November 2010 | Jonathan Shipley

Nikki McClure - A Book Artist Interviewed

If you don't know the work of artist Nikki McClure, based in Olympia, Washington, you should. It's nothing short of stunning.

Using an X-ACTO knife, she cuts detailed pictures from single sheets of paper. Her artwork has appeared in journals, note cards, and, more recently, in her own books (like the one pictured to the right).

Recently, Portland's fabled Powell's Books interviewed McClure about her art and her inspirations.

From the piece...

Megan: Where do you find inspiration? If you're really stuck, what do you do?

McClure: I usually sweep the floor. [Laughter]

It actually needs sweeping. You just finished the picture, so you leave your room. And the next time you come, there's always something to do, right? There's sweeping the floor.

But inspiration is like... It's everywhere. It's food. It's moss. It's mushrooms. It's the bird that just flew away from my feet. I find a lot of inspiration just... It's just life. Life's so beautiful. It's every needle on the fir tree, all the leaves. It's a way to kind of capture it and honor it, and hold on to memories, too. I feel like I'm kind of compiling our family scrapbook and sharing it with the world. It seems to resonate with people even though it's so personal to me, but I really love making pictures of events in my life. I'm kind of recording it, marking it. But the inspiration is just in the day, though sometimes it's hard to wake up. [Laughter] I like sleeping in.

read more