Introducing…Book Arts Improv!

Mystery bookIn thinking about the coming year, I was reminded of how January can really be a drag – it’s after the holidays, people hibernate, and there’s generally not a lot going on.

I have a tendency to slip into a post-holiday coma and this really interferes with my motivation to get into the studio. I need something to get me excited.

When I was in college, one of my favorite things to do was to attend late-night improvisational comedy shows given by Without a Net. They had a repertoire of sketches where they took suggestions from the audience to drive the content.

Thus, the Book Arts Improv (a.k.a. I Like to Amuse Myself) was born.

Starting next week, I will enter into a four-week stretch of improvisational bookmaking. Depending on the content and complexity of the book, an edition of three or more will be created each week.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Sunday: I’ll post a call for specific suggestions that will be incorporated into a handmade book.
  • Tuesday: One entry will be selected at random. Not only will that person’s suggestions be used, but the winner will also receive a copy of the book.
  • Wednesday: Worktable Wednesday will be used to show the progress of the book.
  • Saturday: The book will be unveiled.

In addition to there being a winner each week, there will also be a winner at the end of the Book Arts Improv event. Everyone who has posted suggestions for each week will be entered into a drawing (one entry per person, per week). If you have participated in the Improv for more than one week, each week’s post will count as one entry. The winner of the final drawing will win a copy of each of the four books created.

Have a great New Year’s and I’ll see you at the Improv!

Updated 1/31/11:

The completed books:

11 Responses to “Introducing…Book Arts Improv!”

By Valerie and Heather - 31 December 2010 Reply

Is this open to family?!

By Elissa - 31 December 2010 Reply

Yep, but don’t think for a second that it gives you better odds. 😉


By Erica - 31 December 2010 Reply

I love this! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!! 😀

By Elissa - 2 January 2011 Reply

Erica –

Be afraid. Very afraid. 🙂


By Cathy R - 31 December 2010 Reply

What a great idea for spurring creativity. I’ll be eagerly watching to see how it all shakes out!

By Elissa - 2 January 2011 Reply

Cathy –

I just posted my first call for suggestions – you can influence the shakes!


By velma - 1 January 2011 Reply

what an amazing idea for the endless tundra of january. great idea and i hope to be inspired by you as well. and a happy new year to you, elissa.

By Elissa - 2 January 2011 Reply

Velma –

Happy new year to you too! 🙂

If the Improv is a success, I plan to make it an annual event. It depends a lot on audience participation. We’ll see…


By Tammy - 2 January 2011 Reply

How about incorporating something from a comic book?

By Elissa - 2 January 2011 Reply

Tammy –

I just posted my first call for suggestions – feel free to offer up something comic book-inspired.


By Carol - 2 January 2011 Reply

I love Velma’s “endless tundra of January” – how different it is here in the Southern Hemisphere. Seems more like endless summer, so hot and sticky. Elissa, this is a brilliant idea and will be great fun to watch your progress. You really are a dynamo. Happy New Year!

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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