Tell me a little bit about you!
Hey Kate, I’m from Jackson, MS and currently live and work in Memphis, TN. I finished my BFA at Memphis College of Art two years ago and I am working as a picture framer now. My work is bright, heavily textured, and dreamy. I often think about the influence that everyday life in the American South has on its artists. The South is severe and intimidating, yet beautifully surreal and firmly rooted in the art of storytelling. I paint every day and I have a siamese cat that can fetch named Dirtbike.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
I lived overseas on and off growing up, mostly in Russia. I spent a few high school years in Novosibirsk and began taking art more seriously. I would visit Russian Orthodox churches and feel awe-struck by the iconography. While the influence is hard to detect in my work now, it’s still one of my favorite forms of painting.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
Playfulness, a quality often attributed to the art of children, represents the driving force behind my work. Its like putting crayon to paper for the first time, creating to experience creation and to communicate emotion on a universal, visual level. Pertaining to imagery, I’ve been painting “sad bugs” as a metaphor for the insatiable, ironic, and often times, perpetually-pessimistic, human condition.
What is your process like?
I usually have a few ideas going at all times. There is a moment when I suddenly feel this need to start a painting, to throw an image onto a blank surface. This kind of impulse presents me with a handful of problems to solve from the start. So, I slowly work my way through the problems. Changing, rearranging, and repainting until I’m no longer bothered by any one part of the piece. The importance of the imagery usually reveals itself midway through the painting.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
I learned pretty quick that immediate gratification is rarely related to art making. I decided early on that I was in this for the long haul. See ya in 35 years, cash money $$$.
Describe your studio.
I have a white plywood wall, and I have a white brick wall. But I work on the floor a lot. I like to stand over the paintings. I’d like to maintain a more organized studio space in the future, but it gets chaotic. I have to “reset” regularly.
What do you find most challenging, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
The most difficult, anxiety-causing aspect to creating art for me is time management, especially while working a day job. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when a painting takes 100+ hours to complete and I can only afford a few hours a day. I have to remind myself that the stress is temporary and unproductive. Retaining a healthy routine of rest, exercise, and socialization are just as important to the work as the work itself.
If you could sit down for dinner or a drink with anyone, who would it be and what would you chat about?
I have a huge crush on Marisol Escobar.
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
ethereal sandpaper bubblegum
What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?
I let the work sit, ride my bike long distance, and play a few rounds of mancala.
What do you love most about your medium? What challenges or surprises you most about it?
The medium to me is an adaptable element to the work. I love learning new skills. Adding a new technique or medium to the tool bag is very exciting. So, I avoid feeling dedicated to any one medium.
What do you need or value most as an artist?
I need time and space. I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to this.
What keeps you creating?
It kinda feels like my sole purpose. And I know from past experiences that painting will open new doors for me. As long as I keep the paint hammer swinging at the hinges.
What are you working on right now?
I just finished a fairly large painting, so I’ve turned my attention to a handful of smaller pieces. Religious themes are beginning to pop up here and there. I have a small painting I’ve been working on about highway Christianity. And about 15 texture-based abstract pieces for an upcoming show.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am very interested in knowing and collaborating with artists in other places. Hit me up!
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