Interview with Journal Maker: Tyler Bender

I was so thrilled about Tyler Bender’s recycled book journals that I posted about him and about my recycled sketchbook. Tyler was kind enough to let me do a follow up with a wonderful interview. I was a big fan his journals before but after finding out more about him am even more obsessed with his work. Here’s the interview:

What gave you the idea to make these splendid journals?
As a teenager I found a 1920’s book entitled “a dictionary for boys and girls”. I was so mesmerized by its design I wanted an excuse to hold it and use it everyday, so I found a way to incorporate it into my life. It was like being in touch with another time.

Where do you get the old books?
Schools, libraries, thrift stores, friends. Customers also have the option of providing their own book for re-purposing.

Where do you get the paper that fills them?
Everywhere: Craigslist, friends, sometimes office supply stores, and as much as I can use from the books themselves.

Can you tell me your process in a few sentences?
I disassemble an old book down to its basic elements, and reassemble the cover as I see fit. Loose sheets are hand cut and bound in a stack, via hand-drilled holes and fishing line. There are obviously many more details to the process.

Do you keep a journal in one of your creations? Drawing or writing?
I used to keep journals for drawing and writing. I took them everywhere. Then at some point I became more preoccupied with the making of the book itself, and the book as art or artifact.

Who is your favorite artist?
Children are my favorite artists.

What’s your biggest inspiration right now?
People who follow their own passion, and who work hard creating a reality from their dreams.

10 Responses to Interview with Journal Maker: Tyler Bender

  1. Nilstendo Hanczershat September 2, 2007 at 9:59 pm #

    This is an awesome idea. I hate when books go to waste. I once lived by an old library in a college town and one summer they renovated the library and tossed hundreds of cool old books, like outdated science encyclopedias. I still have a lot of them.

  2. samantha September 4, 2007 at 9:49 am #

    I know! Sometimes old magazines are great too. I love old skin mags with advertising for pills that make men more muscular and illustrated pictures of men posing and flexing in leopard print tarzan outfits. But old books are amazing. I love drawing right in them. It’s great though how Tyler uses interesting papers inside too.

  3. K L October 30, 2007 at 5:34 am #

    Where can I buy the books?

  4. samanthahahn October 30, 2007 at 8:26 am #

    here’s where you can get Tyler’s great journals!

  5. K L October 30, 2007 at 9:32 am #

    sold out:(
    but thanks anyway!

  6. samanthahahn October 30, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    Try contacting him through his Myspace page. Or even Etsy (there are links to email the seller on each site). Maybe you can pre-order something. He’s a really nice guy. Give it a shot.

  7. Genevieve February 27, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    I have tried to find him on myspace and etsy, but both pages are down. Do you know any other way to contact him?

  8. Samantha Hahn February 27, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    No, ir’s so frustrating. He must have sold out. Someone else asked me. I wonder if he’s on to the next??? I loved his stuff. I’ll keep my eyes open and post about him should I find anything.

  9. MissJean August 23, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    his art is loved by all. andso is he. my boys have several of his first pieces hanging in their room. and I use his books to sketch my grand skeems of life.

  10. Samantha Hahn August 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    I’m such a fan of his journals! Too bad he’s sold out. I’d love to get some for friends….

    Thanks for the comment.

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