Watch the video on the crowdfunding site read the story, PLEASE PRESS THE PLEDGE BUTTON and join me – let’s publish a photobook together. Imagine who we could inspire.
From the first day we walked, people said: “I wish my children would walk with us.” It took me a couple of days to realise that mine weren’t walking with me, I was walking with them.
Yes, of course, I wanted to do the walk, and I thought it would be a great space to give my sons to decide what kind of men they wanted to be; it was my gift to them. But, they are the ones who watched a film and stood up as the credits rolled and said they wanted to do this.
That is all it took; an ordinary Tuesday night, a plate of sausage mash and gravy, and a DVD of ‘The Way’, and we set out on a walk that gently changed our lives.
A film or a book can be a life-changing inspiration, I have been asked for a book countless times, I have to publish a photobook but in order to do that I need you to trade with me; and here’s the story of why …
Within three weeks of coming back the story became an exhibition in the cafe at the back of our Town Hall, a space created by Art on The Street for artists to exhibit for free. An artist friend of mine, Gail Dorrington, insisted I tell the story on a opening view night, and so we turned it into support for a locally run food bank, Open Kitchen. Two dozen friends brought cans to donate and listened to, and looked at, our story and said: “You are going to do a book aren’t you?”
I was at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair when the Gallery at Ice saw the story and wanted to showcase it, and it became a solo exhibition. The Talk became a formal event, and the place was filled. At the end everyone wanted a book, more specifically a photobook with what they had seen and heard.
It all grew so much when it was invited to Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, who came up with wonderful ideas for the exhibition experience and, again, I gave a talk; and we had to add chairs as it was full to capacity. Again, I was asked for a book, a photobook, something people could take away that held the inspiration.
Then the exhibition was accepted into St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, and it became mobile; and 42,000 visited the cathedral while it was there, and people asked for something they could take away with them – a photobook.
I finally understand; I see it in the faces in the audience as I talk, and when people stop and look at the exhibition and are drawn in by the stories and pictures. I bought a book once, ‘The Pilgrimage’, by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho back in 1987, and said I would do this one day.
It took 30 years, but a simple book was still the spark of a dream. My sons watched a film.
I finally understand; as I have been inspired by something as simple as a book, my sons by a film, it is no longer about me. I need to publish a photobook, its just the way that inspiration gets out.
But I am the one who has to figure out how to make it happen.
As a published author I know the publishing process, and the market forces in play, a coffee-table book is not on any publisher’s wish list, the cost to benefit ratio isn’t there for them. But I live in a time when it is possible to publish independently; the same, if not higher quality, product.
However, I need to find a way to raise the publishing costs, I am the starving artist you might imagine, and a lone parent, and we have a pilgrim’s means. We are fine, we have all we need, but I don’t have the extra resources to bankroll a book.
Yet, I know a book is what I have to find a way to publish. So I am turning to you. For help.
It is a beautiful book, I have run up a prototype, I have an editor to help me make sure the text sparkles and tells the story, and comes without typos. I have a designer who will make sure it is laid out beautifully, and I have a print house that will make sure the book is the highest quality. It is registered and has an ISBN, a unique numeric international book identifier, and the costs are only £5,000, not a lot if you will join me.
I didn’t want to just ask for donations;
I could have done a sponsored run or some fund-raiser, but I wanted to do something where everyone who helped got something fair in exchange and became a part of it. It is more honest.
- The simplest trade is a pre-order of the book for £25.
- You could pre-order 2 and give one to a friend who you know will love it, or donate it to a school or library for £50 and I will sign them.
- But if you just want to support and just throw £10 into the pot, I am very happy and it really makes a difference. In exchange you will get The Talk but not just any talk, a TEDx Talk; a friend, Laura Lucardini, suggested it and I will stand on the legendary red circle and tell the story, with pictures. You can contribute just £10 and get the TEDx Talk in a PDF, speech and pictures.
- If you would like one of the photographs of lessons we learned while out walking (see the collection here), and a book, that would normally cost £115, and I’ve wrapped it up as a bundle for £100
- If you would like the mobile exhibition and a talk to come to a venue near you I can travel anywhere in the UK with it, and £500 will make that happen, including travel costs. This can also be donated and I will arrange it for you and dedicate the talk to you.
- I have also been given a camera exactly like the one I used, a Samsung Nx1000, a brilliant 3rd-generation mirror-less DSLR. A smart camera that has literally become an extension of my eyes and hands. It is responsive, light and frees me up from worrying about its settings and technology to concentrate on the moment I am drawn to. I will teach you how to use it over Skype, and you will get a photograph and a book and a TEDx Talk PDF, all this and the Samsung NX100 for £1000.
There are places that want the exhibition and the talk, like schools, and to keep telling the story I have to create the book, in order to do that I need you to trade with me.
If I had a plan to do this all along I would have all this organised, but I’m genuinely just trying to keep up with a story that wants to be heard; and I get it, my sons responded to a story. A this is a true story; at 12 and 16 my sons were inspired to walk for 33 days and 800km across a country. And it was the best thing they could have ever done.
The surprise was the throughly transformative overhaul I went through. For the first time I feel emotionally and physically in the same place, this is something we all want isn’t it?
Help me out here, please. I can’t do this without you.
Every single pound counts.
Watch the video on the crowdfunding site, HERE, read the story and the aims, PLEASE PRESS THE PLEDGE BUTTON – on the righthand side it’s the green button that says
Join me – let’s publish a photobook together.
Imagine who we could inspire.