Unlike most normal people, LA artist Mike Stilkey doesn’t just read books, he paints on them. The artist arranges thousands of old books and paints the books’ spines using pen and ink and acrylics.

“I’ve got these books and I’ll never read them, but I want them for some reason and I’ve never known why. And then I started drawing on them,” [1] says Stilkey.

“I like to think of my artwork as one giant poem. I never really have a concrete idea of what I’m going to do. I just kind of feel my way through it and it comes out in a way that I don’t always expect. I really try not to edit myself too much.” [2]

Mike Stilkey was born in Los Angeles, California in 1975 and received an Associate Degree from Santa Monica City College in 1997. [3]

Website: mikestilkey.com | photo credits: N. Baker, D. Kinsey, J. Witham

Approximately 5,000 books and ten days of work.