The Joy of Creation

I suppose when I first learned that we would be physically making books throughout the upcoming months, I was a little intimidated; I have never considered the process, never looked into bookmaking and bookbinding on my own, which I’m almost ashamed to admit now, as someone who has ventured into numerous different artistic and crafty pursuits in the past. I was expecting stab-binding to be difficult, to take time to adjust to, and certainly I experienced a learning curve, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to pick up on (much faster than charcoal drawing, speaking from experience).

Less surprising, however, was how much I enjoyed the process of stab-binding. I ended up making a few small books, looking into several cute DIY tutorials on YouTube as I did, but ultimately, I’ve included an image of my favorite one (and the tutorial I used for it can be found here).

[An image of my stab-binding book project, taken to show the spine of the book and the pattern I followed to bind it. The tutorial I used for the binding can be found here.]

While I’ve never really been one for journaling, and I usually just buy spiral-bound sketchbooks from Michael’s, the process of learning this simple bookbinding technique has inspired me to consider making these things for myself, little handmade journals and sketchbooks that I can be both proud of the construction itself and the contents inside.

Now that I’ve had some experience with stab-binding, and bookmaking in general, I anticipate that it’s a hobby I’ll find easy to pick up and continue long after class projects and assignments are necessary to complete. Perhaps I’ll make cute, handmade books as gifts for my friends—perhaps a bullet journal for a close friend who, unlike me, is an avid fan of journaling, or a photobook for another friend’s polaroid photography. At the very least, I know that the experience of creating my own little books is an extremely positive one, and it’s an experience I plan to continue and to share.

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Creation”

  1. Binding your own books to use as sketchbooks and journals would be really cool! As you say, your hand-bound books would not only contain artwork, but they would be artworks in and of themselves. And, as a bonus, it gives you the chance to customize your sketchbooks by playing with page size and shape, and even the types of paper you use.

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  2. I really like how you talk about bookbinding as something you can do even after this class is over. Making your own journals and sketch books as gifts is a really cool idea! One thing I appreciated about this assignment was how we could be connected with the book through creating it. The aspect of personally creating to book adds a touch that other books simply don’t have.

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