There are different kinds of satisfaction which come at various stages in the creative process. The early rush of a project is one: the composition is realized and details begin to fall into place, resulting in the early version of a design. The period of revision is another: small, incremental changes begin to bring the rough and vital early ideas into greater focus. I had rarely encountered another type of enjoyment, however: the opportunity to share the final result of a creative endeavor with the person who had inspired it. Last Friday, George R. R. Martin visited Cushing Library for a book signing and lecture, and later received a private tour of the exhibition which contained the four broadsides based on his work (as well as highlights from his archive and artwork by John Picacio and Evi Owen). It was, you might say, pretty great.
Earlier in the day, I had set up the broadsides at a table outside the Library to talk about the process of letterpress printing in general and the artistic challenge of collaborating with the exhibition curators in particular. I had not received commercial permissions for campus, meaning that I could not sell the broadsides at the event. But I was able to talk with a large number of people about the work of Anise Press and my involvement in the exhibition. Best of all, everyone could feel the excitement that students and readers felt at the opportunity to engage Martin at the signing and exhibition. 650 people came through the Library over the course of the day — it was quite an electrifying sensation to be part of it.
So, the project is finished and is on display at the Library. I feel fortunate to have been able to contribute to such a successful endeavor, especially one which so many people feel so invested in. I hope that everyone will get a chance to experience the exhibition. If not . . . well, you know where you can find the broadsides.