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.
All the time I am asked how I became a bookbinder. Well, here is the short version of my story…
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 decided to start my own business and founded Original Brooks Book Bindery. Over the last five years, my studio has expanded and grown, selling online and across the country. In 2018, I relocated to my home state and now live in Norman, Oklahoma with my husband and Great Dane Monty.
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. I currently teach workshops at Waterworks Art Center in Tulsa.