Cannot Exist #4 will come out (I hope) sometime in December. We're seeking cover art in accordance with the following idea:
There will be 100 copies of the fourth issue of Cannot Exist. Each of at least 50 will feature a unique cover, an original work of art not to be found anywhere else. If you make drawings, paintings, photographs, collages, visual poems, etc., either habitually or only for the purposes of such proposals, and you're interested in contributing a single cover, we'd love to hear from you. This proposal isn't restricted to professionals. We're interested in everything from happy accidents to single marks to virtuosic productions.
Your work will most likely wrap around the cardstock cover of the magazine. That does mean that it will be folded in half, with three staples along the spine, and two additional folds on the ends for the wraparound (like the dust jacket of a hardcover book--plus staples, and sans spine).
It should be no more than 8 inches high by 18 inches wide. The piece of paper, canvas, etc. it's on should be at least 16 inches wide (18 is ideal), but there are no minimum height requirements, and the work itself need not take up the entire surface.
The front and back cover of the magazine (i.e., the parts that don't wrap around to the inside of the cover) together measure just over 11 inches across. A work, therefore, might be 11 inches wide with a fold down the middle, or might be two works, each around 5-and-one-half inches. It might also take up the entire 18 inches, including the folded-over sections (they aren't glued to the cardstock, so the reader will be able to lay the entire cover sheet out and view it all at once)... or any other permutation on this.
If the work is to be a wraparound outside cover, it should be on material that isn't too heavy. For comparative purposes: we usually use a 70 lb. text weight glossy paper for the wraparounds; a thin cardstock (70 lb. cardstock weight) also works, but if it gets much heavier than that, it won't fold well (it'll crack), and the staples won't want to go through it (so I'll have to tear them out multiple times, and risk damaging the cover).
You're also welcome to work directly on cardstock, or to decide to affix a work to a piece of cardstock of the correct size. If you do that, try to use a nice piece of stock that's close to the weight we usually use for the cover. If you have a copy of the magazine, you can look at the card cover to determine this. If not, it's about the same thickness as an average chapbook cover, just a bit thinner than a manila folder (and folds better). We like Mi-Teintes Acid Free Art stock, which is pretty cheap and nicely textured.
If you decide on this option, the piece of cardstock will need to ultimately be eight and three-quarters inches high by eleven and three-eighths inches wide. It can be an eighth of an inch or so wider in either dimension, but no smaller. I can cut whatever you send me, if that's necessary.
If the magazine's title can be present either literally or conceptually in the work, that would be ideal--but it's not required.
You can put your name somewhere on the work (or on the back of it), I can write it by hand in the copy whose contents it graces, or you can choose to remain anonymous.
An individual artist may choose to contribute more than one work; I have no problem printing five unique covers by the same artist.
WE ARE NOT UNCATEGORICALLY AVERSE
to the idea of using a scanned image of a work for the cover. We will understand if you really don't want to send an original and have a staple driven through the middle. If the work is in a digital medium (either a scanned copy, a digital photograph or other work in a format intrinsically given to reproduction), we may decide to use it for three or four or five or six copies. It's all in the perverse kind of math in which we deal over here at the editorial office.
EACH ARTIST GETS
our admiration and gratitude, as well as a copy of the magazine (which may or may not have a one-time-only cover; again, it depends on the math).
The issue will (hopefully) be out in mid-December, so getting the covers to me by the end of November would be great.
FOR QUESTIONS AND PROPOSALS
write to Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you've been specifically invited (e.g., we're acquainted), I probably already trust you, and you don't need to make a proposal.
Works can be sent by mail to:
3417 Stevens St.
Madison, WI 53705