All the time I am asked how I became a bookbinder. Well, here is the short version of my story…
I have always felt a connection to books, whether a blank journal or a novel. As a child, I enjoyed a visit to the library and spent countless hours at my neighborhood bookstore. In high school, I made and sold ‘zines and in college and graduate school I created artist books. The connection I felt to books early on in my life continues. Now in my mid 30s, I run a business making handcrafted books.
While studying photography at the University of Oklahoma, I was introduced to bookbinding. I immediately loved it, but my focus was on photography and my career path was to be an educator and artist. In 2010, I earned my MFA from Indiana University and started teaching full time at IUPUI. My contracted ended after one year and I decided to travel for a month. After traveling for 1200 miles on a bicycle, I moved to Asheville, North Carolina. I had no access to photography facilities and so I picked up bookmaking again. All I needed was paper, a needle, and some thread.
In 2013, I founded Original Brooks Book Bindery. The bindery specializes in hand sewn journals made from repurposed and vintage materials as well as custom book works. Over the last five years, my studio has expanded and grown, selling online and across the country. I still hand craft every book produced by the studio with loving care and attention to detail. In 2018, I relocated from Asheville, North Carolina to my home state of Oklahoma. I live in Norman with my boyfriend and two dogs.
I have taught classes and workshops in photography and bookmaking at Indiana University, Herron School of Art & Design, Warren Wilson, Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Center, and Bookworks of Asheville. This year, I am honored to be selected by the Norman Arts Council to teach a bookmaking workshop as part as their Undercover Artist Series.