art · art materials · books · botanical · creative practice · do it yourself · mixed media

Explore: Book Cover As Canvas

photo 3

“With color, for the price of a pot of paint, people can express their own style and individuality. But as with style, a gift for color has to be developed by experiment. If you don’t dare, you are doomed to dullness.” –Shirley Conran

Today I have been reading, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. But this article will not be a review of the writings but thoughts and a mini project I did on the physical book itself. Just so you know.

To begin, its size is about 6″ x 5.”  For me, it is smaller than the common books I have right now. It is hard bound. And has a sleeve that serves as the cover of the book and the main book cover design.

When I read books with sleeves, I don’t know about you, but to me it gets uncomfortable especially when the sleeve started to misaligned with the hard cover. And so, usually I would remove temporarily the book sleeve and set it aside as I continue and enjoy reading. Anyhow, suddenly, an idea dawned at me some time today. I noticed that the hard cover is plain. It was not the same as the book sleeve’s design. And because it was so plain, I thought of making it not plain😊 I thought, I’ll make an art on this cover. I’ll make this my canvas today. I also thought of doing it in all my hard bound books that I have that is plain! Hmmm!

The art above is created using the said book. I set my time for fifteen minutes and started working on it. At first I thought I would be painting a face on this, but then I just let it be it. Like that. I loved it!

I used matte acrylic craft paints, some posca paint pens, gel pens in metallic, neon and black and that’s it. I scraped paint over some initial doodles. Made simple marks and doodled again and again. I have always been drawn to botanicals and so some botanical line works. Also added some geometric shapes inspired especially by Lisa Congdon.

For me this exercise will be a good practice to experiment, explore and just being loose in creating a piece of art. It will also be a surprise to you or to that someone to whom you will lend the book or give the book one day. Oh! I feel happy just thinking about that! Who knows that surprise, unraveling the piece of art on the book cover beneath the book sleeve might awaken and/or tap on someone else’s inner child upon seeing it.


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