One more post for today, and it is a good one! I am thrilled to have full-time artist and shop owner of Selflesh, Shannon Rankin here today sharing her studio space with us and answering a few questions. Enjoy!
-Where is your studio located?
We live and work in Rangeley, a very tiny rural town located amid the western mountains of Maine. We moved here in May of 2007 to live among the trees. While living in a shed, we helped build a woodshop for Justins dad with a live/work space above it for us. Essentially our entire space is a studio, but weve carved out a small living space too.
-How many hours per week do you spend at your studio?
I would say anywhere from 40-80 hours depending on how many projects I have going on. I will say though that this time includes all aspects of being an artist, including ordering, emailing, framing, packing, photographing, listing, etc. If I really took a look at how much time I actually spend in the studio making work, I would probably be disappointed, but I likely average 4-6 hours per day, including Saturdays and Sundays. Oh, it sure would be nice to have an intern!
-In three sentences or less, how would you describe your work?
I combine the visual elements of maps, anatomical illustrations and natural forms to explore themes of travel, healing, and time. While bearing traces of the original form, I deconstruct maps to create new geographies, suggesting the potential for a broader landscape.
–How long have you been pursuing work as an artist?
Ive been making things since I was little, but I became serious about working as an artist about 12 years. In 1997, I graduated from Maine College of Art with a graphic design degree. In addition to graphic design, I also had a solid foundation of art making under my belt, so after graduation I headed west, worked as a graphic designer and made interactive art as much as possible. The fine art kept tugging at me, so thats what stuck. These days Im making tangible art. Im deconstructing maps, embroidering paper, and creating large intricately patterned installations.
-What advice do you have for other artists who may be just starting out, or are struggling to be seen?
Obviously making the work is the most important thing to do. Make it for yourself first, and make a lot of it! The more work you make, the better you will become. Follow your intuition, and make what you love. When you do this, you will find your voice, and eventually you will be successful.
Personally, I enjoy taking on as many projects as I possibly can. I love to keep busy, and I love the variety. By doing this, I get better at what I do, and my work gets to be seen by a larger audience.
-In what ways do your promote yourself and your work online?
Im sure I dont promote my work as much as I should, but I do post a lot of photos on flickr. For me, flickr is the place where I put everything, photos of my work, progress, studio, home, kitty, self, and everyday life in general. Im trying to be a better blogger, which currently consists of progress updates with the occasional inspirational quote. I originally started the blog as a record for myself, but I do have a few followers now. I also have a facebook fan page, and thats where I have frequent giveaways! Yay!
-You recently collaborated with Justin Richel on some work (above and below) for an upcoming show. How did that come about? How is it working with another artist on something that you would usually do solo?
Ah yes”¦ Justin Richel (aka The Squeeze). Weve been together for almost 8 years now, and this is the first time we have officially collaborated on making art together! We were invited by Susan Schwake of artstream to participate in a show titled It Takes Two ““ Partners in Art.
We were so pleased with the results of our collaboration, we decided to open a shop specifically dedicated to sharing our collaborative work. We hope to create a new series of work each / or every other month. This collaboration has provided us with the opportunity to expand our individual processes, allowing for the work to be more open, and more abstract. So, intersect is where we come together to make work we would never make on our own.
-Do you have any shows or events coming up that we should know about?
It Takes Two, Artstream Gallery, Rochester, NH
A solo show at Craftland Gallery, Providence, RI
Drawing in Thread, The Gallery at Mount Ida College, Newton, MA
A map show at June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME
A show at Zero Station, Portland, ME
-Links to Make Note of:
Fine Art ““ http://www.artistshannonrankin.com
Etsy Shop ““ http://www.selflesh.etsy.com
Blog ““ http://www.selflesh.blogspot.com
Facebook Fan Page ““ http://www.facebook.com/selflesh
Our Etsy Shop ““ http://www.intersect.etsy.com
Justin Richel Links and More:
Fine Art ““ http://www.artistjustinrichel.com
Etsy Shop ““ http://www.justinrichel.etsy.com
Justins Dads Shop ““ http://www.woodswise.etsy.com
Justin’s Mom’s Shop- http://www.tkrdesigns.etsy.com
Artstream – http://www.artstreamstudios.com/
Susan Schwake – http://www.susanschwake.com/
Her Blog – http://artesprit.blogspot.com/
We barely scratched the surface with studio photos…more of Shannon’s studio here and here on flickr. Thanks so much for the tour Shannon. One of my favorites so far this year!