Motivation to Make

A friend recently asked me this question: What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced in creating handmade books versus a book like blurb or offset produced book? A great question to ponder these days as I work hard to re-establish my studio habit.

Fight For Your Home © Laura Russell
Barcelona, Spain

The biggest benefit of creating handmade books is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from working with my hands and utilizing a broad array of very tactile materials to create unique works of art that go so far beyond the machine-made book. With machine-made books your creative workout goes little beyond sequencing and very minor size and paper options. Having been a graphic designer from the days of wax and ruby and having been a photographer from the darkroom days, I found that I truly missed working with my hands when both areas went digital. What drew me to making handmade books was the need to get away from the computer and create something on a deeper level. It is just so much more satisfying to me to make something with my hands, plus I find working to solve all of the complex creative decisions involved in producing a book by hand to be incredibly satisfying.

On a totally unrelated subject: Here’s an image that came to my mind today when I read an article about the “Unsettle Portland” movement. I don’t agree with their tactics, but the article did make me appreciate how lucky I am to have such a secure and happy home.

Happy Holidays,


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