Why no art?

When we started this journey, Brad Sneed and I (Phil here) envisioned a bunch of poets AND a bunch of illustrators building Project OpenBook. Here we are a few months later and we’ve got some momentum behind building a group of talented poets. But so far, Brad has created all of the amazing illustrations.

On the upside, that’s great because Brad’s work is utterly, shockingly amazing… But…there’s a downside.

Problem #1: Brad is a mere mortal
Brad Sneed is an amazingly talented artist. But he is human. He’s DONATING a lot of time to Project OpenBook. And he wants to keep doing that. But realistically, he can only create a couple of illustrations each week for Project OpenBook (on top of his other projects). Which leads to…

Problem #2: A growing backlog
There are about ~20 poems waiting in the wings. If we wait for illustrations and post ~2 poems per week, then we’re forcing people to wait several months to see their poems hit the site. That sort of turn-around is OK for government work, but it doesn’t exactly encourage folks to keep contributing here.

So our hope is to post more than two poems per week. Ideally, we’d love to post one poem every business day (let’s all take the weekends off, shall we?). We want this to be a site you can check once per day with your kids and count on seeing something new. We want language arts teachers to be able to come back once per day and read the poems to their classes. We want art teachers to come back once per day and check the artwork with their classes (and be able to contribute to un-illustrated poems).

So…here’s what we’re going to do about it. We’re going to start posting some poems without artwork. On those poems that don’t yet have artwork, we’re going to disable the ratings. That way we’re not unfairly putting those poems at a disadvantage for high ratings (remember your ratings determine what eventually goes into the book). Then once an artist submits artwork for the poem, we’ll repost it WITH ratings.

We hope this will:

  • allow us to post more poems, more often
  • show the work of more contributors
  • get more illustrators involved

We hope you’ll agree that this is a good idea.  But we’re very open to making adjustments as we go.  If you have thoughts (good or bad), let us know what you think in the comments below.  As always, thanks for writing and reading along!

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3 Responses to “Why no art?”

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