Book Artist Trina Parkin Helps Us Taste Life Twice

Book Artist Trina Parkin Helps Us Taste Life Twice

Book Artist Trina Parkin (Photo courtesy of Trina Parkin)

Everyone loves a good book...and a good book artist. Soft leather, long stitch bindings, and intricate Japanese paper pages are just a few of the signature styles of self-proclaimed Book Artist Trina Parkin. Hailing from Alberta, Canada, and now based in Huntington Beach, the graphic designer-book maker loves every bit of life, from her full-time work in Irvine to her part-time book building at home. She joined our holiday pop-up shop in late 2014, and her one-of-a-kind journals are now featured in our online marketplace. Parkin's work is so stunning, all the bookworms are inching her way.

We asked Parkin a few questions about her craft to get "the story behind the storefront."

Main & PCH: Sum up your life story in a few short sentences.

Trina Parkin: Born and raised in Alberta, Canada. After high school I left home at 17 to start university. There I met my husband and we married in 2011. In April of 2014 we both graduated with our bachelor's and moved to Huntington Beach. Now I am a full–time graphic designer and part-time book maker. Life is good. 

Describe the "5 Ws" that led to you being a maker.

Art was introduced in my life in high school. There I developed an interest in photography and graphic design. I soon became eager to discover and experiment with new ways to create and design. I eventually went onto BYU-Idaho, earning a bachelor's in graphic design. It was there I took a class on bookmaking. I fell in love.

What makes your goods unique?

With my handmade books, writing becomes an experience. With a good quality book, your notes are kept rich to match the content inside. It becomes a treasured good for years to come. I am a firm believer in writing. It's what lets us taste life twice. 

A great deal of thought and purpose goes into every book I make. I feel very passionate about the books I create because it is laying the groundwork for something very special to be written in them. What really makes my books unique as a designer is that I am always coming up with different solutions and creative ways to make a book. All my books are unique and custom; no two books are the same. 

Detail your creative process.

Step one: Sketch the shape of the book. 

Step two: Choose fabric, thread color, thread thickness, paper color, weight of paper, thickness of cover. Set up paper for outside cover, inside cover, inside pages, end sheets. 

Step three: Fold paper. The paper comes in giant sizes which is folded and trimmed down to a block to sheets.

Step four: Glue covers.

Step five: Threading.

Step six: Details.

(Photo courtesy of Trina Parkin)

What/who inspires you? 

I am very inspired by other creative designers. I love good typography. Good design comes first in my bookmaking. 

Bookmakers who inspire me are Eric Drzewianowski, Lisa Jones (my bookmaking professor), and Jennifer Bates from Sea Lemon.

Why do you love Huntington Beach, aside from the weather and waves?

Really cool unique shops. Creative people surround me constantly. 

Where would you like to see your business in the next few years?

I just started selling my books. I would eventually like to start my own design company and incorporate my bookmaking into my work.

Is there anything else you really want readers to know about you, your story, and/or your goods?

I love what I do. Bookmaking brings me a lot of joy. Anyone who wants to learn anything about bookmaking, I am more than happy to answer any questions. 

Follow Trina Parkin on Twitter.


Trina Parkin is a featured maker in the Main & PCH Marketplace. Shop her one-of-a-kind handmade journals.

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