Wednesday, 9 June 2010
The Artful Todger is back!
Firstly, please accept my sincere apologies for not having been in touch much much much sooner - it's amazing how time flies, and I really cannot believe I have left it so long.
Secondly, I just wanted to thank everyone again for their submissions - they really have all been amazing, and the support and appreciation for this project has been overwhelming.
Unfortunately, however, the support and appreciation has not been so forthcoming with regard to actually getting this project off the ground. When I first started on this venture, it was hand in hand with an agent, with several interested parties, heaps of enthusiasm, and confidence in the world of art publishing. Then the recession hit. Publishers deemed it too much of a risk, and upon the advice of my previous agent - although incredibly supportive and helpful - was to attempt to promote this project as more of a tongue in cheek, picture postcard - dare I say it - joke book.
Unimpressed, I targeted every agent, publisher, independent printers, but to no avail. Even though the best selling book in WHSmiths at the time was 'The Big Book of Cock' it seemed that an art book featuring the male member was just too... offensive? Risque? Un-promotable? To cut a long story short, I was faced with the choice of either turning this project into a point of sale 'comic' to be browsed at by customers in the queue at Waterstones, or to try something else.
Not wanting to sell out on this very worthy project, I set about looking for the 'something else'. And, confronted with this stumbling block and a mini recession of my own, it is only now that I feel that I have the time and energy to devote to this worthwhile cause. So, apologies again for the notable absence, but 'The Artful Todger' is very much back.
I will be setting up a new website and re-launching the competition. I am in talks with leading charitable male testicular cancer organizations, as one of the main aims of this project was to generate some awareness and, of course, funds for this cause, and I will be updating my proposal and setting off in search of a publisher who - excuse the pun - has the balls to see this project for what it is. I have also contacted several writers who specialize in this field, to engage the services of one to contribute to the book itself, and I will also be approaching several celebrities (in the art and illustration world, as well as 'off the telly') to submit their own members, in the hope that, although this may be considered an act of selling out, this will attract the more heavy weight publishers.
If all else fails, several other options have been suggested to me, and I would love to hear your feedback:
Self Publish a downloadable pdf version of the book?
Run the book as a website/blog only - in the hope that this will eventually attract a publisher?
Organise the exhibition of work first - again, in the hope that this will attract the right publisher?
Now, all of the above have their flaws - number one being that the whole purpose of this project is to produce a coffee table style 'art book' - but please, if you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them.
I would like to reassure everyone as well that I do still have, very safely tucked away, all of the entries submitted online. I know it is extremely unfair to ask you all to wait to see if you have been picked, and also for me to open the competition once again as many of you worked so hard to meet the deadline, but I hope that you are all with me in the determination to see that this project is given the recognition it deserves, and that the end result is as fantastic as all of your entries are sure to make it.
I will be in touch very soon with the new website and competition details, so please feel free to submit more, and pass on the information to everyone you know. You can contact me directly at