Talking Defaced Books With iLivieForBooks!

Hi everyone! Today on the blog, we have something exciting for you -- we're not super artsy ourselves, but recently we were scrolling through Twitter and came across an artist and BookTuber named Olivia, the creator of iLivieforbooks. But what makes Olivia so awesome, in addition to being another badass book lover among us? She partakes in an artsy project called defacing books, which is the term she uses to describe removing a hardcover book's dust jacket and creating beautiful, complex, elaborate drawings and designs that coincide with the stories that each book holds. Here are a few of her projects to give you an idea of what we're talking about!

Aren't these so cool?! The minute we saw these on Twitter, we knew we wanted to reach out to Olivia and get to know more about her project. And in addition to these stunning pictures, there are also YouTube videos of time-lapses of her defacings, which you can watch on her channel!

So without further ado, we sat down with Olivia and asked her some questions about her project and about her channel as a whole, so let's see what she has to say!

Welcome! So, what's your YouTube channel about?

Hi! My YouTube channel is a place for me to talk about and share all the things I am passionate about. That obviously mainly centers around books, but also I love to share my art and my love for film as well.

What made you want to start defacing the books?

There were two people who really took me down the path of defacing. First was Ariel Bissett, after she posted a video about her annotating *inside* books. I thought she made amazing points and soon after I began writing in my books. I also put some quotes/little designs on the covers of some of my favorite books.Then I came across Stephanie's channel -- PinkLemonadeReads. I was in full "post-ACOMAF don't know what to do with myself" mode, and she defaced ACOTAR and ACOMAF. They are STUNNING pieces of work. That pushed me to trying out art on books as well. So I too started out with ACOMAF -- and that was the first defacing video I posted. 

How do you actually go about doing the defacing? What materials do you use? How long does each project take? 

I always plan out what I will do first in my head, and then maybe light sketch on paper. You kind of only get one shot to do it (hahaha)! Usually I will think of a design while reading the book -- whatever comes to me. I enjoy doing mandalas, a type of geometric circular symbol. I love doing them, and so I do a lot of those on my defacings. Regular black pens aren't great for naked covers! So my go-to is jelly roll pens. The planning that I do in my head normally takes the longest, but I don't really count that. Once I sit down and start, I usually finish it in that sitting; so they each normally take a few hours. But I don't think one has ever taken days.

Have authors of these books ever responded to your artwork? How does that make you feel?

Yes!! And as the books I deface are usually favorites of mine, you can only imagine what its like to be such a fan of an author, and have them react positively to your artwork! V.E.Schwab first noticed a defacing of her book from Twitter and I was so overjoyed. And later I met Angie Thomas at Yallfest and she saw my THUG defacing and all I can say is her taking a picture of it with her own phone was the equivalent of her signing endless copies of a book. Same thing happened with the phone with Cassie Clare at Bookcon. I was thrilled. And most recently -- Marie Lu on twitter!!! Any response from an author fills me with such joy.

Which defacing has been your favorite so far?

THUG might still be my favorite because I love the 3D look of the hand. But also Warcross is so different and I tried out new stuff like the galaxy and optical illusion which was so fun -- I think it's between those two! Oh wait, I also loved the Harry Potter one...

What are a few books that you're looking forward to defacing in the future?

 I would love to figure out something for Lord of Shadows by Cassie Clare. Also maybe Unwind by Neal Shusterman; that's one of my favorite books!

Have you ever considered starting an online store to sell any of your defaced products?

I have considered it but sadly don't know how I would go about it, because I would want to keep the originals. It's easy to duplicate a single paper of art. Not so much with an entire book!


Olivia Bates is a creator with a YouTube channel who just loves to talk and fangirl about her passions. Some of those passions include books (clearly), movies, all forms of art, astronomy, etc. A favorite on her channel is her "book defacings" which combine her love for books and art in one.

We'd like to once again thank Olivia for being awesome enough to agree to doing a spotlight post on our blog -- we're so grateful that she came by and we're so excited to share all of her awesome artwork with you guys! 

What do you think of Olivia's work? Comment down below! 

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