Book Love

These Miniature Books Are All We Ever Needed

We here at Chronicle Books love miniature things—I mean, we even had a teeny tiny party at one point. So when we discovered these thumbnail-sized books, it was hard to keep our cool.

Henrik Franklin

The artist behind these mini masterpieces is illustrator Henrik Franklin, who hails from Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. Franklin studied at Konstfack in Stockholm, and even spent a semester in the United States at Rhode Island School of Design. He creates anything from illustrations to animations, zines to cartoons, and, of course, the tiny pieces of literature you see here.

Henrik Franklin

When it comes to his work, the artist says that he primarily makes “cartoon-like drawings…both for personal projects and for magazines.” He creates “traditional editorial illustrations [and] animations,” often using graphic design as part of his process.

For this project, he constructed each book by hand using digital printouts of drawings, cloth, and glue.

Henrik Franklin

The bite-size literary pieces were crafted for Gallery 1:10, a mobile dollhouse-turned-contemporary-gallery that travels around Sweden. Franklin displayed his work in 2014 at Odenplan Metro Station in Stockholm; the show was called If You Tolerate ThisThe exhibition’s theme was resistance, dealing primarily with feelings of anxiety about the future, while searching for and trying to hold onto hope. So how does that connect to these miniature books?

Henrik Franklin

The fictional book covers translate to titles like Reading & breathing difficulties, Now & then there & then, and My body is my bouncy castle. The nonsensicalities are, according to Henrik, “all part of an ongoing illustration project that I call “Continuous Catalogue,” which consists of drawings of different objects that contain text elements—books, t-shirts, flyers, and so on. I started the project to create different stories without showing any of the characters involved. I want the titles to tell something about the writer of these fictional books, and perhaps also something about the imagined customer. They’re quite seldom a direct reflection of my own personal opinions or beliefs.”

Henrik Franklin

Henrik Franklin

Placed in the dollhouse gallery, the books found their place in a domestic scene.

Henrik Franklin-doku-6oktIMG_4903_1_1

Photo by Anna Lidberg/Gallery 1:10

Henrik Franklin

Photo by Anna Lidberg/Gallery 1:10

Currently, Henrik has been on parental leave, but he is working on a project for the French art festival Bien Urbain, as well as putting together a two-part zine for Orosdi-Back. You can keep up with him on his website, as well as on Instagram.

Now, if only he could make us all the mini bookshelves of our dreams.

All photos used with permission from the artist

Jenna Homen

Community Manager at Chronicle Books. When she's logged off, she can be found cooking, camping, or in a museum. You can follow her on Twitter at @jn_na.
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