Monday, February 24, 2014

Altered Books - Preview

Altering books begins in my dreams.  I can express feelings, thoughts, and ideas within a cover.  It is almost like re-writing a book!  Notice how I incorporated the text in my art - "Creative Energy" is the title!

Next month is Altered Arts Magazine's Altered Book Month.  During this month, all posts will be related to anything and everything altered within books!

I have been altering books since the mid 1990s.  An artist's group I belonged to rescued a large amount of books from a library.  They were books that were old, and couldn't be sold, so they were going to be thrown out.  It felt amazing reclaiming these books.  To us, they were another canvas that is bound,  a way to carry and display art easily.

This altered book is from 2005, an art piece published in Altered Arts Magazine.

My favorite part of altering books, is the "round robin" aspect of creating.  All the artists involved did art on several pages, then passed the book to another artist.  When it was all done, each person who participated had a book filled with designs from several artists!  Breathtaking to display, inspiring to see the many styles of creating.

Altering encompasses any type or style book.  Paperback books, hard covers of various sizes, or even fabric books!  I have also saved ledgers, foreign books and have ripped pages out to re-use in other books. We revisit my favorite theme of upcycling - transforming items that would normally be thrown out.

In the next month, I want to showcase various techniques, tools, and media to inspire those wanting to delve into the unlimited realm of altered books.  The whole design team will cover all these various aspects with their own style and flair.  This gives the reader a great deal to choose from!

Not sure how to start?  Check out Kimberly's post on how to choose a book for altering!  This is a great post describing how to choose from the vast amounts of old books begging to have art created in it!!

For a beginner, the book above is a perfect way to start.  Contemplate collage and begin there.  After adhering several pages together (Check out a March post to learn how.), inks, paints, stickers, and embellishments were manipulated on the page to form the design.  Basic design ideals of symmetry, contrast, and repetition give the page a pleasing overall look.

Create your own gallery of art!  Display your books around the house.  Join a round robin so you have designs from several artists!  Not only are altered books like a journal housing your expressions, it is an easy way to keep themes or various art creations together.

Until next month.....

Cre8tivelea Yours - Lea


  1. Wonderful post about altered books Lea! Thanks for sharing a link to my article about choosing books to alter! I love your idea of a round robin book. How fun to have pages with a variety of artistic viewpoints! Altered Books Month is going to be amazing!

  2. The page at the top of your post is just gorgeous. I love the colors. ~Cyndi

  3. I so love this idea... will have to rescue a book from my books to go bag and try this. I will look forward to the rest of the posts for this! Love the pictures Lea -- you are oh so talented! Hopefully mine will be half as good as yours :) Hugs!