I’m thrilled to announce that the first Essex handbook is now available for purchase. After many months of researching, doodling, editing, revising, layout and publishing, the beta edition of Doodle Essex, New York Architecture is finally available. We treated last Saturday’s Essex Day as our “soft launch”, and now both the Adirondack Art Association and the Essex Ice Cream Café are generously offering the book for sale.
Doodle Essex, New York Architecture is a playful, interactive guide to jumpstart readers’ exploration of our rich architectural heritage in a whole new way. Brief, accessible introductions to many of the most architecturally interesting buildings in our community are presented alongside “doodle challenges” that invite the reader to interact – to engage physically and creatively – with Essex buildings.
Vision & Mission
Underpinning our evolving vision is a hope is to inspire architectural curiosity and creativity. Rather than limiting our audience to visitors and tourists, we have developed Doodle Essex, New York Architecture for a broader audience. We are as interested in those who are already familiar with Essex architecture as well as those who are totally unfamiliar with it. It’s all too easy to take for granted the cultural riches which line our streets, but we aspire to reignite everyone’s interest and curiosity. We wish to jumpstart an immersive doodling experience adventure among year-rounders and first-timers alike.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Our pipe dream is that even the most habituated will discover something new!
Can we accomplish this lofty goal? This is our mission, and we will do our best. Hopefully your constructive feedback and assistance will further improve the next edition of the Doodle Essex, New York Architecture (to be published this autumn). Please help us succeed.
Creation, Publishing, etc.
From the outset, Doodle Essex, New York Architecture has been a collaborative endeavor. We set out to collect, improve, and illustrate popular blog posts from Essex on Lake Champlain. Given that neither Katie or I pretend any expertise in the field of architecture, we have relied heavily on those more learned. We sought out the best authorities we could find and crafted blog posts that showcased their knowledge.
Given the popularity of the posts we concluded that our first doodle handbook should celebrate Essex architecture. And what better opportunity to doodle Essex subjects (“How to Doodle Essex: A Few Tips but No Rules“) than its widely acclaimed historic buildings?
As Katie Shepard began sorting and editing Essex architecture blog posts I began doodling Essex buildings
- as they look today,
- as they looked long ago,
- and sometimes (given my marginal aptitude as an illustrator) as they never have and never will look.
The manuscript sprawled. We trimmed and re-trimmed. Eventually we edited out a few buildings that will return in the final fall edition. We shuffled the sequence, shuffled page layouts, and laughed at the doodles. We extended deadlines, agonized over silly details and finally, as spring sprinted into summer we sent the final version off for publishing.
Essex Day 2014
We launched the beta edition almost two weeks ago during Essex Day, and we’ve been excited with the response. In addition to selling [almost out] far more quickly than anticipated, we received lots of positive feedback and quite a few offers to collaborate on future editions. (See below.)
Our Essex Day booth offered the perfect time and place to share the news about our first Essex book, but it was also a chance for people to create their own Essex doodles. Dee Myers whipped off one of her exotic fish doodles (currently available on hand illustrated shopping bags at the Adirondack Art Association) and others doodled Champ, the Essex-Charlotte ferry, Full and By Farm and many other fun Essex scenes. We’ll post the doodles over the coming weeks for you to enjoy.
We also debuted a new collection of greeting cards with 24 Essex architecture doodles from the book. Like the Doodle Essex, New York Architecture, you can find thee greeting cards at the Essex Ice Cream Café and the Adirondack Art Association during the summer and autumn. And we hope to make them available for sale on the website this winter. Stay tuned.
Crowdsourcing the Beta Edition
The beta edition of Doodle Essex, New York Architecture is launched, but we’re still not 100% finished with this first book. It still needs some fine tuning. And some not-so-fine tuning!
So why release a beta edition early instead of a polished and perfect edition later?
There are several reasons (including getting it into readers’ hands during summer’s peak season), but the most important is that we want to include you in the creation process. That’s right, we want the community to collaborate in the creation of this and subsequent Essex guides. We’re sharing what we’ve created so far in order to solicit your feedback. We envision the Doodle Essex, NY series as a cooperative community initiative, and we’re asking for your assistance.
Basically, we’re “crowdsourcing” the beta edition of Doodle Essex, New York Architecture, asking as many readers as possible to help us make it better before it becomes more broadly available. Edit. Revise. Tweak. Shake out bugs. Iron out the kinks…
Although the first fifty print copies of the beta edition are almost sold out (there are still a few copies at the Essex Ice Cream Café and the Adirondack Art Association), we would be thrilled to provide you with a digital copy for free so that you can read and revise the handbook in time for our next print run. Request a PDF with the online form or email editor [at] essexonlakechamplain [dot] com for your complementary copy.
We hope you’ll take us up on our offer! Thank you.
Future Doodle Guides
While we’d be wise to stay focused on Doodle Essex, New York Architecture until it’s in final form, we are used to biting off more than we can chew. So we’re already working on additional Doodle Essex, NY guides.
If you’re interested in writing, editing, doodling or helping out with design and publishing, we would love to have you involved in these upcoming editions. Let us know how you’d like to be involved. Thanks. And enjoy the book.