start date June 1, 2012


Each participant will start a blank book, which will then be added to by each of the other participants in turn, in two-week blocks of time, eventually returning to the original artist. Photos of the finished pieces will be gathered into a group album on our website, Arting Around.

Books should “tell a tale,” but it is up to the artists to determine just how that tale is told—through images or words, or through a blend of images and words, through poetry or prose or no words at all. The tale can make sense or make nonsense. It can be as pedestrian or as flighty as the artists wish.


1. Create a book blank that has enough pages for the members of your circle. Those of us who have some experience making books might opt for a more elaborate format; those of us with no experience can do something as simple as cutting a stack of unbound cards. Voilà! Other simple formats include accordion books, sewn pamphlet-style books, or paneled flip books. Instructions for basic book formats are below.

Number of pages: What constitutes “enough pages” is up to you and the format you choose. For example, you might want each contributor to do one side of a single page, or do a full double-page spread, or do the front and back of one page. You will need to instruct the subsequent people in your circle about any specific limitations.

2. Come up with a title and start the title page and/or table of contents. (Each subsequent artist will add her or his name to the title page or toc.)

3. If it is necessary, write out any specific instructions for subsequent artists.

4. Begin your story. Draw, collage, paint, write, sew, glue—anything that “tells” your “tale.” Perhaps you start at the beginning—or perhaps somewhere else.

5. Take a picture (or pictures) of your contribution and email it (them) to Charlotte.

6. Mail your book to your recipient.

7. When you receive the next book, add your page or pages, following any specific instructions of the initial artist. Take pictures and send to Charlotte, then mail the book to your recipient.

8. When everyone has contributed to every book, you will get your original back, ready for publication! Add a cover (if you haven’t already). Take any further pictures that might be needed or desired.

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