Bookish Finds: Malena Valcárcel’s Book Sculptures

Bookish Finds Malena Valcárcel Book Sculptures

Bookish Finds Malena Valcárcel Book Sculptures

Bookish Finds is a feature in which I share and discuss book-related art I find online. While I appreciate some readers do not like the idea of books being cut up and transformed into something else (which means they might want to refrain from looking at this post…), I can’t help but see a certain beauty in the second life of these books.

This week I am featuring the book and paper art of Malena Valcárcel. Malena is an artist living in Spain who taught herself everything she knows when it comes to paper. Using primarily recycled materials, she creates beautiful masterpieces, often taking inspiration from nature and everyday life. As she describes on her About page, her work is:

Storytelling books and paper art for people who are also a little lost, found and forgotten…

(Don’t you just love that quote? I know I’ve definitely fallen into that category during different times of my life.)

I have to say, there are two main things I love about Malena Valcárcel’s work: 1) She makes paper worlds come to life and 2) She self-taught herself all she knows when it comes to paper art. To see such beautiful images and to know that someone experimented their way into creating such art, that she just took her passion and transformed it into these little paper worlds, is quite a stunning thing. It actually makes me want to grab a book and try to create something myself. (Luckily I haven’t found the complete confidence to try something like this just yet. I can only imagine how unimpressive mine would look compared to Malena’s.)

Below are just a handful of her book sculptures that I absolutely love:

Malena Valcárcel | Miniature Paper House on Book

Malena Valcárcel | Miniature Paper House on Book

Malena Valcárcel | Fairytale Castle Book Sculpture

Malena Valcárcel | Fairytale Castle Book Sculpture

Malena Valcárcel | "The Tree of Love" Book Art

Malena Valcárcel | “The Tree of Love” Book Art

Malena Valcárcel | Red Riding Hood Book Sculpture

Malena Valcárcel | Red Riding Hood Book Sculpture

Malena Valcárcel | "House in a Tree" Book Art

Malena Valcárcel | “House in a Tree” Book Art

(Aren’t they beautiful? I especially love her use of lighting to make the sculptures come to life. How can you not worry for Red Riding Hood as the wolf lurks in the shadows??)

If you would like to look at more of Malena’s work or follow her, you can find her on Etsyher blog, FacebookPinterest, Behance, or Twitter. (At the very least I recommend checking out her Etsy shop! Etsy shop. I’ll be keeping my eye out to see what magical creation she puts up next. You know, in case one day I actually have the money to indulge myself in such things. ;))

A special thanks to Malena Valcárcel for giving me permission to use her images in my blog post!

What do you think? Would you want something like this in your imaginary library? Which sculpture is your favorite? Have you ever had the desire to try something like this yourself?


Read 14 comments

  1. Wow, these are SUPER cute! I think one thing I like about self-taught artists is that you can really see the passion in their artwork, you know? It’s like they just *need* to create, using that medium, and so taught themselves how. This is a great find! I love these!

  2. OH MY GOD, those are amazing. Wowwww. I wish they weren’t hundreds of dollars so I could buy some for my secret sister, haha. (Although honestly I can’t say the price is unfair.) I would definitely want all of them in my imaginary library. Along with an imaginary housekeeper to dust them for me every week. ;)

    If I have to pick, I think the first one and the last one are my favorites. The lighting is really cool in the last one, and I love the detailed trees in the first. Do you have a favorite? I would never try making something like this myself- the results would be embarrassing, haha.

  3. AHHH! I’m obsessed. I went onto her Etsy shop with full intentions to purchase that tree of love with the couple… and the riding hood one… well needless to say I didn’t lol. Quite expensive, but they are definitely going on a wishlist in case anyone in my family shall feel the need to spoil me with more bookish items haha. THESE ARE BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing Asti :)

  4. That Red Riding Hood is gorgeous – so dark and scary. I took a look at her Etsy, too, such great stuff! I’d be afraid to keep one of these sculptures at home, though, at least right now, because it would be a Kiddo magnet and paper sculptures don’t withstand sticky little hands too well. Maybe if it was in a glass dome? :)
    I really like these features of yours, Asti, you always find beautiful art.

  5. I honestly would love some of these in my own apartment. Maybe it would give all of those craze books (the over abundance of Twilight/FSoF books that secondhard sellers can’t get ride of) a new purpose in life. I remember my mother buying books from the library sales that were old and unwanted and created them into prop spell books for Halloween.

  6. PRETTY. TREES. <3

    I've missed this feature (I keep saying that a lot about a lot of stuff, don't I?). The most book art that I see is the one in Fully Booked, and that's it, that's all the book art in my life, and I need more.

  7. Oh man, these are beyond gorgeous. I think my favourite one would have to be “Red Riding Hood” – it has such a lovely shiver-up-the-spine feeling, especially with the silhouetted wolf. I hope this doesn’t sound too silly, but seeing beautiful self-taught artists always gives me a certain kind of hope. There is something so poignant in having experimented and made what I’m sure must have been countless mistakes and eventually getting to such an incredibly complex and intricate place in one’s art, no?

  8. OH MY GOODNESS THOSE ARE AMAZING!!! I love how she colored some of the pages and then did the fancy lighting on the woodsy ones.

    I love your bookish art posts. While I could never “butcher” a book myself, because it would not be NEARLY this pretty and it would not be a worthy sacrifice, I love seeing these projects! People are so talented. How do they even think of these things?

  9. That artist copies the work of the brilliant English artist Su Blackwell… they are HER original designs, it is she that deserves the praise and a pity that people don’t realise these are just exact copies of another artist’s work.

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