I've been a fan of Mike Stilkey for quite a while now. I first came across his work in 2013 when he came here, to the Philippines, to install his 24-foot-high book sculpture in Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street.
Mike is a Los Angeles-based painter, illustrator and sculptor who creates fabulous animal and human characters directly on stacks of books. He heads to local libraries to find books that are about to be thrown out, then he stacks them on top of one another and uses them as canvas for his vibrant paintings. The artist's melancholic and at times a whimsical scenes and portraits are created in his signature style, and he forms them using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint, and lacquer.
A lover of books himself, Mike quit his job as a picture framer and sold his car to get money so he could become a full-time artist. In an interview with the LA Times, he said: "The books are dying. There are so many that go to the garbage. It's crazy. If I can paint on them, I'm giving them a second chance."
In the video, embedded below, Mike discusses his childhood, skateboarding, graffiti, and his path to becoming the artist that he is today.