an interview with someone you should know

kat kinnick, a kind creature or "kitty" as she is nicknamed has happily agreed to let me interview her today. kat and i have a short yet long history: while we only became friends freshman year at mica, we ended up spending a lot of time together through a number of shared classes. maybe it's because she's a sculpture major, but kat is amazing with a simple pencil and sketchbook. her approach to rendering forms is built upon layers and layers of value like she is reading the subject's weight and form from the inside-out. her style is one that i enjoy and envy; it is something that naturally flows out of her and yet is completely inconceivable by my own brain and needless to say, opposite of my own work. is this one of those "opposites attract" things? i don't know! aside from great art, kat has also been universally dubbed "the sweetest girl in the world". get to know her, and you'll inexplicably fall in love, too.

vivian:  describe your semester (fall 2012) experience. how do you see yourself growing as a human, as an artist?

kat: This semester as a sophomore has been challenging on so many levels. It’s the first year I’ve had 6 credits, an off-campus apartment, a job on top of workstudy and taken a class in the department of my major. Freshman year was presummed to be tough and unexpected… and I had the mindset that once I slid into place at MICA, it would be an easy journey… but sophomore year proved that there will always be unexpected challenges. I’ve struggled letting go of my preconceived self, I had a very exact image of who I was and now that is my weakness rather than my strength. My work demonstrates similarities. Last year I developed very specific 2d imagery. I was proud of my series of work and it became comfortable for me to use that language; however, I became bored with the imagery and craved for something new. I prefer to grapple in all layers of art and have a range of studies, rather than being restricted to one practice as I was… at least for now. That’s fine if later on in my career I dedicate myself to a honed in practice.

v: when you're creating these pieces filled with abstract shapes, what are you often referencing? what do these shapes mean to you?

k: The shapes are primitive. They are the beginnings. Everything has contour , coloration and form. This is my nebulotic understanding of matter. Often the feedback they and other similar works have received is that they are very open to interpretation… well, ha.. like everything is. But really anything can be seen in these pieces in a very profound way. That’s how my life is right now as a nineteen year old. It’s exciting, colorful and obscure. ..The series started by studying nebulas, bark, branches, rocks and other organic matter. Then it evolved into being formed just from my familiarity with the spontaneous contours.

v:  you're a sculpture major, and yet you carry a large body of 2d work. how important is drawing to you? and sculpture?

k: Drawing is extremely important to me. It’s really a backbone. It has rules, a controlled set of circumstances, traditionally involving a drawing utensil and a piece of paper. This creates a framework and a limitation to certain materials that is an easy point of departure. While sculpture allows me to interact with space more than drawing does… as well, from my experience, drawing is still practiced and critiqued with formal traditions and is less conceptually driven like sculpture is. The best critiques I’ve ever had were in my Intro to Sculpture class with Ledelle this year. You can’t ignore that everything exists in space and that the consideration of its installation is key to how it is perceived.

v: change: good or bad? and why.

k: Perfect question, Viv. Of course this is a leading theme of our entire lives but especially at this moment. We are so malleable right now and it will only become more challenging to change, as we get older. It’s SO good. Nothing is permanent; everything fluxes and takes on different forms… especially our mind, which is pretty gnarly and rather remarkable. ..To try and
understand change, I think of acupuncture, which stimulates different stagnant energies in the body to allow them to move and disperse to prevent problems caused by energy constipation. Change brings the unfamiliar. Its so hard to accept what we may not understand and do not know but it will rest with us. Let it all in and let it all go.

v: what gives you short-term happiness, what gives you long-term happiness?

k: WooooweeE! I would say eating crepes filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips only provides instantaneous happiness and a bad tummy ache to follow.
…It is all relative. I don’t think I can put my finger on it. Seizing each moment and responding to what addresses you is tougher than sleeping in but is more rewarding. Come to love who you are. I have a strong need to be reclusive and pull away from society. That’s fine! When we listen to ourselves we become more fluent in our language and are able to speak up more clearly and communicate more affectively. Suspending judgments while being constructively critical is best for my well being.
v: what has been a source of inspiration for your work lately?

k: The human body… specifically old photos of mica students from the 70s. I’m interested in what preceded us and how time stacks and without it we would all overlap. We all inhabited the same space at different points in time. …I have also been working on fibers, weaving and felting. Fabienne Lassier’s work directly influenced my choice to felt monochromatic planes. Humans are fascinating. We are so destructive and though we disrupt nature, we are also a part of it. I’m inspired by my longing to understand.. to understand and investigate the materials I work with, where I touch and where I leave raw and the life of the material; the temperament of the body; the play on tradition and the unavoidable history that we derive from.

interested in more of kat's work? visit her website and tumblr.

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