"Inspiring Artist!" Ed Hutchins

Meet Book Artist Ed Hutchins…

Ed, I am honored to have you share your work and vision here. You truly are a pioneer in the field of artist books!

Thanks for including me in this important project. Hugs, Ed

Please introduce yourself and your art a little bit.

My name is Ed Hutchins and I create artist books. Most of my books are produced using simple skills and materials found close at hand. I try to keep the message direct and heartfelt. My books have not received many awards, but I consider every purchase to an individual or a collection to be a major accomplishment.

Where can people find you and your work?

A lot of my books are photographed and described at www.artistbooks.com I live in a rural part of upstate New York on the Vermont border. The best way to contact me is by snail mail at:

Ed Hutchins
17 Bowers Lane
Salem NY 12865

Orders for my books usually get a bonus surprise.

Finish this thought: For me art is…

For me art is a state of grace that exists when someone become comfortable, masters, and surpasses the expectations of their skill. It is the breath of life that transforms the rules into inspiration. The excavator who is preparing the foundation and landscape for our new house, does with a bulldozer what many artists wish they could accomplish with their brushes.

How did you first get involved in making artist books?

Damn. For Goodness Sake, I’ve tried everything else! I studied to be a traditional book binder, but the pages kept folding in odd ways, the type jumped off the paper, and the bindings kept taking interesting, but unexpected shape. Eventually I gave up resisting, and devoted my life to making interesting book editions.

Tell us about “Book Dynamics!” and where we can pick it up.

“Book Dymanics” was a labor of love by friends who wanted to see my work reach a wider audience. It is a hardbound book that features photos and stories of 38 of my books. There is more information and a “buy now” feature at http://artistbooks.com/bookdynamics.html

Where do you find the inspiration for your art?

I get up in the morning, stretch my arms, look around, and all these ideas are swirling around me. There’s nothing like living an event-filled life for finding ideas to share.

You manage to pack powerful messages into whimsical books. Can you talk a little about some of the themes we might find in your work?

I’ve enjoyed exploring lots of themes, but some common ideas include social justice, the power of pattern, peace-filled interactions, finding a personal space in the universe, and just plain having fun with paper, ink, and glue.

Would you share a story about one of your favorite pieces?

This is tough, because I am enchanted with all of my books. The book “Toro” is fun because it was the last book created when Steve and I spent a year in Mexico. The text is printed with rubber type, the illustrations were cut from erasers, and most of the book was printed, cut out, and assembled in hotel rooms and on bus rides during the two weeks it took us to go from Oaxaca, Mexico to Tucson, Arizona. The night before we crossed the border into the USA I finished the last copy.

Your unique art form and vision are inspiring! Who has inspired you?

I am a product of the rich assortment of friends, teachers, students, and people on the street. I am lucky to have a wonderful family, interesting and intriguing friends, and–most important–for the last 18 years my life has been enriched by a devoted and supportive spouse, Steve Warren

Are there any tips to living a creative life that you’d like to share?

Everyone has to find the right approach that meets their unique needs. However, for me, I’ve found it helpful to set aside time for creative thought and work and stick to that schedule. I try not to be impatient if ideas take longer to develop than I wish. Ron King called it “cooking the books,” you have to let ideas stew until they take useful shape. And, I recognize that my books will not resonate with everyone. They are like time bombs that sit on the shelf until the right person comes along. Then–BOOM!–they find their appreciative audience.

What a great attitude to have as an artist. And what a stunning work you do! Thank you again for sharing your story with us today.

“Inspiring Artists!” will be an ongoing series. It will run as long as there are inspiring artists out there wanting to share their stories. If you are an artist and would like to participate please contact me at jhutchins@joyfulartsstudio.com. I would love to hear from you!!

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