Friday, February 29, 2008

Face Time

For as long as I can remember I've always loved a chance to see the inner workings of things. Given the choice, for example, of seeing a great Broadway musical from the front row or the wings, I'd choose the wings.

When I started working on It Itches, I knew next to nothing about how a book is published. After many months, I can now proudly say that I know almost next to nothing.

Recently I learned about the BLAD. To me, BLAD sounds like the name of a dashing Hungarian spy, or perhaps an onomatopoeia describing the sound of vomit. But my patient editor, Anne, explained that it stands for Book Layout And Design. The BLAD is a little sampler of the finished work that Interweave will use to mesmerize wholesale buyers into ordering hundreds of thousands of copies.

Needless to say, I support them in this mission.

So when Anne asked for an author portrait to put into the BLAD I was delighted to comply even though I am my least favorite subject. Interweave's publicity team specifically states that it does not want high school yearbook poses, and indeed my own is a perfect example (on so many levels) of What Not to Do.

Ugh

(The expression on my face perfectly conveys the joy I felt at being a tuition-paying pupil of my lousy high school. I remember the photographer told me to smile and I snapped, "I am smiling.")

So I decided to create what we in the click-click biz call an "environmental portrait" of myself in my natural setting. However, there proved to be too much traffic in the ice cream aisle at the supermarket; people kept knocking over the light stands with their shopping carts. So I went with Plan B and set up a shot at my drawing board.

To get the proper angle I had to elevate the camera on a tripod about seven feet off the ground, which of course meant to reach it I had to climb up my library steps. All told, with makeup and hair styling and wardrobe consults and such it took four hours to come up with one acceptable frame.

Come Closer, My Pretty

I sent it off to Interweave, and got a sweetly apologetic e-mail response from Anne. Apparently I had misunderstood. The photograph was nice, but...given the nature of the book, they wanted a drawn portrait. How about something like that avatar I'd used on Ravelry. That sure was cute!

This is the avatar she meant.

The Real Me

Honestly, how is the Pulitzer committee supposed to take me seriously with an image like this?

More Portraits

Three

I don't love taking pictures of myself, but you may have noticed I quite enjoy taking pictures of other knitters. And guess what: there are more 1,000 Knitters public shoots on the calendar.
  • March 15, 2008: Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Nota bene: Dixie (who I can't wait to meet) is asking folks to sign up in advance, so please check out the shop Web site for full details.

  • March 18, 2008: Windy City Knitting Guild in Chicago. The meeting is open to all; sittings will be first-come, first-served and space will be limited. If you haven't checked out the Guild yet, perhaps this would be a good time to visit. The meeting runs from 6:45–8:55, but I'll begin at 4:30 and have to stop about 8:30 in order to pack up the set.*

  • April 12, 2008: The Yarnery of St. Paul, MN is graciously hosting me at Yarnover from 9 am–5 pm. Yarnover is a daylong event held annually by the Minnesota Knitters Guild, with a free vendor market featuring 24 unique purveyors of fiber from across the Midwest, as well as the opportunity to register for classes with regional and national knitting teachers; for more information, visit www.knitters.org. The Yarnery will soon have model releases on hand for those who'd like to participate; they'd appreciate it if folks would sign up in advance.

  • May 31, 2008: The Knitting Nest in Austin, Texas. You read it right, y'all...Texas. I can't wait. We'll be shooting from 10 am to 5 pm. Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaw!
*Times edited because I am a dim bulb.

83 comments:

Angie said...

I love the portrait AND the drawn Avatar. Your personality seems to just jump right out of both. Can't wait for the book to come out.

Sue said...

you pull off looking hot effortlessly! But I do think it's funny that they want to use the sketch.

catspaw said...

Gee, it's such a great photo. I've been enjoying it on Ravelry. And looking at your high school photo, like a fine wine you're getting better with age. Chateau-neuf du Pape I think (probably spelled wrong). We'll be looking for the book.

Former Coworker Rebecca said...

I love the new photo of you. Excellent work, photographer. Your HS photo is mind-blowing as I could never imagine you with hair.

Laura Gallagher said...

Texas! YES! I will SO be coming down to Austin that weekend. Wheee.

Tina M. said...

Wow. I'm a happily married woman and all, so please take it the right way when I say that that is one DAMNED sexay author photo. With that photo you could sell Twinkies to supermodels. Seriously.

And how come you never come to NY, or did I miss that one?

anne marie in philly said...

hairstyling and makeup? you are so good looking you don't need either!

I have heard there are hot cowboys in texas...

lerve the avatar!

Guido from Boston said...

Can't tell if I am missing the joke but, is it me, or does the photo you took have the same grimace as the one of you in high school?

Lori said...

With the book getting so close, does that mean that you'll be coming to TNNA in June? Maybe a 1000 knitters shoot in Columbus?

Alyson said...

It's embarassing to comment for the first time to say this, of all things - but that photo is HOT. Nice vaguely wicked eyes.

Then again, the avatar is pretty smoldering too. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Shall I rope you a cowboy for your Austin visit?

CANNOT WAIT!

KellyD said...

I dont suppose you would send me an 8X10 glossy of your photo? Personally I think its amazing! And just for the record? Bald is hot hot hot!!

Anonymous said...

Pulitzer, smulitzer. I think you'd be a shoo-in for the Thurber Prize.

trek said...

Didn't know you went to school in Hawaii.

JoVE said...

I think I have seen a drawn portrait of Alison Bechdel at her drawing board. Is it in her biography? I bet she has great ideas.

Diana said...

Why, oh, why do I look at that photo and hear the audience chamber music from "The King and I?"

Love both it and the avatar. Verra cute!

Fiberphile (aka Rachel) said...

I agree with angie.

Cindy said...

High School picture - a real "brain" of a student. Blue shirt picture: oh la la you devil
Can't wait for THE book. COme to Seattle! I need a signed copy.

spinningleaves said...

I'm coming out of lurkdom to say "yowza!" I lurve the environmental shot...Looking forward to meeting you when you swing through the Philly area (you're shuddering with fear now, aren't you?) Your blog is part of my "daily fix," along with at least 4 cups of coffee and some requisite yarn fondling. Don't you feel all warm and fuzzy knowning I count your work among my many addictions?

Anonymous said...

I'm mesmerized. Completely. Sadly, however, I am not a wholesale buyer.

Rachel H said...

or, apparently, smart enough to type my name in before I hit publish.

abbenormal said...

So glad you're coming to Austin!

marcia in austin said...

I am so glad you are coming to Austin! I just hope I'm not out of town on a job when the time comes.

datatech57 said...

Oh, Franklin. I love your photos! Especially the new one.

Please, please tell me you are coming to Maryland Sheep and Wool. I will be the one with a hairstyle similar to yours, darn it.

Chelsea said...

Oh, that is so funny! I think that the two seem to capture different parts of your personality. I could just see the picture one turning around after the serious shot is done and making the face of the animation pic. So funny! They are both fabulous - as are you - and I can't wait to see the new book! :)

Steven said...

So glad you're coming to Austin. You'll LOVE it here!

Bobbi said...

I'm bemused by the fact that you went to a school called "Damien"! Oh, Daaamiennnn!
Wicked!!!

Melissa said...

Excellent photo - and it goes to illustrate just how far one can come from high school, thank the gods! Although the avatar is, well, Franklin in a nutshell.
I hope you can make it to Maryland Sheep & Wool, too! I propose that you take some knitter photos on Friday, so we weary vendors could participate, too.

Karen Frisa said...

Austin is great! And their Amy's ice cream has a fantastic reputation; maybe you'll be able to check it out while you're there.

Megara said...

I decide today is a good day to delurk... It looks kind of creepy that I do it to say that they are mad not to want that photo in the book.
It was very nice of Dolores and Harry not to push their way in front of you in the photo though.

calicokitty6 said...

As others have said, I love both the photo and the sketch because you personality shines through.
(Is that Dolores in the background trying to steal your shot?) lol

Eileen said...

< sigh >

MollyBeees said...

Love the portrait and it's "I've got a secret and you're not gonna be happy when you find out about it mwahahahahah" stare. You look a little like Jeff Goldblum! :-)

lisamaesc said...

I love your photo!

Kim said...

I just got my list, and I see that I'll finally get to meet you at the end of July! :-) Looking forward to it!

April said...

Is it warm in here, or is it just me?

*Swoon*

*Thud*

Jennifer said...

The 4 hour picture looks great! It's hard to believe they can take those high school pictures in about... what? 4 seconds? Congrats on the book!

TO in SP said...

After half an hour of admiring that environmental pic,I'm feeling a bit . . . oh, what's the word? It's right at the tip of my tongue.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading along, and suddenly realized I recognize knitter #16 there. That's me! I thought I'd need to wait to see how it turned out, but wow! I usually hate pictures of myself, but you do some great work. Thanks, Franklin!

Kristen said...

Da-yum, boyfriend. You definitely took a ride on the HOT train after high school!

Cheri said...

Love both the blue shirt photo and your avatar (can't they use both?). High school pictures are always...um...well...isn't nice that high school is in the past? (not that yours is a bad photo, but mine. was.)

Still hoping you'll visit Colorado.

Judith in Ottawa said...

Damn, that's hot!

Sorka said...

That portrait is stunning! WOW! You are good!
Denise

Anonymous said...

Love the high school name it fits so well with your Mephistophelian look in the environmental photo....

hotcha.

Camille

christina said...

yea!!! the TKN date is set!!!

And..um...there's an Amy's Ice Cream in the shopping center across from TKN.

JO said...

I am SO glad you're coming to Austin. I've already got it on my calendar!

dale-harriet said...

Where have I seen that handsome sort of picture...ANTON LeVAY! (My big hero, and no, I'm not a Satanist. I have my time in Eau Claire, I am just hyperventilating. I intend to lay my very own eyeballs right on you, so there!

Alwen said...

I'm gonna "Me too" knitter #16. I rarely like pictures of myself, but you got a genuine smile out of me.

I've been smiling for the camera almost since birth. Mom says my camera-obsessed grandfather showed up to film me in the nursery shortly after I was born. At 1:46 am. Bet I didn't smile for that one.

You're a genius. (Where's that Ravelry love button?)

Anonymous said...

I love the photo! But is that a knitting needle coming out of your right ear?

Crochet Goddess said...

I think you look so sexy in the photo.

=Tamar said...

What they said, but heck, I even like the high school photo. Can you draw an avatar that looks like the "environment" photo?

DianeS said...

Does anyone else think you look like a djinn, upon leaving a very tasteful lamp, is about to give you exactly what you wished for...and will than laugh at you.

Kathleen said...

I think your hotness has increased exponentially since high school. Which is certainly better than the reverse.

Suzie said...

I love your photo..they should use it! Awww...I'll be in Austin in a couple weeks! Please come back to San Francisco and shoot us SF Bay Area knitters!

kt said...

Dear Franklin,

Thanks for baring your soul and sharing the high school photo along with the fabulous present day shot and avatar.

It gives all of us high school caterpillars the hope of emerging as splendidly evolved as you have.

innostrantsa said...

OMGOMGOMGYOUARECOMINGTOAUSTINOMG.

*hyperventilates*

Must.Not.Explode.On.The.Franklin. But I'll second a previous commenter and sing the praises of Amy's Ice Creams. Good stuff.

I can't believe TPTB would prefer a hand-drawn portrait over that most excellent and wickedly delectable shot of yourself, but I'm certain you'll rise to the occasion. 8D Can't wait for your finished book-- this is so exciting!

Studio Christine said...

add my swoon to the rest.

definately look like the cat who ate the canary!

....and is Ms Van Hoofen lurking in the background?

...maybe "you" on the back of your book, and the caricature as a signature in the forward?

Meribeth said...

Oh Baby, you are one hunk of burning love. I know that dated me.. What is it about men with a bemused evil look? Perfect for an operatic Mefestofele.

The avatar is wonderful! I think you are still displaying an attitude you developed in Damien? A military school..in Hawaii..cruel and unusual punishment.

Barb B. said...

Dianes is right. When I was a little kid, there was a movie with a wicked genie (he scared the crap out of me, but I was a weird kid) You look exactly like him in that picture....of course I am not a kid anymore, so ya don't scare me. But genie out of the bottle, yeah.
I'd buy the book for that pic alone.
Are ya gonna come to Cold Lake? Nah, didn't think so. Rats.

zigzagstitch said...

So, do you really have library steps in your apartment? That is cool.

nosenabook said...

Love the actual photo, it would make a great back cover, what's their problem?

Kathy said...

That self portrait is positively...literary. Nicely done; but I wouldn't have minded the ice cream aisle...

I went to Radford HS in Honolulu about the same time; had no idea Damien was so awful. Did not Democratic Presidential hopeful Obama matriculate there? Or Punahou?

If you are photographing in TX, it seems it couldn't be much longer till we see you around DC, right?

Terri D. said...

Well, go know. In HS, you bore an alarming resemblance to Christophuh Moltisanti from The Sopranos. Yet another reason for me to crush on you.

Susan B. said...

I'm knitting you a washcloth shaped like a bat so you'll always remember your trip to Austin.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin - Love the photo of you with Delores in the background. It shows your mischievous side perfectly. I think they should use it and the avatar in the book somehow. (Avatar on the dust jacket flap; photo as frontispiece?) Can't wait until it's published. Take care - Joe, in Wyoming

The Mad Crocheter said...

Wow. I had been wondering where your hot hot new ravatar came from.

Auntly H said...

aaarrrgggh! You're coming to St. Paul and I'm going to be out of town for a volunteer thing on the Iowa border. Any chance you're staying until Sunday? I'll buy you brunch...
If not, I think I'll trek to Eau Claire in March instead.

Anonymous said...

I love the portrait! You are so HOT, Franklin. You should marry me. For reals. ;0)

Jena the yarn harpy said...

It's a pity... that picture is gorgeous! The blue shirt is perfect on you and I love the slight smile - very confident. Who knew one man could be such a great writer, artist, photographer and so good-looking? :)

Lee Ann said...

You and time work very well together. Tell your editor that none of the other knitting authors have to style themselves like their art in their author photos. I mean, dude, are any of these chicks having to pose with their needles and wool in their hair? Worse, in their cleavage? I think not.

And after all that time styling your hair, dammit, that shot deserves to be publicised.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo-- except all I see once I look past your wonderful eyes is that black book on the table, looking like it's coming out of your ear....

deniasha said...

I love the portrait though it does give you a slightly evil plotting look. Still, it's very good and I love it.

Evelyn said...

"I love the photo! But is that a knitting needle coming out of your right ear?"

My thought as well.

Madame Leiderhosen said...

You really are unspeakably handsome. The photo at your drawing board is rather fearsome, like at any moment you'll unleash a barrage of drunken sheep armed with roving upon an unsuspecting world. Think "Bond villain", but hot.

Seattle Yogini said...

Your portrait is wonderful, too bad it wasn't "the one". Save it for future use though!

P.s. That blue is a great color on you. :-)

Valkryie Knit This said...

I'm s very glad you'll be coming to Minneapolis to shoot for 1,000 knitters! I'll be about 8 months pregnant, and what with the having to pee every 13 seconds, I'm glad you'll be only an hour away. :)

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, Franklin. Where's the 1,000 Knitters shoot in Kennett Square, PA? Did I miss something?
Sigh,
Marianne

Fe said...

O, Franklin! The Yarnery! O, joy! That is only 2 miles from my house - and I was thinking that it was the perfect place for you to do a shoot - except that I crochet....*ha*

Loved the drawn avatar. Loved the portrait. Thank you. Fiona.

Susan said...

Yeeeeaaahhhhhh, riiiiiiiiiiiight.



You totally look like someone who eats lots of ice cream.

Unless, that is, there's a new kind of Ben & Jerry's that is named - what - Bulging Bicep Brownie Chunk? Absolute Ab-tastic Apple?

Sahara said...

Oh you were a cutie-pie in high school! But, you look so much fiercer now! That mixed blood is rockin! Can I use the current photo to raise money amongst my knitting brothers to raise money for your trip to NYC?

SFMichael said...

Have we mentioned lately how gorgeous you are?

Eldronius said...

Even though they did not want the portrait, the time spent was well worth it. A fantastic photo of you...style with a touch of sexy.

www.mueblesbaratos.nom.es said...

The writer is totally right, and there is no skepticism.