”In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit counts more than the object pursued.” (Lee)

I did it.
 
Honestly, I didn't believe that I could, and a year ago at this time, my head was far removed from publishing a gallery book of my Art. In fact, without tragedies of 2019, my vibrant star called "Echoprism" may never have been born.

But it has been, and I couldn't be prouder of my accomplishment. "Echoprism (Volume 1)" is the fourth release from the publishing arm of Seretic Studios, Antithesis Press.
 
My new gallery book "Echoprism" is based on "Project Alexandria" - an effort which I undertook last year to streamline, organize and digitize my art inventory and library. The scope started at nearly 600 pieces of art, 90% of which I made with pencil, ink, canvas, wax, wood, acrylic, oil, watercolor, resin, and metal. I have since surpassed 600 pieces in my Serenity Gallery inventory.
 
The effort took a year of my life -- hundreds of dedicated, eye-straining hours of collecting, measuring, cleaning, polishing, updating, fixing, photographing (often in awkward positions for this photographer), detailing, updating inventory spreadsheets and apps, reorganizing, re-labeling, renaming, creating written content, designing a page layout, executing the same framework on 358 pages, revising (multiple times), proofing, editing, updating, digitizing and merchandising.

Whew. That was a mouthful, and this creation has been a daily burden for a long time. Far longer than I've ever experienced for a creative project and/or expected to devote to it. 
 

The birthing of my first book "Obscurious" (2011) was magical, surreal and empowering. Even though it never took off with sales or audience, the sheer awe of holding my own published book in my hands was exciting. "Publish a book every year" was my stated goal after that.

I planned out a path of at least 8 "Bonesetter" books (my "poetical picturebooks"), and immediately got started on "Xenomorphine" (2013). I quickly discovered that the "book-a-year" target wasn't reasonable for a professional adult with a duties and responsibilities. While I have notebooks full of content, ideas and plots, I don't have the time to translate them into reality.

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp", from a poem by Robert Browning, suggests that we should attempt things that we may not attain, reach for things, even though we may never hold them. I suppose I'm the poster-child for that. My goals often seem to be an exercise in reaching, rather than holding. Most goals I target and dreams I strive for  slide just beyond my grasp and float at the edge of my life, both mocking me as another failed effort and teasing me with plotlines still available.

Paths possible under the right circumstances, of course.

My metalmorphosis - the dream of taking my art and life in a different direction - was birthed to this world as stillborn. I made a series of choices that backfired. Despite Browning's poetic positivity, aiming for the impossible can have damaging effects on your timeline. I will work to survive the fallout of my failed choices for the rest of my life.

I reached into the unknown for a new hope, and the Universe laughed in my face.

And presented me with "Echoprism", as if I'm a slave to a different fate, one that keeps me focused on the madness and poverty of Art, as opposed to the mechanics of a normal life and its trendy, comfortable dreams.

Seven years after I published my second book "Xenomorphine", and one year after the passing of my Father, I've birthed the biggest, brightest star that I have in my life. As it settles into its place in my history and the Universe, painstaking in development and viewed by few, I take pride in this massive accomplishment. I'm confident that the Echo star could only have been born with this path, which has allowed me the complete freedom of schedule to pour hundreds of hours - possibly over a thousand over the last year - into redefining my Gallery, getting reacquainted with all that I've done over the course of my life, inventorying and cataloging and capturing, refreshing on Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, reviewing and tweaking every pixel and page number.

All for the calm that follows creation, recognition that both reach and grasp are part of flawed human process that starts at the crib and ends in the grave.

Everything is impermanent. Even stars, like "Echoprism", may someday fade from existence. For now, I hope it lights the life of family, friends, and fans for as long as fate allows.

For me, it is a stone on the path of artistic legacy, one that will exist long after I'm gone. The journey has been an arduous one, but productive and cathartic.

Punctuated by being released on Palindrome Day. 

If you're interested in ordering a copy of "Echoprism (Volume 1), please visit my new "ECHOPRISM" page dedicated to the book for ordering instructions.

"Echoprism (Volume 2)" is over 50% complete, and will be available 4/1/2020 via Blurb and Amazon. I'm excited to say that Volume 2 is EVEN BETTER than Volume 1, as it contains many of my more recent pieces and creations. Watch for excerpts from both on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for your interest in my Art.

#xoterica #echoprism #antithesispress #sereticstudios

Artemis Sere Xoterica 26 The Still
Artemis Sere's "Echoprism (Volume 1)"