Notes on self-publishing

In January 2011 I bought a domain, wrote a mission statement, and decided to launch a small press. For four years NSEW (North, South, East, West) was a tiny publisher that produced postcards, artist books, and other unique items out of Brookyln and later on, Oslo.

Our mission is to pair great ideas + imagery with available and easily obtained materials to make objects that are quality and affordable. We publish in small editions and take pride in attention to detail and special touches.

From the beginning I always referred to NSEW as "we" even though it was just me. But soon enough I needed a printer (see above) and Espen Friberg joined in. Later on Mylinh Trieu Nguyen, Camilla Skibrek, and Rolf Holmberg were also involved.

At the same time I started NSEW, I embarked on a year long Zine Subscription. Each month I produced a new experimental publication (both in form and content) for a total of 12 zines and 365 total copies by the end of 2011. In the beginning I offered 10 special subscriptions for $100 each = $1000 to start the press.

That fall I moved to Oslo, started an MFA program, and volunteered to help with a student-organized publishing course. However, it wasn't before long that I found myself planning things alone. But instead of abandoning the initiative and interested students, I did a lot of research and facilitated the school's acquisition of two Risographs, a perfect binding machine, and a paper creaser.

Not soon after, I decided to take a year off and was given a contract to teach a new once-a-week experimental yet practical workshop: the Self-Publishing Workshop.




Pictures from the Self-Publishing Workshop (top) and other workshops I was invited to lead as NSEW in Oslo (middle, with Camilla) and Bergen (bottom, with Espen).



For awhile the Riso MZ790 I sourced made a lot of appearances in NSEW publications.




Throughout NSEW's four year stint, I frequently traveled to attend book fairs and exhibitions representing over 50 artists published through the imprint: notably to Oslo, Bergen, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Tokyo, Antwerp, NYC, and Milan.


At the 2012 art book fair in Copenhagen, I was invited to curate a vitrine. With a nod to the original use of Risographs as printers for churches and political parties, I did a focus on personal and political publications.

I have also given short talks and lectures about self-publishing.
Here I was in 2012 (Lithuania) and 2016 (Bergen).

After a one year hiatus, I started a new publishing imprint in 2016 to first and foremost publish my own projects: Hverdag Books.



For the first two years, I operated as a Riso-nomad: traveling around to print, give workshops, swap technical advice and take courses on Risograph machines.

From clockwise: Pausebread Press in Shanghai, from a workshop at MONDO Books in Tromsø, High Tide in Philadelphia, and the legendary KNUST in Nijmegen.

In 2017 I had a solo-exhibition at my local culture-library in Oslo featuring all my published works spanning 15 years. Here is a very nice interview (på norsk) on their blog.



15 years, however, is no reason to stop producing artist publications.
From the making of Å finne stemmen on artist residency at Pamflett in Bergen, 2017.

In 2018, I finally pieced together my second Risograph workshop with a CV3230.
Legal size printing in four colors (red, blue, green, yellow) plus black.
Finally, back in the saddle again, etc.

Interested in workshops / lectures / advice / printing? Get in touch.