Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Carnet de Voyage
Last week I journeyed to France to attend the Carnet de Voyage. This is a book fair that focuses on illustrated travel journals. This genre is very popular in France, and there is nothing close to it here in North America. I went primarily to learn and investigate what is being done as well as in the hopes of finding a publisher for my book about the Camino de Santiago.
The show was much larger than I had anticipated. There were easily 100 artists with booths profiling their work, as well as books for sale. These books were both by some large publishing houses as well as a table of self-publications by the participating artists, offered for sale by volunteers helping with the fair. Only the juried artists were able to meet with publishers, but I did manage to talk to a couple of them and left copies of my draft book as well as many conversations with the participating artists. I learned something and built enthusiasm with each conversation. Several of my Urban Sketcher mentors and friends, that I met last July in Barcelona were participating, so I had the fun of visiting with them also.
On reflection, as much as it was a long way to go, it was extremely worthwhile. I brought home some great examples of books and had several signed by the artists and while it's a long way away, I'm thinking I should submit to participate next year by way of a goal and deadline to work towards.
In addition, the overriding impression was the wide variety of styles, the rigour and volume of work each artist had produced and above all, people following their dream to go out and explore the world and document it through their own eyes.