Made Up by Ellen Knudson

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Made Up is a non-scientific science book about the imaginary cellular composition of the human body. Fourteen cells are illustrated: Anger, Curiosity, Failure, Fear, Jealousy, Joy, Knowledge, Location, Love, The Past, Success, Talent, Trust, Work.

The cell images are vibrant multi-block and reduction linoleum prints with a diagram explaining how each cell operates. The text is playfully pseudo-scientific and presents theories about the attributes that "make up" a person.

The inspiration for Made Up stems from a general fascination with how things are constructed. I often think about how people are similar and how we are different, and wonder how those similarities and differences occur. I had been drawing cells in my sketchbook and formed the idea of imaginary, emotional cellular structures that might "make up" a person. I listed fourteen types of cells (Anger, Curiosity, etc.) and wrote text for each cell using indirectly scientific language. To further support the pseudo-scientific nature of the books' content, I used a non-digital form of image creation for the cells — multi-block linoleum cuts.

Artist Bio

Ellen Knudson is a book artist producing handmade books under the imprint Crooked Letter Press. She is currently an Associate in Book Arts at The University of Florida with an MFA in Book Arts from The University of Alabama. Ellen has been a book artist for 17 years and a professional graphic designer for 20+ years. She has taught courses and workshops in letterpress printing, book arts, and graphic design at universities and arts programs around the United States. Her work is in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Yale University (CT), Duke University (NC), and many other national and international collections.