Rachel is an author/ illustrator who works under the pen name Prints Marin, or P. Marin for short. The name was inspired by her son, whose birth also inspired her to pick up a pen and follow her dream of writing children’s books. She has a knack for delivering deep life messages about creativity, friendship and belonging through her watercolor illustrations. I asked about what inspires her creative work and she shared this story.
I grew up with a dad who was a welder by trade but an artist at heart. He had this way of finding odd and endearing characters in unexpected places. He showed me early on that ordinary becomes extraordinary depending on how we look at it.
Growing up my family owned a land tortoise. Her name was Precious. She did what tortoises do, she pooped. My dad would collect the poop and lay it in the sun to dry. After the poop hardened and no longer smelled, he’d paint eyes on it. He’d glue on one feather at a time. When he was done, his turtle turd birds stood on two wire legs stuck into the base of a dried out jelly fish. No one ever walked by those birds without stopping to admire them in some way.
It was hard not to be inspired creatively, living with those turtle turd birds and with all that magic my dad created under our roof.
Today I’m inspired by our son, along with a desire to share what’s good in this world, keep my muse roused and my pen moving.
As for challenges, I am and I always have been my biggest obstacle. I used to point the finger at anyone who got in the way of my art, but today I know no one can keep me from doing what I love. I’m the only one standing in my way. And the solution for getting out of the way is always more art.
When the world closed, I was grateful for the permission it gave me to stay in my pajamas and to create in my closet art studio. Along with the pandemic came great pain and suffering for many and I felt that weight. But I also felt a lightness at the thought of people slowing down and having time to reconnect with those things that bring them joy. Autopilot is handy when we’re headed where we want to go. But for many doing what they’ve always done, and now stopping to question and reflect, that gave me hope something good could come of all this.
As my eyes readjust to life outside of my closet, I’m holding on to that hope. I’m also holding on to a Halloween book I just finished illustrating. If all goes well, it’ll be in the hands of trick-or-treaters this October.”
Thank you Rachel for sharing your work and your story!
You can view more of her books and artwork on the P. Marin website.