Yet again I’m here to tell you that scanning a lot of stuff in is really boring. I’m usually good at scanning in my work as I go so as not to leave myself a big job later on but sometimes the system breaks down. As I finish a piece I’l scan it into my computer within a day or two if not immediately. With other things I have a system such as my sketchbook or art cards. I let the art cards pile up until I have twenty or thirty of them and then scan them all in. That’s about a half an hour’s worth of scanning and it’s not too bad. Same with the sketchbook. Every ten or maybe twenty pages I’ll scan the pages. It works and I don’t get overwhelmed with scanning.

For the past year or so I’ve been making some art cards that I’ve been calling ink cards. They all outside what my normal art cards are. My normal art cards are baseball card size finished pieces. They could be pencil, ink, or color but they’re finished. With them there is a beginning and an end. The ink cards are not that. Instead they are spontaneous brush drawings. I’ve made them just to make new images. They’re not finished pieces like my normal art cards are and as a consequence of that I’ve had no idea what to do with them. I’ve posted pictures of some of them on Instagram but that’s it. Since they’re not my normal art cards I also haven’t scanned them in with my art cards. I’ve put them their own separate pile. A pile I thought I had scanned in.

Yesterday an idea for what to do with these ink cards popped into my head. It’s in the beginning stages and a bit unformed but I thought I’d work on it. I had about thirty new ones sitting on my desk that I knew were unscanned so I thought I’d use some old ones. I looked all around on my computer for them and could find nothing. It took me fifteen minutes of looking before I came to the conclusion that I had never scanned any of my ink cards in. Frustrated with myself I decided I may as well start scanning. Once again I totally forgot how much work it would be.

I had about 160 old ink cards to scan in. That was a lot more than I thought. Things can really pile up when you’re not paying attention. Also I have a very meticulous method for scanning in such stuff. It saves time and work later on but it means I have to pay attention now. The good news is that I have an 11×17 inch scanner so I can put sixteen cards on it at a time. This takes a minute as I have to line them all up in a grid and try to keep them straight. The bad news it that my scanner doesn’t do batch scanning. If it did I’d use the software to put a little selection box around all the individual cards and then hit “Batch scan” and it would make sixteen scans all in a row. Instead I select one card, hit scan, it scans, I select another card, and repeat. Not a tremendous burden but it makes things a little more boring.

The software automatically numbers the cards as I scan them in and then I write than number on the back of the card after I scan them. I find this easier than numbering them first because then I’d have to make sure they were scanner in the right order so the file number could match the number on the cards. There is much less room for error if I number the card after the file number. It means I have to pay attention to the order I take the cards off the scanner in but that’s not too hard.

It’s usually at this point that I would make sure the cards were straight in their digital state and if not I’d straighten them out. Often they are off by a degree or three as I’m just placing them on the scanner by hand and so can’t get them machine straight. But with so many scans to do I skipped this step. I may very well pay for that latter but since I’ll only be using a small percentage of the scans right now I put that off.

I ended up scanning in a hundred and twenty eight cards in a little over an hour and a half. It seemed like much longer. Drop a sixteen card batch down, scan them in one by one, take them off the scanner, number them, and put another batch down. Repeat that eight times. It all turns into a blur.

It was interesting seeing the ink drawings scanned in though. My not yet complete idea has something to do with “Big from small”. I want to present the drawings larger than they are in real life so people can see the little nuances of the ink on the paper. That’s one of the interesting things about a brush and ink. They can make all sorts of shapes, lines, and general splatters that can either coalesce into a drawing or even be interesting on their own. I want to try and figure out a way to express this with a digital book. I want to try pair them with some of my street photos by I’m not sure how. I was trying to play around with such pairings when I went looking for my ink cards scans only to find none. Now I’m almost ready to get started on that. But first I still have fifty more cards to scan in. Let this be a lesson. Don’t let things pile up even if you can’t find a reason at the moment to not let them pile up. Avoiding two or three hours in a row worth of boring scanning is the reason.