vesselcollective

Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Aymie’s Words

In Interview on October 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

as photo

Aymie Spitzer is the co-founder of Neighborwoods, a project featuring many of the world’s greatest cities in woodcuts. It began with maps and has captured the imagination of folks from all over, including mine. Aymie’s story of Neighborwoods is a testament to the true fact that you can take something that you find interesting and beautiful and adapt it into something that others also find wonderful. Here are her words.

Who are you and what do you do?

 I am a graphic designer and co-founder of Neighborwoods.

How did Neighborwoods come about?

Neighborwoods started as a personal project from Hyperakt Labs, a business model where employees are given the opportunity to make and develop something outside of client work, whether it be a product, website, almost anything. I started experimenting with our laser engraver and combined with my interest in antique maps, Neighborwoods was under way.  

What was the first map you can remember enjoying and what did you think/feel?

The first map I remember being captivated with was a large flat brass world map that my dad had hanging in our home. I stared at it for hours, inspecting its details and wondering where it actually came from. It only had a couple colors printed on top of the brass and now I’m even more interested as to how it was printed and how old it was. 

What has the project taught you?

1. An inkling of an idea can become a successful product with planning, hard work and support.
2. Find good people to join your team. They should bring skills that you don’t possess, making the product stronger and better through collaboration and passion. 
3. The business side isn’t as fun as the creative side, but it’s as important if not more. 

wall

What have been your favorite moments since you begun the project?

1. Friends and strangers responding with joy and excitement about the product. 
2. Exposure on well known blogs and magazines is a trip!
3. Seeing the brand grow and become its own entity.

What’s been a challenge and how have you overcome it?

It’s been hard envisioning the brand growing from the original wood map and extending to other products. It’s really about where you want the brand to go while sticking true to its foundation.

boston

London-1_grande

[Click below for the full interview]
Read the rest of this entry »

Tracy’s Words

In Interview on September 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm

tracy

It is with the utmost pleasure that I present to you the words of Tracy Midulla Reller, art professor, community leader, and the face and muscle of the wonderful Seminole Heights gallery, Tempus Projects. I’ve wanted to ask this woman a few questions for a long time. I first heard Tracy’s name over 3 years ago, when I was interviewing talented local artist, Ashley Niven, one of the first folks I ever spoke with under the name of Vessel. She called Tracy a badass. She wasn’t kidding. I haven’t stopped hearing Tracy’s name since, and neither has anyone else. With each year, Tempus has become more and more of a champion of local artists and has pushed Tampa’s event and cultural scene forward, thank goodness. Here you are, words from a badass.

What are the most important things you’ve learned about art?

I can never know enough about it. It is like a high-speed snowball, rolling out of control, growing and I can’t imagine trying to suss it all out. It’s big. It’s enormous and I can never know it all. I’m okay with that. I don’t need to know it all.

How about starting and running a space?

The most important things? That it is never done and when it starts to feel like it is getting easy, it’s time to do something else or something more. I’ve learned artists are lovely and diverse and complicated. I’ve learned that even if you don’t have an art budget, you should buy art. -and you should convince everyone you know to buy/own original art by living contemporary artists. It really makes things more interesting and satisfying; supporting someone that is contributing to the field currently. I’ve also learned, at least locally, that art-goers are starving for something new, all the time and that we really need more art spaces; independent ones, that are not affiliated with colleges, universities, frame shops, private studios, or gift boutiques. Those things are all great. They hold their own importance and are totally necessary, but we have those. We have very few art spaces that exist only to serve as project/exhibition space. I’d love the camaraderie.

best of the bay tempus

How about your self?

I don’t control everything. And that is very freeing.

Knowing what you know now, several years into the game, is there anything you would do differently with Tempus Projects?

Not really. I am tempted to say it would have been nice to start with a Board of Directors and/or funding, but I think those are all things that really grew beautifully to fit Tempus Projects perfectly. I don’t know that anyone would have been behind it from the very beginning. It was a totally goofy idea to open a project space in a garage hidden behind a business with no visibility and no budget. It took me a few years to figure out exactly how I wanted it to go ‘offically’; to find the perfect people to work with for growth. The Board of Directors is stellar. I’m so lucky to have each one of them involved. They are a perfect and delicate balance and they get things done. They are an incredible team; a powerhouse. Projects and funding is falling into place, slowly but surely. I’m really happy with how things have unfolded, naturally. No regrets. Nothing different.

tempus

showing at tempus

[Click below for the full interview]
Read the rest of this entry »

Stephanie and Danielle’s Words

In Interview on September 10, 2013 at 2:12 am

danielle_me2

Stephanie Clark and Danielle McKinney are a pair of friends I met at Tampa Free School’s Tampa Zine Fest at the end of June 2013. They had beautiful paper journals they’d made, which I traded some of my zines for. Here they are reading Vessel’s interview compilation zine soon after I met them.

steph and danny

Juxtaposing their words and goals together will show you a fantastic friendship, a map to moving through your doubts and towards great creative work, and both their similarities and their differences, which I think you’ll enjoy. Here are their words.

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 10.26.09 PM

me

What’s something Danielle has taught you?

That I need to work on my drawing. She has a way with a ball point pen that I never will. Also, if I need my face photoshopped on Jesus, I should just call her instead of doing it myself.

daniell_me

me_daniell2

What’s something she has a hard time remembering about herself?

She forgets she needs to sleep.

What do you think her strength is?

Her ability to go with the flow. It makes her very versatile and easy to work with.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A mermaid. Or in love.

me2

What do you think is going to be the most difficult aspect of building your career and working on your creative endeavors?

Overcoming my anxiety.

[Click below for the full interview]
Read the rest of this entry »

BUILT with Love: Andrew Watson and Chris Kelly

In Interview on September 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 6.06.50 PM

There’s a new energy buzzing in Seminole Heights. It might be a table saw. Or it could be that there’s a new gallery space in town. With BUILT being a custom furniture workshop and Workspace being a new gallery and event space, the two work together to add more creativity and community to the neighborhood. We’ll hear from both of these gents as they share what they’ve learned about running their business and about themselves since opening their doors in January 2013. You should know that both Watson and Kelly added a #4 lesson to their answers, which I found really amusing and great.

vsco_0bbbb

Andrew Watson – Founder of BUILT

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Andrew Watson and build custom, handmade furniture.

securedownload

What were you hoping for when you opened ‘Built’?

I was hoping for a place for my friends and I to come together and get creative. I was hoping people would love my furniture. I was hoping to be able to support my family by making.

vsco_0

Favorite ‘BUILT’ moments since opening in January?

1. Turning the lights on in the warehouse.
2. Delivering each piece of furniture.
3. Teaming up with Chris Kelly.

What is the most difficult obstacle you’ve faced career or creative project related? Did you overcome it and if so, how?

Well, originally I was trying to team up with a couple friends. We all worked for the same millwork company and I looked at the bosses like, “If these two boneheads can do it, WE definitely can.” They were really inspiring and didn’t even know it. After making that realization, I started really pushing for us to break away and start our own company. It wasn’t the right time for them, so I was on my own. I was a little bit bummed, but I overcame it by adjusting the vision and putting my work and ultimately myself out there. I surrounded myself with super-inspiring people, like my good friend Keith Burnson, and set new goals.

photo (7)

[Click below for the full interview]
Read the rest of this entry »

Trey’s Words

In Interview on August 29, 2013 at 2:40 am

Trey_Penton

Trey Penton is a talented photographer, ambitious creative, definite conspirator, and future pediatrician. I was Googling for images of Old Tampa Book Company because we didn’t have many to choose from, and came across Trey’s blog. He’d posted a photo he’d taken in the store, and a lovely one at that, on his blog, ‘Who Painted the Lion?’. I messaged him to see if he’d be interested in taking some more, he said yes, and now we have a trove of beautiful images and I have a new friend. I’m pleased to present you with Trey’s words.

Who are you, and what are you up to?

Trey Penton. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Photographer. Budding pediatrician. Currently, on a plane to Nashville to see my good friend Ali get married this weekend. But besides that, I’m working a lot at the hospital this month and helping to set up and run this new art label/modern day printing press called The Two Keys Press. I’m super excited about it.

What’s the first thing you created/made that you were proud of?

Probably something out of K’NEX when I was a little kid. Then maybe some sappy poetry in middle school. But if you’re asking about the first thing that I created that I’m still proud of, then I would have to say an album’s worth of songs I wrote with my buddy Paul Tran toward the end of my undergrad days at USF for my honors college thesis project. The album was about Florida history and we played the whole thing live in the Oval Theater with a small orchestra.

When was the last time you felt very inspired?

I was up in Boston and New York City working on a screenplay back in March. My friends took me in and allowed me to live like a writer with no responsibilities other than crafting a good story. I usually gain some inspiration whenever I travel but something in particular about the pace and people and atmosphere of those two cities really inspired me. What I realized was that in a place like NYC, you really have to slow down to understand and digest the meaning of things. But in a place like Tampa, you really have to energize and speed everything up in order to make something meaningful. I came back from my trip ready to hit the ground running and excited about speeding things up.

tp2

tp5

tp3

What was your most recent obstacle? What happened and did you overcome it?

A couple months ago I was stuck writing the final stanza of a new album I’ve been working on. My friend and roommate at the time, Kevin, came in my room and suggested I try to write a couple songs that aren’t a part of any project just to get my creative gears turning again. I took his advice and wrote a song that I’m pretty happy with and I’ve been working on a couple others here and there. I haven’t gotten back to the final stanza on my initial project yet, but I’m confident it will come to me when I need it to. In the meantime, I have a few new things that I wouldn’t have had if I had just kept myself in that place of frustration.

[Click below for the full interview]
Read the rest of this entry »

Devon’s Words

In Interview on August 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

523835_10151048109128958_1159641760_n

My first impression of Tampa-native, Devon was that she was very friendly and very beautiful. She was more than happy to help me hang a Travelogues poster in the shop she worked in, and even though she was a bit reluctant to agree to open herself up for an interview, I’m glad to present you today with her words.

What’s your first vintage-related memory (This is stemming from the facts that you work in a vintage clothing shop and run an Etsy shop where you sell vintage clothing.)

Combing the racks at a Salvation Army in West Palm Beach with my punk new best friend, Terra, freshman year of high school, 1994. She introduced me to punk and thrifting for vintage. Still BFF’s, today!

You mentioned living in New York for 13 years, what were you up to while you were there?

Yes, I needed to live there since forever – it was my dream, even as a little kid. I moved there at 18 from Jupiter, FL, did modeling, then art school, then photo assisting & wardrobe styling and assisting. I wanted to live a creative, art life and meet interesting people.

67_532147185661_1478_n

155517_1465073355902_7102761_n

What made you decide to relocate back to Florida?

NYC photographer lifestyle bummer burnout.

What’s something you’d like to accomplish in the next year?

Make more money sounds awful, but true.

What’s something you admire about Tampa? How about something you’d like to change?

I love the unexpected things, the unexpected beautiful people. Everything here is so spread out and decentralized, it’s like a miracle to meet someone cool, or see something fabulous. The ugliness can distract from the beauty, but also really highlight it, as well. I love the bits of old Florida that shines amidst the generic sprawl. Mostly banal things like old signs, palm trees, sunsets, diners, motels, bungalow houses, cool cars. I love the Tampa Theatre and the Seminole Heights neighborhood. The people that come into my work can be pretty amazing, too!

524288_10151539873453958_853207872_n

What’s something you often have to remind yourself?

That even though I am poor financially, I am still successful.

What would you say you’re armed with today that you didn’t have or know in your early 20’s?

Secure within myself, my skin, my bones, my life choices.
74655_182181528474316_4909387_n

Where would you like to take your passion for vintage?

Just to keep surprising myself and reveling in the delight of the unknown and known mysteries.

What kinds of sacrifices do you think you’ll have to make to get there?

Not sure, but up to this point, it has definitely been financial security and comfort.

What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?

Do something! This usually means go for a jog, play some piano, watch a movie, have a beer, meet a friend, call a friend or beloved family member, pet an animal, hold a baby, put on some favorite tunes, flip though a rad magazine at a bookstore, read a beloved book, indulge in a guilty pleasure, etc.

Finish these sentences:
I’m all about: pursuing my dreams, and being a decent human being.
I love to : be in love, also to find a discarded treasure.
I’m not a fan of: mindless, repetitive tasks and people that are energy vampires.
I hope to: achieve my dreams and always be in love ( with something or someone) and to avoid mindless repetitive tasks and energy vampires!

Mia’s Words

In Interview on August 7, 2013 at 3:27 am

407995_4510910783168_1568276534_n

Mia D’Avanza is hilarious, very clever, kind, shows potential at anything she picks up, and is the person you most want to ask advice from. I used to work alongside her at the concession stand at Tampa Theatre. At the time that I met her, she was working on her master’s degree and today she’s living in New York as a librarian and still kicking butt.

What’s your favorite way to express what you’re feeling and thinking (and one example)?

By talking – I usually say something like “I love it!” when I am into something (I’m pretty enthusiastic). I’m very verbal, so I like to engage other people by asking questions and listening and having a conversation.

What do you find yourself thinking about the most lately?

How I wish summer was longer, and how happy I am right now.

What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?

Hm. I guess it depends on how difficult the situation is. Usually my inner dialogue has to do with trying to keep things in perspective, and that tends to work for me.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to face in regards to your career?

Well, when I finished grad school in fall of 2008, there were a lot of hiring freezes on and few jobs available. I was extremely lucky to find a fellowship that provided great experience and opportunities to develop professionally after 6 months of waitressing and working concessions at Tampa Theatre post-graduation (thank you, Tampa Theatre!). When I finished that fellowship a year later, jobs were still hard to come by, so I returned to Tampa and cobbled together 4 part-time jobs to make ends meet until I saw the listing for my current job 8 months later.

In the 8 months that I was back in Tampa and was really hustling, I spent a lot of time asking myself what my future would hold and if it was ok to just subsist for a while. I had to drop the narrative I’d held for a long time – one that had defined what it meant to be successful and to achieve. I think of it this way – I’d thought there was sort of this achievement escalator that you got on, where each step naturally sort of led to the next, culminating in a full-time job in my field of study (with ups and down along the way, but none so distinct as I was experiencing). And about 3 months into my job-cobbling thing, after being asked by my concerned parents and friends if I was still applying for jobs, and what my plans were and seeing very little to apply for, I cut myself a break and stepped off the achievement escalator and reassessed what I was doing. I decided that making ends meet was an achievement, and staring at the Hillsborough River and watching the mullet jump was an achievement, and being grateful for my amazing friends and support system was an achievement. So I guess my biggest obstacle was my own way of thinking and my expectations – not that I expected that I deserved a job in my field of study as any kind of right – I mean, I was so lucky that I was even able to pay my rent – but I lived simply and had no car and handled my business and was humbled. Do you call yourself a librarian if you aren’t working in a library? Do you call yourself an artist if you aren’t making art?

When conversational theatre-goers pressed me for details at the concessions stand, asking if I was in school, and then when I said no, asking what I had studied and was I was up to, I came to terms with just saying, “I’m serving your popcorn.” I was just a person who was living in the present, and culturally we are so used to defining ourselves by our jobs and asking, “What do you do?” that it was an adjustment for me, but it was a good one. One that I needed.

What are you most proud of?

That my family is doing so well after the completely random death of my younger brother in 2009. That we are still sweet and optimistic and didn’t succumb to bitterness.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Sometimes you have to fight for happiness and peace of mind and once you find it, you should not let small things or small people &@$! that up. Protect that as best you can and be gentle to yourself.

Five of your favorite New York moments?

1. The Mermaid Parade, every year!

2. Randomly meeting lovely people in the most unexpected places and circumstances.

3. Riding the vintage subway train at Xmas-time with a live band (The Hot Sardines – who include a tap dancer) that played as we all sang along to Xmas carols and seeing the looks on people’s unsuspecting faces when we pulled into each station. It was like “SURPRISE! Your day just got better!” (Click here for a Facebook video.)
76996_3919243231849_2066256179_n
[“Collecting tips for the wonderful Hot Sardines at the vintage train ride.”]

4. Thinking that I heard one of my favorite songs, then following the sound and stumbling upon The Roots, who WERE playing that song in Rockefeller Center late at night for the NYE special taping session (essentially a free concert for me as I stood unobtrusively near the Security guards).

5. Hearing Mexican balladry wafting through my apartment window and looking outside to see a girl in a huge turquoise quince dress cross the street with 7 tux-clad men next to her and 5 musicians playing behind them. So perfect.

What’s something you’d like to learn how to do?

Fine tailoring.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

Here in New York, but hopefully with better dance skills, better sewing skills, and having made better paintings.

Can you sum up your 2013 Japan trip in one sentence?

Life-changing, mind-blowing; a dream realized.

Kinkaku-ji from across the pond_9005453027_l
[“Kinkaku-ji from across the pond.” (Kyoto)]

petting the koi and the atago shrine
[“Petting the Koi at the Atago Shrine.” (Tokyo; Built in 1603.)]

Where can you be seen on a Tuesday afternoon?

At the reference desk of the botanical and horticultural library where I work.

Friday evening?

Probably cooking dinner at home with my fellow and my cat, jamming out with some music on.

Sunday morning?

Sleeping in, I hope! Dreaming of breakfast…

Finish these sentences:

I love: humanity, mostly. I don’t always love their actions.
I hate when: people are small-minded and judgmental.
I’m always looking for: beauty in my surroundings.
Someday I’ll: make a Nudie suit for myself and wear it with pride.

Sarah L.’s Words

In Interview on July 30, 2013 at 12:37 am

Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 8.26.05 PM

I first heard of Sarah LoCascio when she and her husband’s vintage camper was featured on A Beautiful Mess. The space they had put together was so darling. Upon visiting her personal blog, Attic Lace, her genuineness continued and I thought I had to write her and see if she’d share some of her travel stories and personal wisdom with us. Fantastically, her answer was yes. Here are her words.

What kind of place do you think travel has in your life?

Travel, for us, means an escape from the daily grind…a chance to stretch our legs and see new things. It allows us to spend time together, visiting friends and family or exploring new places.

Question1image

Why did you and your husband choose a vintage camper? Are there any other modes of travel you enjoy?

My husband and I chose a vintage camper because I have a deep love for all things vintage and antique. We also wanted something that would be a fun project for us to work on together. We found that the things we love most are things we have salvaged or transformed to make our own. My husband works in restoration and fine construction, so he has the skills we need to work on the trailer successfully. If we are not traveling with our camper, we try and choose cozy homey places to stay…little cottages by the beach, that sort of thing.

Question2image

Question3image

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the way that my husband and I can tackle a project like the camper, or the planning of a trip together, and have so much fun doing it side by side.

What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?

When things get difficult, I tell myself to step away, take a breath and approach the situation with a fresh outlook. I also try and remind myself of the positive sides of things; it’s quite easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed and forget all of the good sometimes.

What is something you would like to try but haven’t yet?

I would like to try sleeping in a tree house. I have read articles about hotels composed of tree houses and this seems like a wonderfully magical thing. This would be a dream to visit and experience.

A place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet?

I would love to visit California. I have been to the west coast, but spent much of that time in Oregon. I did spend one day in part of the Redwood Forests, and it was unbelievably gorgeous. I’d also love to visit Austin, TX!!

Five of your best trip memories:

1. Going out to Cape Cod after our wedding and having the best week of my life. The weather was perfect.

2. Camping for three days in the pouring and freezing rain in the Catskills…it was terrible at the time but I was proud that we stuck it out as long as we could. We laugh about it now.

3. Our first camping trip with our camper, Sunny, and realizing what an excellent purchase we had made:)

4. A whale watching trip we took last year, where we encountered 3 different groupings of Humpback Whales. I was expecting it to be cool, but it literally moved me to tears, seeing those huge, beautiful creatures. It was amazing.

5. Eating fresh lobster by the ocean on a warm summer night. It doesn’t get much better than that for me!

Where can you be seen on a Tuesday afternoon?

On a Tuesday afternoon I can be seen: working on a freelance job or working on my blog, Attic Lace.

Question7image

AdditonalImage

Additonalimage2

Friday evening?

On a Friday evening? If we’re home, then curled up on the couch with my husband, take-out, and a funny movie. If we are traveling, then probably out to a yummy dinner. I love yummy dinners out. 😉

Sunday morning?

On a Sunday morning you can find me: catching up on my reading, making a food shopping list, planning my posts for the week, and drinking lots and lots of hot coffee.

Who are some of the people that inspire you and push you along creatively?

There are so many people that inspire me creatively. My first and most steadfast inspiration is my Grandmother, she is an incredible artist with a thirst for knowledge. She constantly reminds me (by example) to expand my mind and explore new techniques. I would also have to include the blogging community and other creative artists. It is an incredible thing to be able to log on to the computer everyday and see an outpouring of wonderful ideas, projects, and photos. The people that really push me along are my family. They are the ones who are always there… offering encouragement, constructive criticism, and support.

Question9image

I noticed on your blog, Attic Lace, that you post a lot of cute, very doable DIY posts. How do you decide what kinds of projects you to complete and share?

Sometimes I spend quiet time brainstorming projects and ideas, really planning things out. Other times I go out (to the thrift shop or dollar store etc.) and see what jumps out at me, or inspires a project, and I just go for it. I try to choose projects that I will enjoy, that others will enjoy, and that are easily explained with simple steps and instructions. I also like to make sure that these projects are going to be visually appealing, photograph well, and are things that I (and others!) will enjoy upon completion.

Finished these sentences:
I love: our family, pets, art, traveling, and FOOD! 😉
I hate when: it says “no dogs allowed.”
I often tell myself to: be thankful for the wonderful people and things in my life, and not to lose sight of the bigger picture.
I hope to: grow our little family soon. 😉

Hunter’s Words

In Interview on July 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 11.26.51 AM
[Above photos by Three Fish Fiesta]

St. Petersburg-based artist, Hunter Payne, is the most kind, resourceful, enthusiastic, and oftentimes outlandish person you will ever meet. His drawings are humorous and remind you of how mundane and funny the world we live in can be. I finally met Hunter in person recently at Miranda July’s reading at The University of Tampa. He had found a dead butterfly that was in perfect condition, and asked Miranda if she would conduct a butterfly examination with him. Here is what happened. And here are his words and pictures that he’s shared with us. I hope you enjoy them.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

To be honest, I wanted to be a manager of a Bed, Bath and Beyond store or a bikini model. I guess art is the same thing.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.38.05 PM

What are you reaching for with your art?

Huge amounts of ca$h.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.38.35 PM

How does your garden grow?

I water that thing every damn day and I wear galoshes. You know what I’m tryin’ to say. Galoshes…. I freaking wear those.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.38.44 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.38.53 PM

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

dude hunter relax.

What’s something that art and working as an artist has taught you?

Same shit you can learn from babies.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.39.27 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.39.34 PM

What kinds of human and self connections have you been able to make with you art projects?

People from all over the world visit my website, to me that is the greatest Masterpiece and my biggest project. Actually, a few times I even got hacked. Friends from around the globe subscribe to ‘The Best Mail on Planet Earth’ because it’s the most fun you can have with a mailbox. All of these people have one thing in common, they don’t like art. They don’t like comics. They want Masterpieces. I am able to build a strong community around Masterpieces everyday on the internet and I am thankful for all of the humans I meet ever.

What’s a goal you’ve set aside to accomplish this year?

Have fun, spread love, \m/ \m/.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.39.45 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.39.56 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.40.03 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.40.14 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.40.20 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.40.28 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.40.38 PM

What has been your biggest obstacle?

Being 14.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.40.59 PM

20 things that inspire you:

1. negative space
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9..
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20. (That was a cool, imaginative, artistic concept I just came up with on the fly.)

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.41.33 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.41.52 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.42.10 PM

Finished these sentences:
I love when..people are good to themselves and each other.
I’m always looking for..a good shoe sale.
I hope to..God there is a heaven.
I’ll never..You’re damn right.

*Click here for the Google Doc version of the interview. There are a few gifs that couldn’t make it into this interview format.

Huntermadeit.com
@huntermadeit

Chris’s Words

In Interview on July 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 11.11.23 AM

We had mutual friends in college, and though we never really hung out together, he was always polite and friendly. To me, as an outsider, he seemed embarrassed by superficiality and the fact that many of our mutual friends wanted very badly to invoke the image they had created for themselves. I think he was just trying to get by rather than trying to get the right shoes. Lately, he’s been working in a glass studio in Asbury Park, New Jersey, painting, and apprenticing on an organic farm near his home. He’s been getting by and so much more. Here are his words. I hope you enjoy them.

What caused you to leave your studio art program in Florence early and how has how you felt about the decision changed from the time you made it to now?

I decided to leave the program in Florence for several reasons. I felt overwhelmed by the number of classes I was required to take and it was difficult to produce meaningful work. I basically felt as if I were repeating my undergrad program and it wasn’t worth taking on any more student loan debt, so I decided to come back home. The way I feel about the decision hasn’t changed since I have left, but I didn’t know what to do once I returned home.

185907_10150157403357112_7071812_n

What’s the biggest challenge you face right now?

The biggest challenges I face right now would mainly be financial challenges and also finding enough time to produce work. It is tough sometimes when you are living and working in two separate places.

How do you stay focused on your goals?

The way I stay focused on my goals is by not putting so much pressure on myself, believe it or not. Whenever I pressure my self, I become frustrated and then whatever I am doing feels very forced and it is like the process is cut short. I also like to work on several things simultaneously and keep a wide range of interests.

What’s something you’d like to accomplish this year professionally?

This year I would definitely like to show some pieces I have been working on. It would be nice to show people what I have been up to rather than have my work sitting in my bedroom.

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 11.28.38 AM
(“Birth of Dominators” and “Dominators 2”)

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 11.15.16 AM

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 11.30.36 AM

How about personally?

Personally, I would like to move into a new studio space and house/apartment. I would also enjoy spending some more time outside, catching up on some reading, and spending more time with my friends and family.

Who and what is influencing your thoughts and art output these days?

Currently, I have been drawing some influence from human history in general, but what led me down the rabbit hole was questioning what are the root causes of problems such as violence, control, etc. Many of Terrence McKenna’s ideas, writings, and lectures have influenced my work and caused to me to reevaluate the way I view the world.

How would you describe yourself to someone you’d never met?

Hmmm. This is such a tough question! If I had to choose one word, it would be “curious”.

How would your friends describe you?

My friends would probably describe me as a weirdo, but I think it depends on who you ask. I have moved around over the past four or five years, so it is hard to get settled and get to know people in a deeper way.

What song are you going to blow your speakers listening to?

Right now, I would probably blow my speakers out listening to “Crazy Train” because that song is so outrageous that I literally cried laughing when I heard it on the radio yesterday. On a somewhat more serious note, I have been listening to a lot of Tom Petty and Radiohead recently, but I wouldn’t describe either of them as real speaker busters.

What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?

Whenever things get difficult, I tell myself that this is only a ride. I try to zoom out and look at the larger picture, and then I try to remind myself that I have no idea what will happen in the future because I simply don’t know enough and neither does anyone else.

Finish these sentences:

I love..real conversations with good people.
I hate..when people aren’t present, it drives me nuts when I am with someone and they are playing with their cell phone, texting, etc.
I’ll never..live in a big city, being around too many people makes me anxious.
Sunday evenings are for..ideally, being with people you care about, sharing a meal, and if the weather is nice then going on a bike ride or sitting outside is great.