Ted Rand was born on December 27, 1915, on Mercer Island, Washington. He was inspired at the young age of four or five by the drawings in his family Bible and claims, “…from that time on, I’ve never stopped drawing. A pencil and a piece of paper have a magnetic attraction for me.” In grade school he would help the teachers by doing all the holiday decorations and soon learned that he could even get out of class to do so.
Rand is a self-taught artist whose professional adventures have included painting the portraits of three kings of Saudi Arabia. He is the prolific and best-selling illustrator of dozens of children’s picture books, some of which are Night Tree by Eve Bunting, The Owl Who Became the Moon by Jonathan London and The Bear That Heard Crying by Helen Kinsey and Arithmetic by Carl Sandburg. Mr. Rand taught illustration at the University of Washington for twenty-two years and spent many years doing advertising work, but now devotes nearly all of his time to children’s books.
Rand feels that picture book illustration is tremendously satisfying and all consuming. His satisfaction is altruistic. He revealed, “If I can help one child to read, I feel I’ve justified my use of shelter and food on this earth.”
The Mazza Collection is home to 470 of Mr. Rand’s paintings from the following books: Arithmetic, The Bear That Heard Crying, Night Tree, The Owl Who Became the Moon, Salty Sails North, Salty Dog, The Hullabaloo ABC, Anna the Bookbinder, Salt Hands, Fighting the Forest, Heidi, The Tree That Would Not Die, Paul Revere’s Ride, The Wizard’s Promise, The Jumblies, White Dynamite and Curly Kidd, Barn Dance!, The Sun, the Wind and the Rain, Once When I Was Scared, The Hornbeam Tree, My Shadow, and The Walloping Window Blind.
One of the more unusual books this artist has designed is Carl Sandburg’s Arithmetic, a unique anamorphic adventure. An anamorphic image is a picture that has been precisely stretched or condensed so it looks distorted until you view it in just the right way. Ted Rand creates many such pictures in Arithmetic, playing with images just as Sandburg plays with language.
It is notable that Ted Rand received the Mazza Medallion on May 7, 1998.
Ted Rand died at his Mercer Island home on October 26, 2004.