Amy Ruppel: This Land Is Your Land

Released Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This Land Is Your Land, by Amy Ruppel.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to American Forests.

Amy Ruppel is a Midwestern transplant to the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Printmaking-Lithography, but soon fell in love with Adobe Illustrator. She has been using the program since the day it came into the world, and was hooked immediately. Amy has always been a fan of design and illustration, and has allowed her path to follow those desires – down a vector path!

Amy lives in Portland, OR, and has been her own boss since 2000. She has been lucky to work on interesting projects with some great clients – Target, Converse, and Klutz, to name a few. In addition to the client work, she loves pursuing her own thing, continuing to make art and holding a monthly online sale on her website, which helps to keep that passion alive. She often works with wax painting, which she discovered a few years ago in an encaustic class. The medium allows for a marriage between her digital work and her desire to create with her hands.

About the print:
A while ago, I made a similar print with trees in the shape of Oregon, my home state. The print was inspired by a hike I’d recently been on, where I was appreciating all of the tall pine trees. Making that print felt like a good way to express my appreciation for them. When I was perusing the list of charities on The Working Proof, American Forests came up, and the idea for This Land Is Your Land popped into my head instantly. This time, I added a heart, because our nation’s forests are incredible.


The inspirational "Home" print.

What has inspired you recently?
The craft movement has been immense. Brings me back to my days of loving Scandinavian and mid-century pottery and textiles. The internet has been an amazing tool for discovery and exploration into what is being made currently.

You studied lithography in college, but became interested in digital illustration shortly thereafter. How does working in one medium verses the other affect the way that you think about or approach your work? Do you ever use lithography in your work now?
I wish I used lithography in my work now. But it's never too late, right? I certainly don't get the same effect on the computer as a nice chunk of limestone would give me. I think that drawing digitally leads to such clean lines and perfect, flat color, that I push those extremes with the medium. And when I use another medium, be it painting with acrylics, or drawing with charcoal or pencil, the tooth of the surface and looseness of line get all the freedom they deserve. Each medium has it's own qualities, and I let the medium control the look of the image. If I make a mistake when I'm drawing, though, my left hand automatically makes the "keystroke motion" for undo! I need an eraser that says "UNDO".

Why did you choose to pair American Forests with your print?
I love trees. I grew up in the woods. I need to escape to and hike in the forests here often, to get myself back to nature. It is inspiring to no end.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I see more and more people pulling their imagery from nature and animals, and I love that it is seen as art. The real thing is art.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I loved the landscapes of Milton Avery. He simplified nature into pure swaths of color.

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
Oh, there are so many: Lizzy Stewart, Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch, Lisa Congdon, Lisa DeJohn, Trish Grantham, Frank Chimero, Michael Paulus, Jon Klassen, Marci Washington, Scarlett Hooft Graafland... I could go on forever. When I find an artist on the web that I love, I pull their site bookmark into a folder called "artists I adore". That folder keeps growing every day.

What are you looking forward to in 2010?
2010! I'm so glad you're here. I have a project that I just completed with Hewlett Packard that makes me proud, and will be launching in early May, worldwide! I'm also designing a special piece for Schoolhouse Electric, based here in Portland. I hope to start taking on more illustration projects this year. I have the most fun when I'm working with (and for) others. Painting-wise, I'm going to be pushing my acrylics usage and will see if I can come up with another series, like the "Mean Birds" or "Bovids" pieces I made last year. I'm looking forward to new ventures each and every day. Bring it!


Nidhi said...

such a beautiful print...and I love the idea behind it...perfect charity pairing too :)

abby said...

Beautiful print- I'd buy it if it showed Alaska!
It's lovely nonetheless...

Kathryn said...

Love the print. Would you be interested in producing a larger print?

Anna said...

Kathryn - there aren't a plans to produce a larger print at the moment, but thank you for your interest!

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