pw article

It’s a huge honor to get any coverage from the industry’s top news/media source, let alone an interview! The story is that I submitted The Pop Up Art Book to BookLife, which is PW’s self publishing arm. An editor saw the book sitting on a table at the PW office, and reached out for this short but sweet interview.

This article originally appeared at http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/70327-pop-art-meets-paper-engineering-in-crowdfunded-pop-up-art-book.html

From images of stressed-out pandas to erotic pancakes, The Pop Up Art Book from Poposition Press is a visual feast for the reader. A picture book for grown ups, the project was conceived by editor and press founder Rosston Meyer, who has brought together six artists from various disciplines to create the book. We chatted with Meyer about his inspiration, his Kickstarter campaign, and the challenges of printing a pop-up book.

Why the focus on pop-up books?

The focus on making artist pop-ups is a mix of two niches: contemporary street/pop/comic style art and pop-up books. All of the artists involved have seen their art on all sorts of products—apparel, home goods, designer toys—so to them the pop-up format is an exciting way to see their art.

The Pop Up Art Book was successfully funded with $22,098 on Kickstarter in January 2015. Why do you think the idea appealed to backers on Kickstarter?

The Pop Up Art Book is a compilation-style book featuring pop ups created from six different artist’s work: Aaron ‘Woes’ Martin, Skinner, Kozyndan, Junko Mizuno, Tara McPherson and Jim Mahfood. The Kickstarter campaign was appealing to two different types of funders: existing fans of the artists involved, and Kickstarter browsers who were introduced to this art by seeing the campaign. About a third of the project’s backers came from browsing Kickstarter, so those are likely people that had no prior connection to the artists or to Poposition.

How difficult is it to design and produce a pop-up book?

They are complicated. Basically once the pop ups are designed a prototype is sent off, along with the art files, in order for the factory to provide an estimate. They’re concerned with the amount of paper used for the book and the number of glue points, which is any step that needs to be done to assemble a page. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s glue, it could be putting a tab into a slot, for example.

Once the green light is given to the factory, they create mock-up books in white to assure that they can replicate the pop-ups I designed without any issue. Once that’s approved, full color mock ups are made and sent back to me for a final review. One more approval step is needed before the book goes into production, which is a standard color check of the actual print outs. Printing and assembly in this case took about five weeks, and the books were delivered to backers this past summer.

 

Thanks to Jean-Paul and Denice from BestPopUpBooks.com for the incredible video of The Pop Up Art Book!  

The Pop-Up Art Book by Poposition Press

The Pop-Up Art Book is a collaborative successful Kickstarter project by Poposition Press (Rosston Meyer and Marc Meyer), known from the artistic Pop-up Funk book. This beautiful pop-up book brings together the six artists Angry Woebots, Skinner, kozyndan, Junko Mizuno, Tara McPherson and Jim Mahfood. The Pop-Up Art Book represents different styles like comic book artwork, street art, illustration and fine art. Each artist contributes with their own original artwork that has been digitally deconstructed and then reconstructed into 6 surprising multidimensional pop-up spreads.

Laser cutting

One spread we want to point out is the elegant “Drowning Party” from Kozyndan. It’s the only spread in this book that was cut with lasers. Only lasers can handle the curvy and highly detailed lines used in this design. Opening this spread is breathtaking and it’s a joy to see how the light creates amazing shadows around the detailed contours. A very artistic approach of making a pop-up, getting the most out of the artwork and it’s elements. The washed out colors, detailed illustration and paper engineering work very well together.

This highly collectible book (which by the way is almost sold out) is a great addition to the other pop-up book titles in the Art genre. It’s a mix of different flavors and styles and works great combined with the subtle paper engineering that leaves enough space for the artwork to shine. A nice bonus for pop-up book collectors is the foreword written by David A. Carter.

Order a copy of The Pop-Up Art Book here

Published by Poposition Press Paper Engineering by Rosston Meyer and Marc Meyer Book Design by Kevin Steele Artwork credits: Howling Masher by Aaron Woes Martin Morrigan Lupus by Skinner Drowning Party by Kozyndan Pancakes by Junko Mizuno The Water Nebula by Tara McPherson Bubble Gum Gangsters by Jim Mahfood The design and paper engineering of The Pop-Up Art Book took place in the United States and has been printed and assembled in China.

bestpopupbooks

Thank you to Jean-Paul and Denice from BestPopUpBooks.com for the interview and for creating an amazing site full of unique pop up books news, interview, and video reviews. This article originally appeared at http://www.bestpopupbooks.com/interview-rosston-meyer-from-poposition-press/ Rosston, who’s representing Poposition Press, answered some questions we asked him about The Pop-Up Art Book and his work as a paper engineer.

The interview

BPUBHow did your love for pop-up books started?
RM – Like many people, I had a few pop-up books as a kid. But it was when I was a teenager and I got a copy of Robert Sabuda’s Alice in Wonderland book that I was first really amazed by a pop-up book and had the thought to one day make one myself.

BPUBWhat’s your history with paper and paper engineering?
RM – I had a loose idea to make a pop-up with some of the artists I was a fan of from the comic book and designer toy worlds, but that idea sat with me for about fifteen years before I really did anything with it. It was kind of one of those things I would talk about here and there, but didn’t actually do anything with. That was until 2013 when I started working with Jim Mahfood on what would become my first pop-up book, Pop Up Funk. My brother Marc and I worked together on that book, both designing and then assembling 100 copies, so that was really my first foray into the world of paper art and pop-up books. There were a lot of unknowns with that project from: cost per book, time involved to assemble a copy, and how to best make the pop-ups work. After that book was done and released, I knew that I wanted to make another book. But I had to look at getting it mass produced in a professional pop-up assembly factory, which is what happened with the follow up book, The Pop Up Art Book.

BPUBDo you have any plans or offers for higher volumes and more commercial titles?
RM – Yes, starting now in 2016, I have a few art books planned similar to the ones that Poposition has already released, as well as a more commercial book focused on just one subject. I’m working with a handful of different paper engineers on this upcoming project and look forward to seeing what everyone involved comes up with, and how it all comes together. Look for an announcement on this book the first few months of 2016, and hopefully a release in the summertime.

As far as quantity, moving forward the artist books will have runs of at least 1000 copies (just like The Pop Up Art Book’s run), and possibly 2500 copies.

BPUBWho are your favorite and most inspiring popup book authors or paper engineers?
RM – I would say one of my favorite paper engineers would have to be Matthew Reinhart, because the work that he puts out book after book just gets more impressive as time goes one. The flip style effect found in his Transformers book is just amazing to me.

Another paper engineer I have a lot of respect for is Roger Culbertson. I initially met Roger back in Florida around 2005, when I had some interest in pop-ups but no solid ideas or plans on what to do. Roger showed me all sorts of books and promotional items he had worked on and I was amazed by what could be done with paper. Fast forward about ten year after I’ve put a few books out on my own, and Roger and I have worked together on a commercial pop-up project for an agency in Singapore. He’ll be one of the engineers on the commercial book I previously mentioned.

Finally, David Carter is another favorite engineer of mine, especially with the artistic shapes found in his One Red Dot series of books. I find those books to be very interesting with the use of primarily colors and simple shapes, and how he’s designed interactivity into those book (finding the One Red Dot or 600 black spots, for example) David is one of the first people in the pop-up book world that I got in contact with when starting to make my own books and he’s been very helpful and supportive in many ways. He too will be one of the engineers in the aforementioned book.

BPUBWhat’s the most difficult/technical spread you have ever made and why?
RM – That would be the “Onna Bune 1” spread, which was the special page that came with Junko Mizuno’s Artist Editions of The Pop Up Art Book. It was the most difficult page I’ve done because there were so many small pieces to extract from the original art, and I feel that the final pop-up version is in a way better than the original in that it truly gives the sense of a full scene with the boat visible on top of the ocean, compared to the original art which has a lot going on.

BPUBHow did you get to collaborate with great artists such as Jim Mahfood and Junko Mizuno?
RM – I’ve been very lucky to be able to work with my favorite artists. I got to know Jim Mahfood first by working with him on his website (my day job is Web Designer) and I always had the idea to make pop-ups out of his work but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Eventually, around 2012, we started talking about it seriously and after one spread was made, he agreed to creating fill in and cover the art for an entire ten page book. Getting that made was no small feat and my brother Marc helped me both with the design of that book and the extremely labourous task of cutting, assembling and binding those ten page into a 100 copy run of Pop Up Funk.

BPUBAre you planning to release a book with your own artwork and paper engineering in the future?
RM – Not with my own artwork, as I don’t think badly drawn stick figure type art lends itself well to a pop-up book! Honestly, I feel as if there’s an unlimited amount of incredible artwork that can be made into pop-ups. So as far as the art books I’ll be focusing on making books with visual artists rather than make the art myself.

“I think Kickstarter is a great way to get the word out about unique pop-up book projects. The goal for The Pop-Up Art Book’s Kickstarter was reached in about a week or so.”

BPUBWe have recently seen new popup book projects on KickStarter. Do you think that indie productions are the future of popup books?
RM – Yes, I think Kickstarter is a great way to get the word out about unique pop-up book projects. The goal for The Pop-Up Art Book’s Kickstarter was reached in about a week or so. Which I’d like to attribute to both the existing audiences that each artist involved has, as well as the ongoing promotion that I’ve been doing for Poposition on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. By the time the project was launched, a lot of people already knew about the book and that helped the goal get reached quickly.

BPUBYour books represent a mix of comic and street art. Have you ever considered making a pop-up book just about graffiti?
RM – Yes, I have thought about this and talked to some people that are known in the graffiti world. I think the difficult thing is getting the right people to do it, those that have a large appeal and are known like some of these other artists. With graffiti it’s tricky because a lot of people don’t want to be known and the few (Fairey, DAIM, Invader) that are likely bigger than life, wouldn’t want to do a pop-up. So I think the selection of artists, and artwork (or photographs, I guess) is the tricky part. A lot of the artist I’m working with do mural work but aren’t necessarily known as ‘graf’ writers. But ever since I was a teenager and first see DAIM’s work on the web I’ve thought… pop-up!?!

BPUBWhat do you think of bestpopupbooks.com ?
RM – I think it’s a great site and resource for pop-up book collector and paper engineers. There aren’t many sites dedicated to pop-up book news and interviews like BestPopUpBooks.com is, and even fewer people doing video reviews of books. I’m honored to be asked to do this interview and hope to see many more video reviews on the site throughout the year.

Thank you Rosston! We can’t wait for your next project!

Published by Poposition Press
Paper Engineering by Rosston Meyer and Marc Meyer
Book Design by Kevin Steele

Artwork by:
Howling Masher by Aaron Woes Martin
Morrigan Lupus by Skinner
Drowning Party by Kozyndan
Pancakes by Junko Mizuno
The Water Nebula by Tara McPherson
Bubble Gum Gangsters by Jim Mahfood

The design and paper engineering of The Pop-Up Art Book took place in the United States and has been printed and assembled in China.

 

Junko Mizuno's Pancakes Pop Up Before and After
Junko Mizuno’s Pancakes Pop Up Before and After

In this post we’ll be taking a look at how the Pancakes pop up was made, one of the most complicated pieces in the book. This is Junko’s ode to her love of breakfast, and also one of her favorite pieces of her own work  which is both how and why it’s in our book. First, let’s take a look at the original artwork and everything that’s going on in it:

It’s a lot. There’s breakfast being made, over an open flame revealed in the main girl’s removable chest, and a cast of silly breakfast buddies helping make stacks and stacks of delicious pancakes. After looking at this piece for a few weeks and thinking about how it could possibly be turned into a popup, we knew a few things needed to happen: that the girl’s body needed to be a main structure in the page and that there would need to be a significant amount of artwork filled in in order for this to work out. So the first step was to digitally cut out whatever elements we could in Photoshop off of the original. That ended up looking like this:

With the help of 230 awesome backers, The Pop Up Art Book’s crowdfunding campaign has not only hit but exceeded the funding goal of $15,000! Thank you to everyone that’s helped support this project, we are working hard to get the artist books ready as well as the mass produced standard edition. 10932289_1572452459667225_716959610_n A detailed post about the book will be added here soon. In the meantime, thanks again. And if you missed the opportunity to get the book during the Kickstarter campaign, you can now preorder the book on The Pop Up Art Book website right here.
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