Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Art Space Talk: Kate Jackson

I recently interviewed artist Kate Jackson. Kate is a self-taught artist who creates work that comes out of personal experiences as well as social influences. She draw inspiration from interacting with personal friends, family and social groups. Some of the work comes directly out of her observations of the social interaction between other people.

When she was 15, Kate began assembling collages from images and photo’s she found around the house. She then began painting on wood panels and then onto canvas. Recently, she has been drawing on enlarged family photos. Kate’s medium is primarily mixed, using acrylic, oil, watercolor pencils and ink.

When Kate paints, she is in a meditative state of mind and picks up on everything that she has ever experienced in life and with that, there are in fact parts of her in every painting. Kate strives to create an emotional impact with her work- one that engages the viewer.

Q. Kate, I understand that you are a self-taught artist. Have you had any formal training in art? Do you have any suggestions for artists who wish to educate themselves rather than enter a school of art?

A. "No I haven't had any formal training. I suggest to other artists who wish to self educate to execute ideas with other artists, and to not let people tell you that you have to go to a school of art in order to be an artist. That's rubbish. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll get there."

Q. You have stated that you are influenced by Twombly, Basquiat, Warhol, Picasso, and your father.... can you describe how each have inspired you?

A. "First my Father because he surrounded us by art growing up and still to this day. It was inevitable that I fall into art. And I can't see myself doing anything else. Twombly for his free flowing hand on the canvas. I think all art should have a feeling of flowing. Jean-Michel because he broke the boundaries on what is considered art. The child like expression. Free flowing once again. Warhol told the world everything is art. Art is all around us. He created a new level of art. Picasso because he is Picasso. Everyone takes a little I think from him."

Q. I've read that your life experiences play a dominant role in every work of art that you create. When you begin to paint or draw, the images evolve from those experiences. Can you share some of the experience that have influenced your work the most? Do you reflect upon the experiences of others within the context of your art?

A. "Some experiences that have influenced and fueled my work the most is being a survivor of abuse, which I think gives me the drive to finish a piece of art. Not giving up. Growing up in a household with creative people. Yes I do reflect on what people around the world are going through. Hunger, disease, war, abuse, and the fact that a lot of these things are engulfed in denial or not paid attention to enough. I hope I can paint a picture and make people reflect on these issues."

Q. Kate, can you share some of your philosophy about art and artistic creation?

A. "Art is in us all and all around us. People are just the brush that the feeling of art comes out of, on to something solid. I might have an idea of a painting before I start a piece, but it always turns out to something different yet the feeling of what I was trying to depict is always there. So I don't think about it too much when painting, I just let it evolve into what it was supposed to be since the beginning."

Q. Your medium is primarily mixed, using acrylic, oil, watercolor pencils and ink. Have you ever thought of trying new ways of expressing yourself? For example, creating digital art or working with clay? Do you think it is wise for an artist to focus on certain mediums?

A. "I dabble a bit in digital art and have made short films. I would like to get into that a bit more. I think it's wise for an artist to not focus on just one or two mediums, but all mediums of art. I think it keeps the artist rounded and keeps them from getting bored or lose track of their voice. It's like keeping a car running, you can't just put gas in it, you have to check the oil, spark plugs, everything to keep that car running. So yes I think it's all relevant to staying on top of one's art."

Q. In your youth you began to assemble collages from images and photo's that you found around your house. How did these early experiences with artistic creation influence your later work?

A. "My early experiences of assembling collages influenced my later work because it taught me that each painting is a puzzle. One has to look at it in that way I think. It has to have balance and be complete. I work with transferring old negatives on the canvas as well and that always brings me back to making collages as a child. I guess I've always liked the struggle to make something whole."

Q. In 2004 you exhibited at the New York International Art Festival. You were chosen as Grand Jury Award Winner. Can you recall that experience? How did you feel?

A. "The experience was great. There were many different mediums at this festival, so to be chosen as the grand jury award winner I don't know is quite right. Maybe if there were awards for each medium, might have been more appropriate. But I did feel a sense of accomplishment for being acknowledged."

Q. You've exhibited at some popular art galleries- such as The Hive Gallery in Los Angeles. Can you single out the best exhibition you've ever had? Why was that exhibition such a good experience for you?

A. "I can't single out a "best" exhibition I've ever had simply because to get the opportunity to display my work is what it's about. To get at least one stranger or passer by to view what my soul is saying is the best."

Q. You have worked on several television shows and movies: "Rules of Engagement" Television Series, CBS, "Medium" Television Series, NBC, "The War At Home" Television Series, on Fox, "Worst Week Of My Life" Television Pilot, "How I Met Your Mother" Television Series, on CBS, "Tom Hertz Project" Television Pilot, "Bothers Solomon" Movie, "Raines" Television Series, NBC, "Hannah Montana" Television Series, Disney... how do you utilize your artistic nature when working on productions like these? Do you find balance between the jobs and your personal work?

A. "Well I haven't changed the style of my work for jobs of set dressings, so yes there is balance between these jobs and my personal work. Except red doesn't pick up very well on screen. ;)"

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "Wake up, make my coffee, have my smoke, look through some art books, magazines, look at what I was working on the day before, if not finished, put on an album that I was listening to the day before to keep the same feeling. I like to listen to Euro, Indie, Claude Challe quite a bit, Bob Dylan, P.J. Harvey, Radiohead, Tricky, a bit of Soundtracks.....What helps me to get in the mood for working, the music."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

"I recently showed at Bluebird Art House, Which will be up till May 5th. And of course my web-site www.katejackson711.com "

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "I think every artist has rock bottoms when finding the flow of creating a painting isn't there. But you can't fight it or force it, it has to come naturally. That's the toughest point. Also finding representation."

Q. Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "Art is a beautiful thing. Whether it be music, painting, film, the art of conversation, cooking, laughing, smiling at a stranger... it's in our nature it's who and what we all are. Art is a universal language. It's a beautiful thing."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Kate Jackson. Feel free to critique or discuss her work.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin


Anonymous said...

ehhh.. she could really use a few semesters in art school.

Her stuff looks very amateur.

Anonymous said...

She is an emerging artist and young at that. I'm certain that she has years of growth ahead of her. I like the rawness of her work. That is something that is often destroyed in art school.

Anonymous said...

I don't think her work looks amateur at all - it's just her style, which is spontaneous and beautifully minimilistic, and one can clearly see the influence of the artists she mentions. the way that she incorporates her own experiences, as well her feelings at the time of creating a particular piece, makes her work all the more interesting - she isn't simply creating art for decorative purposes - which i personally feel is an important element of a good piece of artwork, and a good artist at that.
I'm using this fantastic young woman's work as inspiration for my A-Level Exam work, and wish her all the best in doing well in the future.

Anonymous said...

"Kate jackson" Is one of the most self creative people i no i love her work .I also have a few of her paintings and i also have a very special peace that she made for me that is very very spec to me and all hoo look at it ... kate I LOVE YOUR ART ... i have had the chance to really get to know this very special person kate is one of a kind she is a very special friend and will always get my suport and love Kate jackson I LOVE YOUR ART xoxxo you no hoo this is??ps bear sais hi to....