EAC Friday Feature: Raina Harden

Friday Jun 9th, 2023

Interview 10 questions 14

10 Questions with Raina Harden

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Raina Harden

-written by Nat Richmond

When were you introduced to Art? And, what impression did it leave on you?

I was first introduced to art by my father when I was a young child. He is an artist and would draw my siblings and I as caricatures in his freetime. With his style he made art look fun! My dad bought me my first sketchpad and color pencils when I was in grade school, further opening that path for me. 

What's a work that has left a lasting impression on you?

The Creation of Adam, located in the Sistine Chapel, has definitely been ingrained in my memory. I was fortunate enough to see this masterpiece in person in 2018. Prior to seeing it in real life, it had little significance to me. It was just another painting you learned about in 9th grade history class and never thought about again. But having witnessed it in all of its glory, 68 feet high and still intact, my appreciation grew exponentially. I recognized how much time and effort went into this project and gained an even greater appreciation for all artists and the work that we do. 

What's one word you would use to describe your Art? And Why?

Various. I describe my art as such because I'm still trying to find out what my "style" is. However, I like to create work varying from fictional characters, to food, to foliage. My art reflects who I am as a person; one day here, some days there, and on weekends wayyyy over there.

How do you feel that your works affect others?

I would love it if people looked at my work and could tell that I had a fun time making it. To me, art is supposed to be a load off your shoulders, unforced, and preferably relaxing. So I hope that my work affects people to where they also feel these emotions. 

What is your opinion on the rise of A.I. generated Art?

I feel that, though it is a useful tool, there are some things that A.I. just can't take from us. Art is an enormous part of the human experience and has been for millenia. I think it scares some artists in terms of , but there will always be a need for us and our work!

Should Art have a limit or boundary? Why?

The only boundary should be if someone is being harmed without their consent. But other than that, not at all. The amazing thing about art is that it is limitless. 

How would you like to evolve over the next 10 years?

I personally want to hone in my skills with different mediums. I'd also love to have the opportunity to do more murals and showcases.

How does your Art contribute to the human experience?

My art is a reminder that you can do whatever you want. The human experience is about having an experience. We're all here to just live our lives however we deem fit. So do what you want. 

Are there any songs that inspire the creator in you?

Closer by Goapele

Blessed by Wizkid (ft. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley) 

Paper Planes by M.I.A. (this song is just super nostalgic and gets me hype)

Any final thoughts?

I  want to thank my dad, Patrick Harden, for starting me down this road of the arts, whether he knows it or not. And I thank Precious Thompson and Patrick Fisher for believing in my abilities and opening the door to create within the Erie community. 


Instagram: @rainas.universe

Erie Arts & Culture

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