I had the pleasure of meeting Randall Sellers in 2004 at The Bean Café on South Street when I was bright-eyed young Tower Records employee. About a decade ago, when the Tower was still there I would stop into the coffee shop before or after a shift and more often than not there he would be sitting, focused on a piece of paper before him, making only the smallest most deliberate markings on the page. It wasn’t until one of the baristas, with whom I had struck up a friendship, introduced me to Mr Sellers that I began to chat with him regularly and, eventually, that I had a chance to see his works-in-progress up close. I immediately commented on how impressive his pieces were and the ever-humble Mr Sellers thanked me and continue with his work. The people-watcher enjoyed the café as a place that he could be immersed in his work yet surrounded by others, lost in a crowd that (myself excluded) either didn’t care what he was up to or didn’t feel it was proper to ask. As for me, I would watch him work, never able to see what changes he was making to his pieces, but sure enough as days and weeks went by I would see a closer-to-complete work and ask how much longer it would be. With the a steady workmanlike attitude Mr Sellers would create day after day in what was to be one of the most inspiring relationships I have ever had (though I doubt I ever told him how inspired I was by his personality as well as by his workdrawing). Perhaps it was his quiet mien, his comfort with the painstakingly long process of his work, or his willingness to stop what he was doing to chat with me, but Mr. Sellers struck me immediately as a kind man who was content to create the small worlds of his work and, unlike many artists, but not be defined by it.
Mr Sellers body of work is a collection of very small, very detailed drawings – look to the image at the top of the page for a sense of how small they are. The images tend to focus on two types of characters, explorers and lovers, as they move through fantastical-futuristic lands, and I always thought they could be illustrations from a now-lost novel (which fits Mr Sellers current role as independent bookstore owner quite nicely). Although the work truly amazes when it is seen in person, I believe it should be seen regardless of the medium. Though Mr Sellers does not seem to be particularly active in the drawing field as of late, his work has been shown at a number of top-notch galleries and museums over the years. I certainly hope that we haven’t seen the last of his unbelievable mini-worlds.