one woman's view into a world of creativity


Banksy hires an older gentleman to sell genuine Banksy art for the small price of $60.  Without the label, the art went unrecognized and only a few pieces sold.  Imagine those people if they ever realize what their purchases are worth.

I tend to post a lot of things on famous artists or contemporary artists on a global scale, but I am also fortunate to know many wonderful creative people locally.  I sent out some inquiries in hopes of featuring a few such people.  Today’s feature:  Kay Cochran.

“Born to Be” by Miss Kay Cochran

How would you describe your work?

My work falls under the broad spectrum of illustration, but it’s really, well–primarily categorized as pop-surrealist with a neo-traditional twist. I take a lot of inspiration from the whimsical and strange. I do like to dabble in the macabre occasionally (there’s just something about darkness that makes the light brighter), but for the most part I focus on peppy characters.

How long have you been doing your art?

I didn’t really consider art a serious life-long pursuit. Every single counselor I’ve had has told me to ‘get a real job’. But, one does not simply ignore one’s passion…with the encouragement of my parents, I began to take my art seriously. Heck, my entire first year of college–I was so intimidated; there were so many people who had worked so hard, and their skill level was absolutely through the roof–right off the get-go. But me–ha…I was just scratching the surface of the art world–the industry was 100% new to me. So I’ve actually only been comfortable enough in my own artistic skin–for about a year and a half. So that is the measurement I prefer to go by.

What materials/media do you gravitate to?

Pencils! Pens! Markers! Found papers! I do my sketches and then scan them into the computer–then I get to work on creating artwork people would be proud to own. I love doing originals on paper, but I also like to do digital manipulation, just to tweak and play! That’s just me; but really, I encourage students of art to not let themselves be held back by: ‘well I don’t have a fancy computer like yours’ or ‘I only have #2 pencils’ –ha, details, details. People have been making incredible art with #2 pencils. So make your art–use those number two pencils. Make that your statement.

“The Wisdom of the World – The Socrates” by Miss Kay Cochran

What inspired you to begin your art?

My brain. Ha. Usually People would talk about artists that they like here, huh? But my brain has been throwing ideas at me since I opened my wee-little-babe-like eyes. I have sketchbooks full of potential ideas, and I have lists in my phone for when I have an art idea on the go. I think the most stressful place to get ideas is when driving…there’s no way to record your thoughts AND be an attentive driver!

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

My top four favorites right now are Bob Million, Mark Ryden, Sara Fabel & Kurtis Rykovich. Always. All the time. I follow them on Instagram and can never get enough of their wacky realities. I’ve had conversations with a couple of them, and they’re actually incredible individuals.

What are your favorite things or themes to depict?

I love the philosophical. I feel like art has no place if it doesn’t interact with the viewer on some intrinsic level. Sometimes art doesn’t make sense–and that is the response that artists’ are looking for. But I feel, more often than not–that art should make people feel & make people think. But not too awfully hard. Completely off-the-wall meanings have no depth to me.

“Eye of Mine” by Miss Kay Cochran

Favorite quotes?

OH I HAVE A TON. CAN I GIVE YOU A LIST?Oh lemme’ please give you a list of my latest and greatest finds:

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest: Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest.” -Confucius

“I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.” -Boris Pasternak

“Imagination does not become great until human beings. given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” -Maria Montessori

“Remember when you started and you didn’t know, at all what you were doing, but how you loved it so.” -Dallas Clayton

“These violent delights have violent ends / And in their triumph die, like fire and powder / Which, as they kiss, consume.” -William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene VI

“It’s a dangerous mission. You could die out there. You could go on forever.” -Tess Gallagher

“May you live every day of your life.” -Jonathan Swift “You see things; you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ -George Bernard Shaw

Top five favorite creations by yourself?

I don’t do that to myself. Ranking work makes me cranky. Ya’ see–I think that everything I make has flaws. Trying to justify which work goes over which just pits those flaws against each other. So I just–like–enjoy them all.

If you had a dream project, what would it be/who with/what with?

Oh my gosh. I would do some type of painting collaboration with Bob Million. That man is crazy amazing. I think I would do a bust series with him. He could teach me how to do awesome-sauce oil painting. Share with me those deep, dark artistic secrets.

What’s your favorite color?

I like them all. But I’m attracted to Cornflower Blue, Honeydew & Coral.

“Your Luscious Lies” by Miss Kay Cochran

Pirates or ninjas?

ARRRRRG…ga. Because there has to be a ‘captain’ in there somewhere.

If you had $500 to buy art supplies, what you you get?

PHOTOSHOP ILLUSTRATOR. Spend it all in one place. Yes indeed.

What’s been your favorite artistic failure or learning experience?

Oh gosh–do artists have favorite failures? Well, my mural at the high school I graduated from. That’s a pretty big, monumental failure–I think about it an awful lot. I wish I could just sneak back in and do it all over again. It just makes me cringe. Thinking about it. Ughhaaa.

If you could work with any artist, past or present, who would you choose?

Hieronymus Bosch. That man was ridiculously crazy and ridiculously talented. For the opportunity to work with him? Oh jeesh–I would give everything up to; but not excluding–my great aunt Sue.

What about if you just wanted to meet and talk to an artist from past or present?

Still Bosch. The man was a menace. For him–I could learn to like menaces.

[Editor’s Note:  I was originally inspired to feature Kay after seeing this promotional video she created for Boise State University’s illustration program.]

Websites, blogs, tumblr, stores etc?


So that’s it folks!  Go check out her stuff!

A beautiful evolution throughout art history.

CBS Presents a profile of artist Wayne Thiebaud.

How to Recognize the Work of Artists

Here’s a funny link for those interested in art history.  Consider it a politically incorrect Spark Notes.

Neil Gaiman’s words of advice: Make Good Art

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