For this week’s blog, Fiber Arts Artist, Karin Kaufman of Nadelwerk, interviewed Rand Russell of Grin Graphics. Rand creates exquisite Handcrafted Books and Paper Arts.
How long have you been a part of Artistic Portland, and what appealed to you about joining the
I joined in October 2015. I liked the idea of selling my things in a store, not just Etsy and liked the idea I could sell more than in a gallery, i.e. my books, photos, artwork, etc.
What’s your background?
I'm an art brat from a family of artists. I have a BFA in printmaking from Penn State, studied at the Slade in London, have prints from my studio in various museums and the Library of Congress, and was master printer at my printmaking workshop, Grin Graphics in NYC before relocating to PDX five years ago.
Why do you do what you do?
It's my calling in this lifetime. I live my life as a work in progress. I'm an artist.
Describe yourself in one word. Why that word?
Magician. It helps that artists I've collaborated with have called me that. Creating something out of thin air. Yep.
Where do you create?
I generally dance things into creation in what most folks would call their living/dining area and guest bedroom in their house. I just call the whole place my studio.
What motivates/inspires your work?
Lately I've found that custom order requests have fueled my innovation and creation of new items. I credit the "helper" skills of a fourth born child, and years of professional collaboration in creative environments for the ability to create something for someone in a country around the world, that they will cherish for its uniqueness of being handmade in an artist's studio just for them.
What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have?
I'm a keen observer and find long walks drive my process. I can tell if I'm ready to begin a new project by how well I've cleaned up everything around me, so it is not a distraction to my creative spurt.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created?
Here is a photo of it. It is a carved cuttlefish. A fellow artist spotted it on a beach in Skopelos, Greece. She presented it to me to be carved, as she had heard of me carving stones from the beach the year previous. When I arrived in PDX I enclosed it in the assembled glassware container, and added other beach memorabilia from places I have travelled. I gave her a moonstone for a heart.
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new artistic skill, what would it be?
I would like the skill to do fine wood marquetry, and also to be able to sculpt marble well.
What do you like to do when you're not creating?
Daydream, Walk, Ruminate.... Create.
Stop by Artistic Portland any day of the week 10am-6pm (noon-5 pm on Sundays) to see and purchase Rand's work in person!