e bond makes digital spaces by day, handmade books by night, hangs out with trees on weekends and writes something close to poems in the spaces between. In 2017, she made a new book cover every week using Scout Books for a 52 week challenge. Under the studio name roughdrAftbooks—created in 2003—she makes one-of-a-kind artists books, printed pieces and drawings that merge and blur the boundaries of art, craft, design and poetry. We talked with e about the challenge, personal projects, and why she chooses art books as her medium.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I lived in Philadelphia for 20 years as a working artist, designer and design professor until five years ago when I moved to the west coast to pursue an MFA in Book Art & Creative Writing at Mills College in Oakland, CA. I became immediately obsessed with redwood trees upon my arrival to the Bay Area and eventually ended up doing my thesis on the ancient species. My work since then has become this hybrid world of book art, photography, writing and science/nature based poetry.
Tell us about your 52 week project! How did that get started? Why did you choose Scout Books?
I tend to use daily, weekly or monthly exercises to keep myself immersed in a steady flow of making throughout my days. I find for my personality it’s more beneficial to be constantly making as opposed to stops and starts. It takes me too long to get moving so its better to keep the engine going steadily. Also, since the move West, I have had a day job, so these exercises keep me committed to a creative life even if I have to spend time away from my studio during the day.
I participated in the #100dayproject (by @elleluna) for a few years on Instagram and wanted to try a different pace of working. So next, I decided to try #our52weekproject that I discovered through @brooklynhaberdashery and around the same time I bought a box of 50 blank Scout Books, not quite knowing what I wanted to do with them. Then as they usually do, the stars aligned and the Scout Books served as the perfect blank slate for a weekly project.
What was it like putting out a creative object like that every week?
Well for me the loose parameters I gave myself made it an exciting thing to look forward to each week. I didn’t give myself any real rules except put something on those covers each week while I listened to an audio book or a podcast. It was a lovely break I looked forward to. The biggest challenge was probably to remember to post! But posting on IG was integral to the project as I wanted a record of the books as they evolved.
And of course once they started to pile up, it got super fun!
What gets you excited about book arts? What lead you to choosing that as your creative home?
Everything about books gets me excited. Reading them, writing them, binding them! Book art is the perfect medium for me because it lets me combine a love of words and images in a form that is also fluid enough to respond to the content in whatever way I can think up. There is also a very tactile aspect to book making which I couldn’t live without.
Any new creative projects you’re at work on or on the horizon?
I’ve been working on an idea for a book about creativity as it relates to process. I also have a few zillion artist book projects about nature and the redwoods still going. I am hoping at least one of these gets out of my head and into the world this year.