A lot of different ideas are conjured up by the phrase “book arts” – handmade books, sculptural books, artists’ books, graphic novels, books with lots of art in them, the illustrations in illustrated books, illustrations of books, art depicting people reading books, and so on. It can be frustrating when trying to find a certain type of image, blog, or artist, but sometimes the ambiguity is wonderful and leads to great ideas or discoveries. Here I’ve collected some of my favorite book-related illustration. Enjoy!
My favorite pieces show some of the magic that reading and books in general can bring, how books can spark the imagination, and in general, the same issues that I enjoy dealing with in artists’ and sculptural books.
Above, “Book Burning – World of Wonder” by Konoike Tomoko.
I couldn’t find the illustrator for this piece! Or much on it other than that it’s a poster for the 50th Anniversary National Children’s Book Week of 1969. Please leave a comment or shoot us an email if you know who drew this! Who could argue with BOOK POWER?
Blown Covers, a blog of “New Yorker covers you were never meant to see,” had a cover contest with the theme “books.” There were some wonderful submissions. My favorites, perhaps unsurprisingly, were about analog vs. digital books. The above is by Anthony Russo.
A simple compact picture on the pleasures of reading, with an update. I love that from a black and white image built of stark straight lines we still get all the coziness of reading. A lot is communicated in the swooshing curve of the armchair.
Another submission for the Blown Covers contest, this one by Gurbuz Dogan.
Gurbuz has done some stunning published New Yorker covers that many of you may remember. This wonderful image uses a physical, tangible relationship between the objects to talk about digital v. printed books.
Above we had books used as building materials – here they’re anthropomorphized, and… bestialized? Adorable! By Oscar Sanmartin.