Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I used to use found books as sketchbooks. The cover of the book on the left is still perfectly legible, but the red book on the right was found in the trash, unused, and filled with graph paper instead of lined paper! The small book on top of it was a comic digest printed in Korean, specifically, "Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl!"

The larger book was the manual for lunchroom management. I took advantage of the few blank pages that introduced chapters while on an airplane ride to Japan. The red drawing is with a brush pen, the kind that has a nylon bristle brush instead of a felt tip and the handle is a squeezable inkwell. The text at the top reads, "This morning I watched the sun rise pink above snowing clouds."
The smaller journal is painted with Pelikan watercolors, and some parts of the original comic are revealed through the paint.

These are some books I made of copy paper and duct tape. I cut the paper into round pages by tracing a paint can with a utility knife. This size book fits well in the hand or pocket.
The funniest piece of text above reads, "The train announcements sound like robot brothers, over-enthusiastic to complete each other's sentences."

This is a book I bound by hand in 1996 or 1997. This one also has a duct tape cover. The physical gesture of sewing the signatures (those are the sections of pages) was so grand that: the week that I made it, I thought I was still sewing it while I was sleeping.
I've been meaning to work in it for a long time, but I suppose I never got around to it because I was intimidated by the size of it. Most of the things I make tend to be very small and detailed. The idea of covering every inch of 52 20x30" pages with my detailed drawings made it easy to neglect (at the time.) Now I intend to screenprint a copy of everything I make in there- wallpaper and fabric prints, posters, etc.
I also plan to make bigger drawings, especially portraits. I'm glad I made that book when the paper was a lot cheaper.

These are ballpoint pen drawings from some of my round books.

I lost the pen that I used to draw the above pictures a while ago, but I think I just found the very kind for sale online. I hope it turns out to be the same type of pen-- I'd love to finish these drawing and do a lot more!


  1. Brilliant post. As a collage journaler of 12 or so years I can relate to it's content by far the most. Kudos on the overlapping/layering of books in order to fit, not without a punch of flavor, upon the photographs. The enormous hand bound book is daunting indeed. Exciting to have as potential for grandeaur when the right moments come.


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