This update is long overdue. I was hoping to be able to show you the first six pages today, but life made sure that would not happen. Without going into all kinds of details, I can say that I haven't made as much progress as I had hoped by this time, but the project is still going ahead, and I am more enthusiastic than ever about the the artistic vision that is unfolding. Because of the support and encouragement I have received since November, I am more committed than ever to making this my life's work. Here is a list of things I accomplished toward the project since November:
-Designed an intricate frontispiece to go opposite the title page--I'm currently seeking advice from a science advisor to help me finalize the details on this.
-Designed and researched material for the Dedication Page
-Finalized the Table of Contents design
-Worked with a science advisor to lay out enough characters of genetic code to form the top and bottom borders of the entire 300-page book
-Addressed envelopes and mailed 29 postcards to the $10 backers
-Packaged and shipped about 100 boxes of cards for the $30 backers
-Framed and shipped 31 beetle prints for the $60 backers, and will have additional choices for the others ready to ship in March
-Worked on a stationery design for the letters I will write to the $90 backers. This process led to the design of the dedication page for the book. I hope to have the letters completed by summer.
-Collected, posed, and photographed all 14 adopted beetles, made sketches and line drawings of each, created what I call a "color map" for each beetle, and am now in the process of doing color sketches and full-size paintings for the $250 backers
-Worked on the structural design for the miniature book of illuminated beetles and will have these ready to ship to the $300 backers in the summer
-Finalized the Title Page design and will begin creating and shipping the reproductions to the $600 backers this summer
-Attended two presentations by Richard Dawkins in the Phoenix Metro area
-Purchased a supply of gold leaf, brushes, paint, and other miscellaneous tools and materials I will need to complete the first 30 pages
-Purchased a few excellent reference books on various related topics, such as beetles, fossils, mapmaking, evolutionary biology, and manuscript illumination
-Purchased all of the paper needed for the entire book
I had a few minor setbacks. The paper arrived damaged, so I had to return it for a replacement. I received the new shipment a couple of weeks ago. I will post photos of what 300 pages looks like soon. Also, my computer crashed just after I made some major design changes that I hadn't had the chance to back up. I was without my computer for about 2 weeks, and am still trying to recover. One casualty was the blog at www.illuminatedorigin.com. I have been unable to post new blogs, and at this point if I make any changes to the website I will lose the entries I have already made. I'm currently working with a tech expert to recover the website and move my blog to Wordpress. I can't even post photos here, because Kickstarter only lets me post links to photos that have been uploaded to another website. Ugh!
I want to extend my sincere appreciation for your continued patience. This IS happening, and I am more anxious than anyone to see the first section of the book completed. I plan to do major updates on or around the solstices and equinoxes. If you wish to check in with me at any time, please don't hesitate to contact me. Look for more studio photos on the Facebook page soon.
Happy belated Darwin Day!