Elaborate book covers have been Aniko Kolesnikova’s passion since 2009. The Latvian designer-artist, working under the name Mandarin Duck, specializes in creating dragon-, animal-, bird-, fantasy-, and nature-inspired polymer journals. She occasionally takes custom orders, too.

Bookbinding in the West is recorded from the 5th century onwards, although the earliest surviving book is the 8th-century St. Cuthbery Gospel. Books were bound in materials such as wood, leather, and cloth, but did you know that some books were also bound in human skin? This is called anthropodermic bibliopegy.

Kolesnikova has made YouTube tutorials on journal cover design too, so if binding with skin isn’t your thing, she’ll teach you how to do it with polymer. Check out some of her work below:

More info: Etsymandarin-duck.com | Facebook | YouTube


“My amazing journey of discovery as a sculptor began 6-7 years ago when Chris Wildhaber Kapono from Deviantart inspired me to start working with polymer clay,” Kolesnikova told Bored Panda


Indian Elephant

“I get many custom requests to make skull journals, although I don’t like making them. One interesting order was for a Doctor Who themed journal”

Nature’s Footprint


Starry Eyed

“Sometimes when I lie in bed and close my eyes I suddenly get an idea for a journal. I jump up and run to my studio to make a few sketches, so I can start working in the morning”


Floral Journal

Skull & Roses

The Lighthouse

“I once made two matching journals based on a story, but they were separated by a sale. A year later, the customer bought the second journal, and the two were reunited, just like the characters in the story”

Blue Dragon

Bored Panda would like to thank Aniko Kolesnikova for this interview.