Over the last few weeks I have received quite a few requests for a Get to Know the Artist feature on myself. So, I reached out to some of my favorite artists and challenged them all to send me one interview question and boy did they deliver! Within 30 minutes everyone responded...and phew! there are some tough ones. You guys didn't want to let me off easy. I guess you know your turn is coming soon.
Follow their links and you will see why I love this talented group of guys and gals so much.
From your past, what inspires you? Presently, what inspires you? What ideals of future inspire you?
Past: As a kid, my mom was constantly bringing me to museums, old homes, antique auctions..you name it. It was then at an early age that I developed my love of old. I see my design style heavily influenced by those things that I admittedly "hated" as a child. Thanks mom!
Present:I've been really inspired by music lately. A lot of times when I am brainstorming or working I have music on and the music is sort of like a soundtrack to an idea. Sometimes I put the same song on repeat and listen to it hundreds of times. Whatever I am working on, I want it to have the feeling of that song.
Future:I am inspired knowing that I have only began my career. I love the challenge of coming up with a new idea or my next project. I still have so much to learn and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I just hope I can continue to do ALL of these different things I love and somehow make a career out of it.
What are your top three favorite materials to work with? Why do they speak to you?
That is a really tough one because I am always doing different types of work. One day I may be doing an art installation and the next I'm styling a fashion editorial. I guess I would have to say dye is a favorite. I have always loved working with dye- whether it's on paper, fabric, or anything else. I love processes like that...ones where you have to sit over it and work with it until it looks just right. If there is anything I am good at its faking it. Come on now.... I mean aging, distressing, and the like. Dye is usually part of that technique.
It may be a stretch to include this but my second favorite is video. Most of what I love to do is create an experience and a feeling- from weddings to store merchandising or just your art work. Video to me is an extension- a chance to reinforce your story set to perfect music. That to me stirs emotion and draws a connection more than anything else could. And you hope that through that your audience is understanding exactly what you are trying to say.
Last would be natural elements like wood or plants. They add a depth and texture that is typically lacking in a space. It is amazing how much adding plants can change the feel of an area. Nature is pretty incredible. I think people forget that sometimes.
This may be similar to the above: you work a lot with found materials. What is it about old and found objects that draws you?
I love the story most of all. My tv stand is a $5 piece of furniture I purchased from an antique festival. It was made by two brothers who were bachelors and lived together their entire lives. It has wire for drawer pulls and a handmade lock on the door. That piece of furniture is more valuable to me than any store bought item. I also love the quality things were made with long ago. I once met a man (at an antique show of course) and as we sat and talked about Suzani, he said something that has stuck with me ever since. In speaking on the quality and story behind the Suzani patterns he said, "I'm too poor not to have nice things." Man! Is that good or what!? Stop spending 2 dollars here and 6 dollars here on crap that won't last and will just have to be replaced. Invest in things that are made with love and good craftsmanship that can be passed down.
What is the most obscure (or type of) thing that you find yourself drawn to?
I am really fascinated with the body. I am always studying people in public or as I interact with them. So, if you were wondering...yeah I was checking you out. I always look at hands and mouth first. I'm not looking for flaws but I look at the way you use them.
Do you touch your face a lot?
Do you have a gap in your teeth? I like those.
How do you stand when you are talking? Weight on one foot or both?
How are you holding your bag? Your cup?
Do you show your teeth when you smile?
Do you look me in the eye?
Are you leaning in or away?
Are you fidgeting with something? I always play with my hands.
All of these things go through my head within seconds of seeing someone.
The body is a very important part of my work- the way it moves, the way clothes hang on it or the way a model uses it to emphasize a feeling. By studying people moving naturally, I can better direct on how to emulate that in a video or a photo. I love watching the different ways people do the same thing. I don't know if that is obscure or not but I'm pretty sure I just made a lot of people really uncomfortable with being around me.
What are the top 5 most played songs in your iTunes library?
I never ever use iTunes. I use it to store my albums and that is about it. Like I said, music has been a big influence lately so I find myself searching for the right artist or song. I listen for about 30 seconds and if it's not right, I change it. I typically use Pandora- especially on my hour commute to work. Since I don't have a ton of down time to search out new artists, Pandora sort of helps with that too.
My top Pandora stations lately are:
First Aid Kit (It's nice for Fall planning)
This week it's mostly been The Knife or Fever Ray- it suites my mood. "Dry and Dusty" is one of my favorite songs and is always on rotation.I'm a big time lover of mixed Cd's. Yes, I still use Cd's- how retro of me. It is one of my favorite things to receive (hint hint).
What was your first work of art?
I never considered myself creative until I started College. People are usually surprised to find out that I can't draw or paint- really I can't even draw a stick figure. But after a year, I began studying Fashion because I wanted to do costume design for film and theater. That slowly changed to a pure fashion obsession. I love avant-garde styles (probably why I wanted to design costumes right?). My junior year, I began a line with friend, Kayla Jobe, and we set out to create a fashion.music.art festival and our senior year we did just that. I'm sure there were things before that, but it is the first thing that stands out in my memory. We decorated the entire building, organized for 2 bands, 20+ artists to show and sell their wares, and had three designers showcase in a fashion show (including our own line). That was a pretty big deal and I'm still proud of the work we did then. Sure, I would change a million things now but as broke college students we did a pretty darn good job. Like I said...it's all about creating that environment and experience for people. It's like a drug to me.
Who is one artist that you would love to collaborate with?
I don't know that I can just pick one! Honestly, I am so excited to do workshops with many of my talented friends. I don't really sit and dream about working with artists that I may never even meet. I have a pretty fantastic group of people to work with and learn from now. For example, Marisa is one of the most talented mask makers and overall artists that I have ever seen. She absolutely blows me away! I can't wait for the opportunity to work with her and hopefully learn some of her skills.
But. if I had to pick someone it would be Sibella Court of Society Inc. I am pretty sure we are kindred spirits. I would love the opportunity to work with her in any capacity one day. Hey Sibella.... call me!