Interview with Artist & Poet, Sandra Ruddick-Darr

I constantly argue with my 15-year-old daughter to use the grid method when attempting to draw from a photograph.  And, I truly received much resistance -- until she finally attempted and saw the difference in accuracy when sketching her continued OBSESSION of Pennywise.  The grid method has been used throughout history to maintain proper consistency, I mean if it was a good enough technique to be used by masters of Art Da Vinci or Van Gogh two famous names anyone off the street should know – in part to their extreme popularity and talent. The first time that I saw one of Sandra Ruddick-Darr’s gridded pieces, I automatically became intrigued. It’s such a beautiful way to build a piece as you simply go from square to square and watch it blossom.  It’s actually comforting for me to see Sandra’s sketches mid-grid as it really gives me an opportunity to truly appreciate her perfect clean lines.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, Sandra also writes beautiful emotive poetry – check her out on Instagram @sruddickdarr. I also, want to make a quick note, her Star Wars sketches are my ABSOLUTE faves!!!! 

RMMW:  Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?

SRD: I don't think I have really ever been creatively blocked.  Instead I just have had my moments where nothing comes to my thoughts as far as writing goes.  I do have moments where I know I need to write but nothing wants to come out.  I never force it out anyways or I get not so good results.  So blocked, no... more like just stuck and I don't know what to write.  When I do write it's more of a moment of clarity where thoughts start coming to me and I just write as they do come.  Sometimes all it takes to get me writing again is something as simple as a prompt word or an Elfchen then the rest just flows.

RMMW: We all have an inner critic; how do you contend with yours?

SRD: I tend to ignore it anymore because I know I am always harder on myself than anyone can ever be.  Some moments I see all these just wow pieces and I wonder what in the world am I doing still writing.  Then other moments I am reminded we all have a unique perspective on things so what we each bring to the table is our individuality and that is just as important.

RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
SRD: Whether it is a drawing or writing I don't really have anything I do before I start something new.  I just go with how I am feeling in the moment and that chooses my piece.

RMMW: What come first: your love of words or art?

SRD: Art came before writing.  I started drawing by the time I was 12 and did it off and on.  The writing came just a few years later.  It was a way to escape everyday life for me as a kid/teenager.

RMMW: I've noticed a definite anime/cartoon theme with regards to your drawings, who do you enjoy sketching most?

SRD: I am drawn to the multi-dimensional aspects of the personalities of some of the anime characters.  I think my favorite one to draw though would be the Naruto or Bleach characters because I am fascinated with the depth of each one of them.  Out of them I think Gaara (Naruto) is my favorite along with Kenpachi (Bleach) They both have different challenges with their shading and definitions that I enjoy.
RMMW: What is your favourite medium to create with? And why?

SRD: Pencil is my favorite medium to create with because I like the challenge of creating all the colors with just the shades of it.  I absolutely love color, yet it doesn't make the art I do pop like pencil can.

RMMW: How do you feel when you read the words of other poets/writers during your Instagram Lives?

SRD: When I read other poets during a live I take it with great responsibility because we are taking their thoughts and their feelings they shared with us then putting a voice to it.  No one’s voice can express their words like the poet who wrote it so it is up to us to do the best we can to convey it to others the way we think they would want us to.  It is never perfect yet it is a great opportunity to share other poets with those that may not have read them yet so their voice can be heard.
RMMW: What is your writing Kryptonite?

SRD: I don’t have a writing Kryptonite – I just write when it flows.

RMMW: What do you feel are some of the challenges that most modern-day artists and writers currently face?

SRD: I’m not up to date on anything when it comes to that. Tho what I have seen the most while being on IG the biggest challenge we face is just being heard. That’s why poets anonymous is so important to me because we all know what it’s like to start out and not have a clue what to do. Giving others a voice and sharing their work is a step in the direction to let others know they are seen and are heard. That they are just as important and that it doesn’t matter if your words inspire 1 person or hundreds. All that matters is that one person it does touch.

RMMW: If you ever pair a poem with an image what comes first the image or poem?

SRD: Most of the time the poem comes first yet every once in awhile an image will inspire it.

RMMW: Who have you read over the years, who continues to inspire you?

SRD: I have lessened my reading over the years because I get too absorbed in it and can’t put it down until I’m finished. I grew up reading Poe, Shelley, Byron, VC Andrews, Clive Barker, Nancy Drew and whatever I could get my hands on. I moved to Charlene Harris books and The Hunger Games series along with Vampire Academy. Those who continue to inspire me are the ones who never gave up. Bryan and Tara inspire me the most because they put their all into what they write and it’s pure raw emotion written in such a way it blows one away every time.

RMMW: What do you feel good art or poetry ought to do?

SRD: I feel that good art or poetry should make you feel the emotions the artist/writer is feeling at that moment of creation. You should be able to walk away from it having felt what they put into it. Then it has accomplished what it was meant to. If I take a drawing someone else has done and I decided to draw it I still put my own emotion into it. To be able to connect with the writing is important as well yet it doesn’t mean it’s not good. Because at that moment that individual put their heart and soul into it.

RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?

SRD: I wouldn’t want a superpower because I have what I need and that’s a great responsibility.


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