; what is most aesthetically pleasing, what I feel most comfortable doing, what materials to use. Maybe in this publication, I could give myself the freedom to explore all of these options within that. I would like some consistency, such as character design, but can play around with mediums.

This project still doesn’t necessarily have to be a book. I can still do zines of smaller collections, making a publication of collections of zines, postcards that are separate from each other, digital wallpapers etc. There’s a fair amount of versatility in this.

I feel like purchasing and reading this book has been a break through for me. I have visual evidence that projects like this work, and could open up opportunities to collaborate with other artists.

 

References

HitRecord, (2011). The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume One. New York, Harper Collins#

HitRecord, (2018). HitRecord [online] Available at: https://www.hitrecord.org/ (Accessed 5 January 2018)

 

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