artful fridays – Rachael Ashe

May 18, 2012

Hello you!

It’s that time of the week. You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s time to feature awesome people!

Today we’re going to have a chat with Rachael Ashe – an emerging artist that uses recycled materials and found objects to create altered books and collages. Did I mention she also loves photography? Yeah, total rad-o-rama over here!

By the way the long weekend is upon us, which means a possible road trip AND lots of delicious pics. Stay tuned for next week’s “The Week in Images”

Let’s get the chat with Rachael started:

Who is Rachael?

I am an emerging multi-disciplinary artist, working in a number of media such as altered books, mixed media collage, paper cutting, and photography. I love working with recycled materials and found objects as much as possible. I live in East Vancouver with an entrepreneurial technologist and a small yellow bird, both of whom constantly inspire and keep me laughing.

When did you start making art?

I was drawn to art-making from childhood. First it was drawing and painting, and then photography. Up until about four years ago I was focused only on photography, mainly creative portraiture. As I transitioned from film to digital, I felt drawn to more tactile work in the form of collage, and this eventually led to working with books. At the moment I am entirely focused on  paper-based work in the form of collage and paper cutting, as well as altered books.

What are altered books?

The term altered books covers any art form that uses old books as a material. I use existing hardcover books I either find or buy second-hand to create sculptural assemblage collage.

What’s your favorite medium to work on?

I love trying different things and experimenting, which is why I end up working in many different mediums. At the moment paper is definitely my favourite, and I’m contemplating ways I can create larger pieces than I have to date.

What are some basic tools we would need if we wanted to create some altered books?

All someone really needs is a book and creative thinking, because there are many things one can do that don’t require any additional tools. Scissors, glue, gel medium, an xacto knife, and a bone folder knife are the basic tools I work with most often.

How do you recharge your creative batteries?

I recharge my creative batteries by getting out of the city for a change of scene, spending time in nature, and visiting the studios of artists I admire. I also get a recharge by experimenting with new materials or process because it can inspire ideas and lead to new work.

What would be your advice for people that want to pursue a career in art but don’t know where to start?

An important part of being an artist is to reach out to other artists and engage your community. I’ve learned a lot about being a professional artist by participating in events that have brought me into contact with more experienced artists. Most people are willing to share knowledge and experience, and it’s important to any career type to create strong connections with the people in your field. Don’t expect anyone to just hand you all the answers though.

Holy laser-cut precision, Batman! (all by hand though)

Her work is a beautiful mix of patterns, textures and nature. Visit Rachael’s Etsy shop to get your hands in some of her collages or follow her on Instagram and watch the magic of mixed media unfold before your eyes (you’ll also get a few sneak peeks of her AWESOME little bird)

Happy weekend!


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