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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
WARNING: The following post has some images which contain nudity. It’s not explicit, but is done in an artistic manner. Nevertheless, I maintain a policy of advertising viewer discretion so that my audience can self-censor what they care to see or not. If nudity bothers you or you’re too young to look at it, please don’t proceed any further. Navigate your web browser somewhere else.
The first time I saw Aimee Mullins, she looked like this (on the left):
Except at the time, I had no idea it was Aimee Mullins, or even who Aimee Mullins was. The first time I saw that image was probably two years ago, in a college modern art class. The photo was in my textbook, describing the Cremaster Cycle (<–Wikipedia explanation. Actual website here.) by Matthew Barney. (I blogged once before about Matthew Barney here.)
I remember looking at the photo and being shocked. It’s a pretty forward piece, designed to have shock appeal. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the eye or if the woman really was wearing a prosthetic. (Turned out to be the latter.) Then I wondered what woman would be brave enough to pose for such a piece, in such unusual attire (or should I say lack of attire). I can’t even begin to imagine how Barney proposed the idea to her the first time.
It turns out Aimee Mullins never cringes away from a challenge. She’s a very brave woman who crosses over into many worlds: athlete, model, motivational speaker… It was in this last role that I finally came to know who the mystery woman in the Cremaster Cycle was. I was in an education class and we watched this inspiring TED Talk by Aimee Mullins on the Opportunity of Adversity.
But I still hadn’t made the connection between Aimee Mullins and Matthew Barney. It was when I got curious about Mullins that I watched more of her TED talks. It was in this one that I had my a-ha moment. In the video Mullins talks about her project with Barney and how she wore custom made artistic prosthetics for the photoshoots. She projects an image from their collaboration onto a large screen, showing how she played the role of the cheetah woman. In her TED Talk she challenged viewers to reinvision the relationship between functionality and aesthetics when it comes to prosthetics. (I touched on this idea in my earlier post about artistic prosthetics.)
So there you have it. If you, like me, didn’t know who Amy Mullins is, now you’re in the know. She’s an inspiring woman from many viewpoints, and she has made her mark in the art world.
“Adrift” is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born.
I came across a series by Jeffrey Thomas which he calls “Twisted Princess” on his portfolio page. If you’re into the recent zombie craze and also happen to love Disney movies, you’ll like this series. Thomas is taking Disney princesses, and other Disney heroines, and adding an undead/malevolent twist to them. I’ll share a sneak-peek of his Twisted Princess art here, but as usual, I like to give the artists credit and direct traffic to their webpages. Mosey on over to Jeffrey Thomas’s portfolio and see the rest of the Twisted Princesses. He has posted nearly twenty in total.
Jeffrey Thomas is a character designer and story artist from Burbank California.
Description from the YouTube page:
“Art critic Alastair Sooke tracks down the ten most expensive paintings to sell at auction, and investigates the stories behind the astronomic prices art can reach. Gaining access to the glittering world of the super-rich, Sooke discovers why the planet’s richest people want to spend their millions on art.
Featuring works by Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Klimt and Rubens, Sooke enters a world of secrecy and rivalry, passion and power. Highlights include a visit to the art-crammed home of millionaire author Lord Archer; a rare interview with the man at the heart of the sale of the most expensive old master of all time; privileged access to auctioneers Christie’s; and a glimpse of the world of the Russian oligarchs.
These revelatory journeys allow Sooke to present an eye-opening view of the super wealthy, and their motivations as collectors of the world’s great art treasures.”