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.