books & art

In mid-September, I found out about the Book to Art Club, whose goal is “to find hands-on, creative ways to engage with literature – where the process of art-making is more important than the product!” I love reading and I like to craft, but I don’t have enough time for either. (Sad, really, about the first, especially since I’m a librarian and a lot of people think that all we do is read, when, in reality, I probably read maybe half a dozen books a year.) I figured that this would be a great way to force myself to do both of these things.

But we all know that it’s a lot harder to do things when there’s no accountability, so I needed to do this with other people. This is supposed to be a club anyway, either virtual or in-person. So, I tagged a few of my fandom Twitter friends to see if they’d be interested, and I posted it on Facebook as well. A few people expressed interest, which was all I needed.

The original B2A club is meant to be a discussion group, so everyone is supposed to be reading the same book and discussing it and doing art projects based on it. The titles are announced on their site. But I’m a busy person and I don’t have time to be doing discussions (I barely have time to read!) and, since this is my club, I made up the rules. I figured that it would be easiest to have everyone read their own books and create projects based on whatever they picked.

Knowing how busy I was, I set the deadline for the art project for the week of Halloween — that gave us about 6 weeks to read the book and create the art. When the deadline came around, it was clear to me that I would miss it. Fortunately, a couple of my friends were more responsible and prompt.

Simi made a painting based on All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. She tweeted:

She “created a stormy, gloomy sea. Or at least attempted to.” She continued:

I think Simi’s being hard on herself, don’t you think? I think it’s a great painting and captures what she was trying to show.

Bleu read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. She did a drawing of the narrator Cassandra’s hand, writing in her notebook.

bleu drawing

She even filmed herself while she drew and posted it the following day.

I can’t draw for the life of me, so I’m definitely impressed by Bleu’s drawing. It was also awesome to see her in action.

I actually didn’t finish my book before I started my project. I was already late, and I wanted to be sure that I got it done the weekend after Halloween. (Otherwise, who knows when it would get done?!) I already knew what I wanted to do anyway. I came up with a collage/mixed media (not sure what to call it — dammit, I’m a librarian, not an artist! :P) project based on David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing.

two boys


I have to say that I really love my project. I can see it now as I’m writing this, and I’m still so proud of it, 3 days later. (I’ll write another post about the book and the project later.)

I think that, between the three of us, we managed to pick very different books, as well as very different art formats. I think that’s great! There might be 1 or 2 more people who will finish their projects for this round–I hope they do because I really want to see what they’ve come up with. I’ll add those when they get done.

Personally, I think this was a success. Bleu said she loved it, too, and so did Simi. I definitely want to continue with this. In fact, I already have an idea for my next book/project. I know a few people on Facebook wanted to do it but didn’t have time this time around; a couple new people are interested on Twitter. So, we’re definitely going to do another round (due December 15) this year. Next year, I think we might move it to a broader stage — we’ll see. I’m very excited about it all!

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