“As I was out there, running in the neighborhood, I was kind of seeing my surroundings in a new way,” she explained. “I would think a lot, and I found that I was doing a lot of creative problem-solving while I was out running.” As early as her first month, she found that the exercise helped her work out solutions to issues she was facing in her picture books, such as a layout or colors that weren’t quite right.
Richmond is now taking a break from running, but her latest pieces document her experience of the New York City Marathon. “I didn’t want to do just one piece, because New York City is not just one thing,” she reflected. “We ran through five boroughs, [and] there’s so many different neighborhoods and textures that cultures and environments on the route, I almost felt like I wouldn’t be doing it justice to just do one piece.” Somewhere around mile 17, on First Avenue, she decided she’d divide her finish time in five and do one piece per borough.
Richmond recalls the day fondly, asserting that she’ll do it again next year, and that she can’t imagine running a marathon anywhere else. The finished pieces show detailed views of the Verrazano, Pulaski, Queensboro, and Willis Avenue bridges, as well as First Avenue and 75th Street in Manhattan. “I always say I hope my love for New York, how I feel just such gratitude for being here, shines through in the pieces that I create,” she reflected.