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Polly Lada-Mocarski



Richard,

Thanks for the lengthy posting on the passing of Polly Lada-Mocarski. I h=
ad
the pleasure of meeting her once, but had heard from others how much she'=
s
done for book arts. We're coming to the point where a lot of the older
generation are leaving us. Ward Ritchie, a letterpress printer and
publisher, died here in LA last year. He also had a long and full life an=
d
was, as I suspect Polly was, generous to the younger generation. =


Also, thanks for the history of your trials and tribulations, regarding
your own work, designs being ripped off, attribution not granted, etc. I
have my own version of that, having worked 20 plus years in the field.
There is little understanding or discussion about the difference between
sharing, supporting others, and professional behavior.  Its stunning to
walk into a show and have the gallery filled with work that looks like
yours--made by someone else! or see a book structure you've worked on for=

months, taken wholesale, and sold, without credit,  a month after your ow=
n
book comes out. =


People may not be taking "food out your mouth" but no one would think abo=
ut
calling a scientist and saying, "Hey, that formula you've been working on=

looks like it might lead somewhere. Mind faxing me your notes?"  It was
interesting to  go through the UPS strike. It reminded me that almost all=

the artists I know are working full time for part time wages, and have no=

decent health insurance. =


I've been doing two things that are proactive on this account: educating
people to what my job as an artist actually is, day to day. I've started
with my brothers, who talk a lot about their jobs, but don't have a clue
what I really do. And I talk to other people, the general public, who
project some kind of idyllic, carefree artist's life on me, about art as =
a
job.

The second thing is through teaching: teaching book arts workshops that
focus on developing ideas, and working in ways that tend to eliminate the=

impulse to only copy the work of others. It could be called developing
personal voice, as it is in writing. =


For strictly job work, there are great resources on standard fair busines=
s
practices, usually for the graphic design field, that can easily be adapt=
ed
for job work. I think it takes getting burned several times to realize on=
e
needs to take action.  The stories you recount are all too common,
unfortunately.

Susan King,
Paradise Press
Los Angeles


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