This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, April 14 2019 1:00 PM UTC +00:00.
Bark: An Intimate Portrait
The goal of this project is to publish a coffee table book of photographs titled Bark: An Intimate Portrait. Like most people, I never paid much attention to bark. And then one day, while visiting a botanic garden, I noticed a tree with bark that looked like the armored plates of a dinosaur. And then another that was peeling translucent layers of yellow, orange and red. And then the massive legs of a woolly mammoth. I was hooked. Bark is beautiful.
Once you start looking at bark, really looking, the variety of lines, shapes, colors, forms, patterns and textures is simply astonishing. Bark is the unsung hero of the plant kingdom. It combines the textures of Jackson Pollock, the palette of Paul Klee, the toughness of Iron Man and the fortitude of Stonehenge. From a distance, it often looks gray, rough and dull but up close and personal it’s a whole different story. Japanese zelkovas become aerial views of multihued rice paddies carved out of mountainsides. Snakebark Maples masquerade as snakes. And Silver Poplars remind me of snow-covered fields of red cedar trees. Bark splits, shreds, sheds, splinters, fragments, cracks and curls creating fissures, canyons, dunes, great rift valleys, ribbons, scales and tectonic plates.
Photographer Doug Johnson’s intimate portraits of bark from around the world are as revealing as they are beautiful. These carefully selected images are the culmination of hundreds of hours spent photographing thousands of trees (native to six continents!) at dozens of arboretums and botanical gardens. This book – created with great skill, patience and awe – will surprise and delight tree huggers, photography buffs and anyone who knows they should come in out of the rain but prefer not to. After reading Bark: An Intimate Portrait, you’ll never look at bark the same again.
The book will be printed using 4-color offset lithography. This method is more complicated than print-on-demand but it produces a far superior product. Using real inks, this form of printing will ensure that the photographs in the book will look vibrant and true to life.
- Hardcover with dust jacket
- 256 pages
- 194 full-color, high quality images
- Trim size 15"(h) x 10"(w)
- Printed on 105lb coated matte paper
- Limited edition of 1,000 copies
I am a photographer, writer, illustrator and printmaker, currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My work has been acquired by numerous museum, corporate and private collections and selected for over 60 juried shows. I write a weekly blog on art, photography and creativity and previously published The Nighttime Adventures of Elliott the Mouse.
Much of my work focuses on the miracle of daily life -- how we make our way in the world, safely and sanely. Remarkably, we often do so with kindness, humor, creativity, wisdom and teamwork. I want to better understand the unique worlds that people create for themselves; to explore the paths they follow or trails they blaze; to record the footprints and artifacts they leave behind.
Spread the Word
If you've gotten this far, then you are probably thinking (at least) about backing this project. That's fantastic! Even better -- if you would like to see this book come to light, please tell your friends, family and colleagues. Best of all -- if you know someone associated with an arboretum or botanical garden, please tell them about the campaign and the book and ask them to pass it along to their members. Publishing Bark: An Intimate Portrait will require at least 250 backers. On the one hand, that sounds like a lot but on the other, it's only four backers in each of the 50 states in the U.S. and 50 from the rest of the world. Call me crazy but I have to think there are four people in each state and one each from 50 countries who would enjoy this book. Kickstarter provides a handy "Share this project" button at the top of this page for you to use. Thank you so much for your support and spread the word!
*Regarding Pledge Levels That Include a Name In the Acknowledgements*
So, how do you make sure that your name is listed in the book and on the web site as a backer? In order for me to create the acknowledgement pages before sending the PDF files to the printer, each backer must complete an online questionnaire indicating the name they would like printed. The questionnaire will be sent electronically after the successful conclusion of the campaign. Backers who do not complete the questionnaire by the indicated cutoff date will not be listed in the book as a backer.
How Do I Pledge/Order More Than One Reward?
Several people have asked how to pledge/order more than one reward, so I thought I would explain it here. Kickstarter does not provide a direct way to order multiple rewards within a single account so here’s a few examples that, I hope, will clarify the process. If you still have questions, just send me a note through the Kickstarter “Contact Me” portal. Examples:
- To order two books and two digital pigment prints, select the Sponsor reward and enter $300 (2*$150) for your pledge amount.
- To order two books, one digital pigment print and one 10” x 20” gallery wrapped canvas print, select the Patron reward and enter $400 ($250+$150) for your pledge amount.
...and let me know what you want through the KickStarter private messaging system. You can access this through the "Contact Me" link on the main project page.
Then I'll add a code to the "Notes" section of your record. This code will be printed on the shipping labels, telling us what to send you at fulfillment time.
Publishing a book like this is daunting – time-consuming, complex and expensive. My hope is that Kickstarter will allow me to realize my vision of the book’s design and production.The funding goal for this Kickstarter will cover about 75% of the expenses of the entire project (I will personally fund the rest). The total cost (about $40,000) includes printing and shipping the books to the United States. It also covers the cost of the Kickstarter rewards and fees, payment processing fees, book design and marketing, storage, shipping of books and rewards, packaging materials and miscellaneous expenses. If funding surpasses the goal, I will be able to produce more than 1,000 copies. Only with your help can this project become a reality.
Here's a breakdown of the costs:
Risks and challenges
Publishing a book is complicated, time-consuming, expensive and inherently risky. I’ve done everything I can think of to minimize the risks. I have samples of the paper, fabric, foil and faux leather cover materials. I will be color proofing the printed images before starting the main print run to ensure quality. The dust jacket and cover have been designed and the layout of the book is complete. All 194 of the photos have been selected, edited and sequenced. The PDF files are ready to be sent to the printer. Samples of the pledge rewards were produced and look great. The hardest part of this project is over.
The biggest risk is with the actual production and shipping of the books. PrintNinja has an excellent reputation but 4-color offset printing is complicated -- as much art as science. Shipping times can vary based on weather conditions, port and boat capacity, labor fluctuations, customs approval and other factors.
Providing there's no issues with the book manufacturing/shipping, my goal is to have the book and rewards in backers’ hands in September 2019 (international orders may take a little longer due to customs and overseas shipping).
Please see the timeline above for estimates when key milestones will be met.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter