25.01.2011 by Charles Burns
I need to ask for a little help. I’ve been commissioned to write a silhouette book, which for me is very exciting. The book is due to come out sometime in 2012. There’s only one real problem. I don’t know how to write!
The book will feature a wide variety of silhouette portraits, both traditional and modern, interspersed with snippets of history about eccentric silhouettists from the eighteenth century onwards. It’s exactly the kind of book I’ve been planning to write for years.
Without giving too much away, I’m planning to illustrate this book with a lot of silhouettes. In general they need to be portraits of modern-day people who are happy to appear in such a book. This is where you come in. I’m going to need all kinds of people to help me; adults, children, older people, beautiful people, ‘characters’, happy, sad, etc, &c.. Whatever category you consider yourself in, I need your profile!
So, for the next few weeks I’m making a one-time-only very special offer. Please send me a profile photo together with a brief note confirming that you are happy to be included in the project (or on behalf of children for those under 18.) Then, at some point in the future I’ll send you a free silhouette as a thank-you. I can’t say what kind of silhouette it will be, perhaps cut or painted, perhaps embellished. Maybe it’ll be a caricature, hollow-cut, or a full-length portrait. But you will get a silhouette.
As well as the book I hope to include all the silhouettes in an exhibition, perhaps later this year. This does mean it may be some little while before your silhouette arrives, but I hope that won’t deter you. Finally, just to be clear, in the majority of cases it’s only the silhouette which will appear in the book, not the photograph itself. The book won’t include any names printed next to the silhouettes, so the only possible way you could be identified is by the accuracy (or otherwise) of my work.
I do hope you’ll want to be involved in this project. Just get your mobile phone or digital camera and take a few shots of colleagues, family members or anybody who likes the idea. You need to show the whole head and shoulders (or if you like, full length) and be in profile. Don’t worry about background or lighting. I don’t need great quality photos, anything of a small to medium size, suitable for e-mailing, will do.
Don’t delay as the offer won’t remain for long. For obvious reasons I am reserving the right to call ‘time out’ at any point…
I’ll send updates as the project moves along. I’m thinking that writing *about* the project may help me improve my skills to write *in* the project. Therefore I may allow this simply newsletter to develop into a blog of some sort. I’ve never had a blog before, but I’m told they’re a good way to learn to write. Let’s see where this goes…