Homework summary: finish preparing your book by removing pages and adding the support to your binding. In a few days, my third video will arrive in your inbox and we can take the last steps we need to before we start creating!
Please take note of the materials list for our next workshop: paintbrush, water, towel, old credit card (or similarly shaped object), palette knife, gel medium matte and/or gesso, wax paper, heavy books
Don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments below. I’d also love to see evidence of your art in progress! Take a few photos and share them on Instagram and tag me @ArtistStrong. Or, share them in the FB group.
I’m using a little book of friendship poems that I recently picked up at a second hand shop. I bought it with the idea of using it as an altered book but have never done one before. This workshop is just what I need to get started. Didn’t realize that pages needed to be removed but makes perfect sense! Looking forward to the rest of the workshop!!
Yay Traycee! Your book sounds lovely and a great substrate for the rest of your art. I hope you enjoy the remaining workshops and please ask away if you have any questions!
If you have a book with thin pages, it pays to glue two pages together with a glue stick. If you do this all the way through your book, it strengthens the paper before you work on it. Another tip – if the binding is sewn, find the centre of each signature, and tear that out. That way, you have control of the spine with regard to weakening it by wonky tears.
Great tips Annie thanks for sharing.
Annie, that is what I am planning to do. I prefer using sewn bound books because I think they are tougher than glued in bindings for this purpose.
Yeah exactly. Great point.
What kind of copyright considerations do we need to keep in mind? Are there different laws depending on how much text shows through versus for example an illustration or a photo? Can we incorporate design elements from the original page or is that a slippery legal slope?
GREAT Q Kirsten. It depends.
(1) If you are playing and making altered books for fun and have zero intention of selling the books or prints of your works from the books you don’t need to worry about copyright. That goes for the book you select to any collage images you may use.
(2) IF you do wish to sell prints or exhibit the books or sell them, best practice is to use books that are no longer in print, and/or have passed the copyright boundary, which in the US I believe is 100 years (double check on this).
There is ALWAYS grey area when it comes to copyright. You can parody something, (think about the many versions of American Gothic), where you clearly are “copying” an idea but because you are making your own take on the thing it’s okay. It can also be about how much you alter and adjust the original images. And who is to say what is “enough?”
People worry about this so much sometimes they don’t even show up in the studio. For those of you who are exploring altered books for a play, sketchbook, relaxing space, PLAY. Should at some point you decide this is your jam and you want to sell prints, etc. then you can change your approach, or make an appointment with an IP lawyer to help you decide on details for showing and selling.
“50 shades of grey” meanS something totally different to artists LOL thank you Carrie, for your response!
Haha! Definitely! Most welcome 🙂
Hi Carrie, this is all very new to me and my mind is buzzing! However, I am stuck as I have no sewn bound books. I know glue bound as not as study but is it ok to use for my first project?
Hi Lorraine! Go for it. Work with what you have. Our first exploration of anything is a big science experiment. And I offer some ideas about supporting the binding if it’s glued and starting to come apart <3 <3 Have some fun!
All this is very interesting, mysterious…don’t count me out, but reading the participants and your replies – I’m completely “thrown off the sent”… using a printed book – tearing off pages? gluing other pages together ? didn’t all this start with a drawing assignment? I can’t wait for the next step _ but what book should I start destroying… Hoping to get an answer from you. Thanks.
Hi Rosanne 🙂
There isn’t one right or wrong answer. That’s one reason people enjoy altered books and art journaling (related, but different). Google altered books for inspiration for yourself and see what you find.
I purchased a few books at a used book store with imagery I thought would be fun to explore.
I’ve been exploring art journaling and junk journal tutorials for months, wanting to jump in, hesitant because i know so little about art techniques and products. This feels like a good way to learn about basics a step at a time – Looking for a suitable book!
I hope this gives you permission to explore materials and have some fun!