For 15 years artist Larry Vigon (www.larryvigon.com) has collected his dreams in a 176-page journal done in acrylic paint and ink. A painter and world-renowned graphic designer, Vigon began his career designing record albums for Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Counting Crows, Carole King, Frank Sinatra, Bonnie Raitt, and hundreds of others.
Vigon’s journals however, are very personal and encapsulate almost 15 years of work. Vigon says about the journals: “In the bringing together of dream and paint, imagination and matter, both are changed. And more importantly, I am changed in an alchemical process that turns fear and anxiety into a creative, healing and life affirming activity.” After tim, Vigon began to share his journals with others and “was surprised that nearly everyone wanted to touch the images, something that is not usually encouraged with an original piece of art” It was this response that attracted Jim Mairs from Quantuck Lane Press who set up the book project with renowned Modedori Press in Verona, Italy.
Scanning the book for reproduction and distribution posed two separate and equally problematic technical issues for DigitalFusion. First, Vigon’s book couldn’t be scanned on a flatbed scanner because his images have so much depth and texture that they would be out of focus. Second, a great deal of the pages have gold and silver leaf which reflect light and would appear washed out in the normal scanning process.
In response to the challenges, DigitalFusion used a large format digital copy system and special museum light banks that effectively captured the images with all the detail and color of the original work. A Better Light camera system was set directly above the paintings and lights on either side were adjusted until all the subtle details of the paintings were illuminated. “Each page ended up being an illustration of its own,” says Ronn Brown, who worked on the scans. “To make all those brush strokes and gold reflection appear is a very intricate process. We had to relight for almost every page we captured.” After scanning, the images were pulled into Photoshop and Milstein worked to enhance the shadows, light and texture. “To make a 3-dimensional object 2-dimensional we needed to create the illusion of depth in the image as possible,” says Milstein.
From the digital files, press proofs were made to be compatible with European printing standards, as the book will be published in Italy. “A press proof is becoming a rarer thing every year and the result we have here is the closest thing to the original you could possibly have,” says artist Larry Vigon “I insisted to the publisher that we use DigitalFusion. I wasn’t going anywhere else.”
Vignon’s book will hit stores in September 2005, released by Modedori Press. Milstein says, “It’s the most spectacular fine art copy book ever produced in this medium!”