Today, as part of our continuing series of interviews with enhanced ebook authors, we bring you our one-on-one with artist Jeff Frost. A few things to know about Jeff: his camera bag contains as many motors as it does lenses, he has an impish sense of humor, and his mohawk could probably kill. Also: his art combines elements of time-lapse photography, painting, sculpture, land art, video, and graffiti, which makes an enhanced ebook – one that combines still images, audio, video, and hyperlinks – the perfect way for him to show off his work.
Blurb: Photographer? Videographer? Installation artist? How would you describe what you do?
Jeff: It depends on the project, but generally speaking I would describe what I do as a hideous compulsion towards creativity that I’ve tried to run away from many times. It has its downsides too.
Blurb: What does this particular ebook cover?
Jeff: It covers a time lapse, optical illusion, street art, and a film project I did called “Flawed Symmetry of Prediction.” Basically I explored the deserts of Southern California and parts of Utah at random, found abandoned buildings and painted optical illusions on the insides of them. I recorded the process with time lapse and stop-motion photography which I then turned into movie magic.
Blurb: What does an enhanced ebook with rich media allow you to do that a printed book doesn’t?
Jeff: It allows you to add video, audio, and links to your project. It’s also a much better way to store books. I walk around with any number of photography books on my iPad which I can reference in the field or when I’m speaking about my work. I can’t exactly lug a library around, and it’s a huge advantage to be able to present my work to people in a way that incorporates audio and video without having to reach for a laptop.
Blurb: And what advantages does an enhanced ebook have over hosting content on a blog or Facebook page?
Jeff: The main advantage to me is permanence and a sense that a well-designed ebook is a work of art in its own right. Facebook pages and blogs have an ephemeral quality, and I think that’s their strength, but an ebook not only has the advantage of being a book, it has the advantage of being an electronic book. Facebook and blog posts can be about works of art, but they’re still on Facebook. Right next to the painting I spent hundreds of hours on is a commercial for Mitt Romney or toothpaste. With a website, there’s another tab to be opened, or someone contacting you on Skype, or a notification about an email. An eBook is a great way to spend time with someone’s work without the distractions.
Blurb: Any advice you’d give to other artists looking to make an ebook of their work?
Jeff: Start by fasting for five days and five nights. Then get a large, mint-chocolate-chip shake at Baskin Robbins even, if you don’t like that flavor. You want your book to be good, don’t you? Follow that by an hour of meditation. Organize your thoughts and files. Put on your happy face, a football helmet, stop reading the internet, and just go for it.