Altered Books Inspiration and Ideas
Mixed Media Artwork
Altered books are books that are changed from its original form into a piece of art. This can be accomplished through many techniques: cutting, gluing, painting, drawing, collaging, melting, burning, and more. The results can be simple or complex. Everything is up to you, the artist. The possibilties are endless. One of the advantages of working with books is that you don't have to stare at a blank canvass. Already there are words on the page. You can choose to use them, or not. You may want to highlight certain words on the page by painting in everything else and create your own poem. Or you may choose to paint light washes over the text so that its presence is more subtle. Altering a book is a great way to try out different tools and techniques that you have never done before. So lets get started!
The Perfect Book
Finding books you can alter is easy. You don't have to use your precious copy of The Hobit to get started. I suggest starting at the library. They will usually have a used book section where you can buy books for a very reasonable price. Thrift stores and garage sales are also great places to look. In most cases you will want a book that is sturdy with a hardcover. A thick book is ideal for cutting out compartments and for inserting thick objects. Thinner books are fine if you are not planning to add anything bulky. Once you have chosen the book, rip out several pages (not all from the same section). This will enable the book to close properly once you have added layers of paint, paper, small objects, etc.
Where to Begin
A good place to start once you have your book ready is to choose a theme. The theme will run throughout the different pages of the book and tie everything together. If you want you can tell a story which may or may not be related to the actual story of your chosen book. Now comes the fun part...actually altering the book! Use the pictures shown here to get you started.