“I got started in eighth grade in Tucson, Arizona,” Richard Olson said. “I was in a math class with four friends. One day one of them brought a maze he had made and started a contest to see who could make the best maze. After a while the other four stopped making them, but I haven’t yet.
“I would make mazes at home and take them to school. Some of my friends got excited about them and started copying them, and that kept me excited about them.
“When I feel like doing a maze, I sit down and think of movies I’ve seen, books I’ve read, anything that might bring me an idea. I’ve taken art classes all through school, but I don’t have any particular tricks I use in drawing mazes, though I do like to continue a particular path a long way and then end it before I finally create the one good path. Usually, I just sit down and start drawing, and the idea works itself out as I go along.”
It was Richard’s father who first thought of publishing the mazes in a book to earn money for his mission. “I promised the Lord that all the money would go into my mission fund,” Richard said. “The books weren’t selling too well to begin with, but then we got more orders than books and had to have some more printed.” They have now published more than 1,000 copies.
Now Richard is serving in the Texas San Antonio Mission, and mazes have become less important. “In the mission field,” he says, “I don’t have time to draw one, because it takes about two or three hours. Besides, there are more important things to do.” When he returns home, though, he’ll probably go back to the drawing board again.