Featured Interview on My Modern Metropolis

My work is featured on My Modern Metropolis today. You can check it out here.

I thought I’d share the full interview questions and answers here, since most of what I wrote wasn’t used in the feature.

MMM: How did you get into altering books?

RA: Creating art from old books was an idea I processed in my head for a few years before I actually got serious about working with them. Up until about four years ago the primary focus of my work was photography, but as I transitioned from shooting film to digital I felt I needed to do more tactile work. I began creating mixed media collage, and this eventually led me to working with
paper and books. The big “AHA!” moment came when I picked up a copy of “New Directions in Altered Books” by Gabe Cyr and I realized the possibilities of creating three-dimensional assemblage work with books.

MMM: What’s the most challenging thing about creating these?

RA: The biggest challenge is to keep coming up with new ideas and ways to work with books. I am driven by the need to experiment, and prefer to come up with a different way of transforming the book with each succeeding work. What draws me to the process is that each one seems to have a new challenge in problem solving in order to bring my vision to reality. This is what keeps working with altered books endless interesting to me.

MMM: Why do you infuse nature into them?

RA: I live in Vancouver, BC, a city surrounded by mountains, forests, and the ocean. Nature is ever-present within the city, but I also don’t have to go far in order to immerse myself fully in natural surroundings. I think incorporating imagery of birds, trees, and even using found objects from nature in my artwork is a natural byproduct of the environment in which I live.

MMM: What meanings do they hold for you?

RA: I find meaning in the process of making the altered books more than what they represent. I’m much more interested in the meaning other people discover in my work for themselves. The audience often sees symbolism or meaning I hadn’t intended but I love that aspect of sharing work.

Thank you very much to Alice Yoo for featuring me.