Wanna be a Book Artist
Aditi Babel was recently commissioned to create a Book Sculpture for Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday. She is an independent book artist, graphic designer, photographer and printmaker from Rajasthan.
A Book Artist is someone who creates books, they can be created on a concept or a particular binding or a combination of both. These are limited edition books as they are all hand crafted. The book, since it’s handcrafted, becomes a piece of art.
Book Making is new to India and very few design schools presently introduce this subject to their students.
Aditi was introduced to the subject while she was pursuing her Master’s in Visual Communication at IDC, IIT Bombay. “We had a visiting faculty from abroad who introduced us to book making concept. Later on, I began to explore book making on my own and finally decided to formally study it in Italy. I went to Florence at a private school to develop skills and understand the process and thinking of a book artist,” informs Aditi Babel.
Fortunately, for Aditi her parents saw her passion for the subject and never doubted her decision. But she confronts that there are lot of challenges that she faces. She says, “This is a fairly new area of work and work doesn’t come easily. There is no permanent job as a book artist but those are times when I fall back on my Graphic Design projects to continue pursuing Book Making. Money comes with projects, it can be rewarding sometimes and sometimes it can be very difficult to just depend on this.”
Skills such as binding, folding, pasting are required which can be acquired with practice. There is no limitation of the kind of materials one can use as a book artist therefore skills become custom to a particular book concept one is working with.
In early 2012, Aditi founded her venture – Babel Books. Babel Books is all about creating concept hand crafted bespoke books. Babel Books creates artist books, book sculptures and custom bindings.
Babel Books has been featured in over 20 newspaper and magazine articles such as The Hindu, Vogue, Times of India, Better Interior, Pool Magazine, Time Out’s 100th edition and many more.
One of her sculptures went for an art auction in Art Bengaluru where it was kept in line with works of M.F. Hussain, Raza, Jamini Roy, K.H. Ara, S.K. Bakre, H.A. Gade & F.N. Souza etc.
“My biggest achievement has been that I was called as a visiting faculty in my own Design school i.e. IDC, IIT Bombay. A natural instinct is to give back something meaningful to a place that has given you so much. I am glad I got an opportunity where I could share about my subject at my D School,” confesses her.