Homework #1

In my research for this project, I realized that my concept of what a book is very limited. I was even confused by the concept of a book artist. I couldn’t understand what that meant. I kept thinking of a book designer. I didn’t understand that the book itself was a work of art. Not what is inside it or the typeface and colors used. Before this I might consider what a lot of these artists do sac religious. I looked at a lot of different things and while I now have a broader understanding of book art, I still have a pretty traditional approach to book art. Which is why I was happy to find an artist like Erika Adams.

Erika Adams is based in Jamaica Plain, MA who holds degrees from UC Santa Cruz and the University of New Mexico. She has had exhibits all over the country featuring her unique approach to bookmaking. The first piece of hers that really stood out to me was her series called ‘Conversations’, http://www.erikaadams.com/dialogue.html. In these pieces, Adams draws groups of birds and then assigns them dialogue bubbles. She says she was inspired by the text bubbles used in smartphones.

Adams makes a wonderful statement combing the way animals naturally socialize and communicate with today’s, arguably, most popular mode of communication.

This is just one piece out of many where Erika Adams challenges common conceptions about books without alienating the more traditional minded reader.

  1. Heather said:

    Would you mind explaining what you mean by finding the work of many book artists sacrilegious? You don’t literally mean anything about religion, right? More like a violation of what you think (or thought) a book should be — text on paper inserted into a spine? Just curious — I know I felt a little put off by book arts when I first found out about it, too.

  2. Yeah, i didn’t men it literally. I just have such a traditional idea of what a book is supposed to be, it was shocking and challenging to have to find the beauty in this new form.

  3. I kind of like the subversiveness of having books that could hang on a wall as art, without anyone realizing their true identity–very James Bond or Mission Impossible. I like the way the dialogue bubbles look a bit like eggs.

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