Tuesday, January 2, 2018

1001 Knights

Back in 2015, I created some illustrations for the collective anthology 1001 Knights, a massive 3-volume art book where artists of all backgrounds painted knights. The project was organized by Kevin Jay Stanton and Annie Stoll, and the Kickstarter was phenomenally successful, raising almost $300,000.

Because the super-successful Kickstarter significantly increased the scope of the project, the timeline got pushed back pretty far. It took time as the books were professionally designed, printed, shipped over from China by boat. For a year or two the project was pretty quiet.

Then one day, BOOM. An exhausted UPS employee dropped a massive, heavy box on my front steps. Inside was a treasure trove of beautiful hardback copies of 1001 Knights!

Every single aspect of these books is lovingly designed. From the gold foil embossed fronts and silk bookmark...

...to the snazzy backs...

...to the gorgeous end papers.

When I opened the first book, there was a surprise waiting for me!

My illustration, "The Sun Knight," opens the series adjacent to a piece by Lois Van Baarle, aka Loish. I've been a fan of Loish's artwork since high school, so this is a huge honor for me!

I flipped through some of the first volume last night, and I have to say it's a fascinating experience to see so many diverse styles of artwork represented in one place.

art by Stephanie Bailey and Jen Bartel

Some art is strange. Some poignant. Others are funny, weird, dark, pretty.

I could easily spend hours just trying to absorb all the art in this series. It really goes to show was a breadth and diversity of artistic talent there is out there in the world. It makes me proud to be a part of the illustration community.

I've posted my copies of Volume I: Courage for sale in my Etsy shop. UPDATE: All my copies are sold out! If you would like to buy a copy, here is a list of other artists who are selling their books.

I decided to do a little something special for my buyers. I went to the craft store and picked up some odds and ends.

I found this awesome ribbon that looks like links of chain mail. Then I packaged up the books all pretty.

Such a beautiful book deserves beautiful packaging. If you order a book from my Etsy shop, I'll pack it up like this or something similar!

I have to hand it to 1001 Knights organizers, Kevin Jay Stanton and Annie Stoll. They really did a great job following through on the project, from the gorgeous design, proofing all the books, working with a printer and fulfillment company, sending copies to all the artists for us to sell, sending copies to libraries, and in the end distributing the profits among all the artists. They just...started this project, just for the sake of it, and for the good of the art community. How often do you see that happen in life? Where someone just starts a project, sees it through to the end, and does a great job?

Well done, Annie and Kevin.

I hope that when you hold your copy of the 1001 Knights, you can feel that it's really something special.

I took this photo as part of a failed photoshoot thing I was trying to do. And I needed a photo to end this blog post and it's dark out so I can't take any more photos so yeah.

What was I saying about follow-through?

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