Finding Inspiration, Finding a Book

I have a bit of prior experience with accordion books – not really making them, per se, but I have quite a few accordion-style photobooks in my collection – so the prospect of making one in class was exciting. Listening to the possibilities of scanning images in, of the different folds and sizes that I could play around with for this class project, sparked inspiration, and I knew I wanted to make a found-object accordion book, of sorts.

Over the weekend, which I spent at home, I collected scraps of paper, bits of colorful tape, stickers, and the like, as well as an old book my mother gave to me with express permission to rip the pages out as much as I want because, and I quote, “I love Nathaniel Hawthorne, but this one was really dry.” I am a sentimental person by nature, and I was tempted to include pictures, ticket stubs, and other sentimental trash things that I’ve hoarded saved over the years; however, because I am so sentimental, I decided against it – I don’t want to end up losing anything or deciding that I regret gluing it into a class project, no matter how I inevitably feel about the end result.

That left me with bits and pieces, scraps and snippets of things that carry less. . .emotional weight, so I knew I would want to do something truly interesting with my book in order to make it my own. I scrolled through some Google image results for accordion books, just looking for some inspiration, and I stumbled across an image of an accordion book with the phases of the moon cut into the pages. It looked pretty, and I decided I wanted to attempt to emulate it, but with my own personal spin on the design.

An accordion book with moon phases cut out of the pages, which I found through a quick Google search for inspiration. The site it came from is here.

I still plan to use the moon phases – I’m not that creative, much more of a simpleton than I’d like to admit, and space is pretty – but I want to make the images, the ripped book pages, the scraps and the stickers and the snippets visible within the cut-outs intentional, artistic in some way or another. In essence, I want to use the cut-outs to elevate my found-object idea above and beyond just old receipts and clothing tags pasted into a folded piece of paper.

I haven’t gotten too far with the actual cutting-and-pasting process yet, but I know where I’m heading with it, and I’m excited to see where it goes and where it ends up, ultimately.

My accordion book, thus far, with the book I’m using pages from and some various found objects.

Work Cited

“The Moon in June: Lunar Cycle Accordion Book.” Yes Design Shop, 2016. https://yesdesignshop.com/moon-book .

4 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration, Finding a Book”

  1. Who was it that said, “You can’t create in a vacuum” (or something like that)? We need other art (and other things, too) to inspire our own. I think this is a really great example of that conversation art has with other art– taking something someone else made and making it in your own way.

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  2. I always thought the idea of a scrapbook was a little weird when you think about it too closely. I mean, it’s basically taking unremarkable pieces of every day life and preserving them inside a book. Yet, I still love the basic concepts of the scrapbook and I think you’ve hit on something by using this idea mixed with the accordion book format. Because, while you can still view pieces of the day on the folds of the page, when the book is completely open, you can see an expression of the whole life. Mixing that with the phases of the moon, a literal representation of time, is kind of amazing.

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  3. I really like where you’re going with your accordion book! It sounds like you have a really good idea, and it looks like you’re all ready to put it together. You don’t need to have a really intricate idea either; most of the time, less is more, and the simpler the better, and it seems like you’ve already figure that out! I think your concept is really neat, and I can’t wait to see what you put together!

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  4. I find it really impressive and inspiring how you were able to meld your research of accordion books into your own. You were able to keep the original idea but add to it your personality and aesthetic (and the personalities of all the books you glued onto it). I can’t wait to see it and hear about your journey of measuring and cutting out the different phases of the moon, I bet it couldn’t have been easy.

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