A few weeks ago, I taught a class at the University of Utah for educators. It was a book arts class designed to assist teachers of any content and grade level to integrate book arts into the classroom. It was just the motivation and inspiration I needed to jump back into my work.
As I created the samples that I would take to the class, I realized that I often put way too much pressure on myself. I worry so much about the end result and having a serious message that I forgot how much fun it can be to just create. One of the samples I made for the class was an accordion fold book about the moon. It is rather simple in content, but reminded me of what joy being creative without pressure can be. I let go and just made something. Afterward, I decided to create a small edition. Hand painting reminded me of one of the first books I ever made and it felt good to return to those roots.
When I first started making books, I only used what I had on hand. I often collaged, painted or used recycled materials. When I attended graduate school, I often felt that those materials were looked down on. That if I didn't use letterpress or printmaking techniques, that my work wasn't worthy. Now, no one ever flat out said this, but it seemed to be an unwritten rule. So I left those things behind. Now, I find myself drawn back to them and finding the creative bliss that comes with it.
These little books measure 5 x 5 inches and are hand painted with gouache. I outlined the images with Sharpie and will transfer the text with a blender pen. Low tech, but I am rather happy with the end result. Edition of 3 with one mock up (as pictured in the first two images). These are all in progress.