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Beautiful 3D Illustrations Breathe New Life into Discarded Books

Using a lot of glue sticks, an X-Acto knife, watercolor paints, and a whole lot of love, illustrator Isobelle Ouzman gives discarded books a new life. From the outside, they might look like your average texts. Just past the hardcover, however, is an incredible mix of drawing, painting, and paper sculpting. She finds these books in places like recycling bins and thrift stores and alters them with her beautiful three-dimensional drawings.

Ouzman cuts part of the books' pages away to create depth in her compositions. Often, this leads us into a tunnel or down a path framed by her detailed renderings of tall grasses, winding tree branches, and blooming flowers. Their original stories are now totally transformed into a fantastical works of art that celebrates the beauty of nature.

The illustrator's love of reading inspired these pieces. “I value books greatly,” she writes. “With technology the way it is, not many people are as willing to read physical books, so they sit untouched and are discarded.” If you're interested in owning one of Ouzman's works, she takes commissions via her Etsy shop.

Isobelle Ouzman website and Tumblr
via [Lustik]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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