Thursday, August 7, 2008

One-Eyed Skully + 365 Interview

Today is the premiere of a new feature on Skull-A-Day: 365 Interviews. No I’m not going to do 365 interviews, I’m interviewing folks who have also done their own 365 day project. Since I was already planning to show this excellent One-Eyed Willy skull (from The Goonies) made out of melted chocolate coins by Kris A.K.A. Rakka from Suspect and Fugitive, I decided she would be our first victim...

Kris A.K.A. Rakka started her 365 project Suspect and Fugitive on February 1st, 2008. She is making stencil based art out of perishable materials...

S-A-D: Why did you decide to do a 365 project?
K: Before I started "Suspect and Fugitive", I felt myself slipping into a stylistic rut. I thought that forcing myself to make a new piece every day for a year in method that I typically didn't use (stenciling) would kick-start the ol' creative juices. Thankfully, I was right but occasionally I have doubts about whether or not it was sane to make the commitment of completing one finished thing a day. Especially when I have to go to the dentist (which I've been doing a lot lately).

S-A-D: On average how much time do you spend each day on your pieces?
K: If things are working well, usually about 45 minutes to an hour. Sometimes, however, it can take up a good part of the morning if my stencils aren't working the way I need them to.

S-A-D: Where do you usually make your pieces?
K: I don't have a studio space but instead have three places where I work at home: in the hallway near my front door, in my kitchen near my coffee pot and in front of my TV. I have to admit to the area in front of my TV being my favorite spot.

S-A-D: How often did you make art before this?
K: I've always tried to finish at least one piece a week. Naturally, not all of them were any good, but it's important to stay in practice! Also, I draw for at least an hour a day. No exceptions!! (Well, maybe when I have to go to the dentist...)

S-A-D: Did you blog before this?
K: Believe it or not, I've been blogging in one form or another for eight years! (I started in 2000 with a D.C./Baltimore-centric group blog (which shall remain nameless) and have run the gamut from a short stint at a video game site to a retro cooking gig for the old Swapatorium.) Currently, in addition to S&F, I also spew nonsense at my personal blog Glitter Pissing and occasionally manage to pull something together for Schmancy Gallery.

S-A-D: What have you learned about yourself in the process of doing this?
K: I've learned that I'm not very good at explaining what I do in normal conversation! haha! (I'm *terrible* at networking!) I've also discovered that I shouldn't second guess an idea or belabor one that's not working yet. Learning to take breaks for coffee has been extremely beneficial!

S-A-D: How has this process affected your creativity?
K: My creativity has rocketed up since I started this project! It also helped me to get out of that rut I keep referring to. For example, now I'm not afraid to make things look entirely ridiculous if that's what's called for. Before I would always think "how would this be received in a classroom critique?"
Case in point, I'm working on a new series of paintings with a friend of mine that's loosely based on the idea of "power animals". (We've watched "Fight Club" too many times.) They're absolutely garish, horrible and slightly Lisa Frank-ish but they crack me up to no end! I never would've made them if it hadn't been for S&F. (I'm left to wonder if that's a good thing or not...)

S-A-D: How do you stay inspired?
K: I watch a lot of TV. A LOT of TV. And I read a ton of sites (you should see my feedreader!), magazines and books. I'm at the library at least once a week. My "fugitives" are heavily influenced by pop culture so that's how I justify my digital cable bill. I also try to talk to other artists and go to as many openings and galleries as possible.

S-A-D: What was the hardest (or most time consuming) piece to make so far?
Either "Cheeto Britney" or "Donna Hayword(s)". Britney because I hadn't really figured out how to do the portrait stencils efficiently at that point. (Plus Cheetos are a pain in the nards to work with!) Donna due to all the cutting.

S-A-D: What are your favorites so far?
K: "Alfredo Hitchcock", "Catalog Ladies", "Inigo Montoya" and "Red Divines". Is it bad to admit that I love those because, except for the "Catalog Ladies", they all worked exactly the way that I thought they would from concept to finished piece? Because it's true. I'm fond of "Catalog Ladies" because it was, to quote Bob Ross, "a happy accident". A very happy one!

S-A-D: What is the best thing that has come from doing this project?
K: I'm going to be corny and admit that it's been meeting a bunch of really talented people I might not otherwise have come in contact with if it hadn't been for the site. Also, this is corny as well, but my dad and step mom both *finally* understand something that I'm working on! haha!

S-A-D: At this point do you think you would commit to doing another 365 project?
K: Absolutely! In fact, I have another one in the works. I'd tell you about it but I don't have all of the kinks worked out yet. (It'll probably launch in March of 2009.)

S-A-D: Any advice for people considering starting their own 365 project?
K: Make sure to put some planning into your project before you get started! A lot of people I know who have tried to do the 365 thing haven't gotten past the three month mark because they hadn't put much thought into where they were going to go with things.
I might not be the best example as I'm painfully OCD but I planned out materials and enough ideas to get me through at least three months before I started. Not all of those ideas came to fruition but it made things easier out of the gate.
Also, don't get discouraged. There are going to be times when you're not going to feel like making something. Just work through it and, before you know it, you'll be back on track!

S-A-D: What's next for you?
K: August is going to be kinda' busy. Today, I'll be at "Local Bounce", a new crafty type fair in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood, selling S&F related items. Then on the 20th, I'll be part of the "Bring and Brag Lab" at Velocity's South Lake Union/Denny Triangle-ish location (also in Seattle). I'll also have two pieces in the next Seattle Munny show in September and, *fingers crossed* I'll hopefully have a few projects in a friend's upcoming book!

Thanks Kris!

Kris Garland, a.k.a. Rakka, is a native Tennessean who has no accent. She once helped to make some of the floral displays seen in the funeral scenes in the movie "21 Grams" and finds that to be rather random. She obtained a B.F.A. in Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture and Ceramics from UMemphis and never refers to it except in bios. Kris has moved 35 times and thinks that that is enough already. She currently lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and four cats. Yes, four cats.

If you have done or are in the midst of a 365 project and would like to be interviewed drop me a line. Priority will be given to folks who have made a skull image as part of their project.


mim said...

This is so so so very cool! I love this idea and enjoyed the interview VERY much! Thanks!

Cakespy said...

Kris is a huge inspiration to me--I am in awe, and frequently humbled by, her intense creativity and awesome ideas. Bitchin' interview!

PearsonMetalArt said...

Excellent examples! And an inspiration to us all!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of interviews of ppl doing 365's. And it's awesome that your first one up was from the creator of suspect and fugitive.. I love that website. she does some kick ass work :)

PrixMadonna said...

Love it! It's awesome to hear about the background stories of all you overachievers.

It makes me tired just thinking about all that work and thinking!

Now I have to go take a nap.