q&a

Painting

Q&A: Quappi Projects


“We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts.“ – John Brooks


Artist, John Brooks

Artist, John Brooks

Q&A with John Brooks about Quappi Projects

‘Quappi’ was the nickname of Mathilde von Kaulbach, who was married to German New Objectivist painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950). It was derived from the similarity of her surname to the German word Kaulquappe, meaning ‘tadpole’.

It is a singular phrase with no other formal meaning, which seems to delight Louisville artist John Brooks, and so he chose it as the moniker of his new exhibition initiative, Quappi Projects. Occupying most of his current studio space at 1520 B Lytle Street in the Portland neighborhood, the mission is to showcase four artists each year from in and outside of Louisville. The inaugural show will be work of Adam Chuck, a Cleveland, Ohio native, now living and making work in Brooklyn, New York.

What motivated you to devote some of your studio space to exhibition space for other artists?

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

Running a gallery is an endeavor I've long been interested in, but it was difficult to imagine a way in which I could maintain a studio practice, run a gallery, and afford to do both. I was between studios in 2015 and spent the summer in Berlin. Part of that time was spent studying under the German artist Norbert Bisky, whose work I've admired for a long time.  We discussed a lot of things, including lamenting the difficulty of finding avenues to show and share work. He advised that I (or anyone!) should just "start my own thing;" so I've had this bee in my bonnet for a couple of years. Since January 2016 I've shared my Lytle Street studio space with another artist, and when he decided to move out I knew that this was my opportunity. The space is perfect - clean, bright, white, and with enough room to allow me to continue my studio practice and to exhibit others' work in a proper way.

As an artist, I know how difficult it can be to find arenas in which to show your work, and I am thrilled by the idea that I can provide that opportunity to other artists. Also, I've been fortunate to live in both London and Chicago, and have traveled the United States and Europe fairly extensively, so I feel like I have a broad range of art-related experiences and knowledge that I can rely on to help inform the direction of the gallery's platform.

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

How did you become aware of Adam Chuck's work?

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

Adam Chuck paints primarily images from social media; fittingly, we "met" quite randomly through Instagram a few years ago. Though we've never yet met in person, we have developed what I consider to be a real friendship, which speaks both to the power and possibilities of social media but also the power and purity of his work. When it became clear that Quappi Projects was really going to happen, I knew I wanted to inaugurate the gallery with a show of Adam's work and happily he said yes. I'm a fan (and a collector) of his work and am so excited to be able to share it with the Louisville art community and the city at large. At first glance, Adam's work might seem to border on the salacious, but I think it creeps up to that line and then walks back. Most of the work is tiny, phone-screen-sized, owing its existence to social media platforms such as Instagram. The work is intimate, sensual and extremely honest. Each work is an exposure, really; it is essentially about reaching out, about the deep desire to connect, and represents an attempt to know and be known. In an age of terror and big fears, Adam's work seems infused with knowledge of those fears, but speaks more to the fundamental needs and basic human fears of need: to be desired, to be loved, to be seen, to be considered.

Tell me about the term "quappi"? I know the Beckman story, but what does it mean to you?

I believe very much in the transformative power of art. I have experienced this enough times in my own life to understand and value its merit, and I firmly believe that the highest function of art is to allow human beings to know ourselves more deeply. My own work has been concerned with the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as "the deepest feeling about the mystery of being." Quappi Projects' goal is to exhibit contemporary art reflecting the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is mighty strange. Perhaps all times are strange, but I don't think there's any arguing that we are living in very strange times.

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts. I find that very worrying. I think the experiences of 20th Century German artists like Max Beckmann (and others) are relevant to us today.  Beckmann didn't consider himself a political person, yet his entire life was thrown into upheaval because of politics. He considered political concerns to be secondary to the concerns of the spiritual or metaphysical. Although I am a political person (and have a BA in Political Science) I agree with him and certainly find most explicitly political work too narrowly focused. At the same time, I think the best art reflects the times in which it was created, so it must have some element of the political. Take Velazquez' "Las Meninas," for example - artistically, it is a masterpiece, but it also tells us so much about the Spanish Court and what was going on at the time. I find that balance fascinating, and hopefully we can show work that is interesting in the same way. Even if we fall just a little short of "Las Meninas," we'll be very successful!

I plan to alternate non-Louisville-based and Louisville-based artists have a great series of artists lined up: Baghdad, Iraq-born artist Vian Sora, who now lives and works in Louisville; Louisville native Whit Forrester, who lives in Chicago and just graduated with an MFA from Columbia College; wood artisan Michael James Moran, a central Kentucky native who now lives and works in the Hudson Valley; and photographer Ryan Tassi.

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

Beckmann credited Quappi with keeping him going, keeping him on task and inspired. I think we're living in times when we must keep going, be on task, and be inspired. It's very easy to want to give into the notion of being quiet and comfortable, but I think we must resist that. We must be open, communicate, and connect. I'm hoping the spirit of Quappi can help me do that.

Adam Chuck / Instant Gratification

August 18 – September 29
Opening: Friday, August 18 / 5:00-9:00pm

Quappi Projects
1520 B Lytle Street
Gallery open by appointment only
www.quappiprojects.com

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Q&A: Julie Rolwing


"When I am lost in my work, my mind is off of everything else and the troubles of our world seem to disappear." – Julie Rolwing


"Downtown at Dusk" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, mixed media on cold press water color paper (2016), $225 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Downtown at Dusk" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, mixed media on cold press water color paper (2016), $225 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

While she was always interested in art, Julie Rolwing only began painting about four years ago through a class at Gilda’s Club of Louisville. Rolwing had undergone treatment for breast cancer followed by a back injury that has left her permanently disabled. She endeavors to paint every day and has sold several through social media but, because of her physical disabilities, has yet to exhibit in a gallery.

You started painting only four years ago. Tell us how and why you got started.

I started painting after having participated in an art therapy class at Gilda’s Club that I became involved with after my treatment for breast cancer. I had been attending the class for a year or so before I broke down and bought some paints of my own and set up a studio. It was through this class that I discovered that I was indeed a pretty talented painter.  

I have always been artistic but never really painted. My father and brother were painters and I think I felt intimidated by them. Though I studied art in my early years at Western Kentucky University, I was more into textiles. Painting, to me seemed too messy! I regret that I did not finish my art education and wish I knew more about history and technique. Though I seldom follow rules in my painting, as I believe that the best work often comes by accident, I think it’s good to have the foundation.

Would you describe your painting as therapeutic? What does it mean to you?  

Yes, definitely! Sometimes I feel as though I go through withdrawal if too many days go by and I haven’t painted something, I try to paint every day - at the very minimum I paint on the weekends.

"Untitled" by Julie Rowling, mixed media on metalic matte board (2016), $225 (framed) |  BUY NOW

"Untitled" by Julie Rowling, mixed media on metalic matte board (2016), $225 (framed) | BUY NOW

Who or what inspires you now?

I continue to be inspired by my late father and often while I paint, I can feel his presence. Family members have told me that my work looks so much like his that it is hard to tell the difference. I consider that the greatest of compliments! My friend and mentor, Mary Scott Blake, who facilitates the class at Gilda’s Club, also continually inspire me. While most of the time I jump ahead of her instruction and go way off the page, I have learned so much from her. I would not be painting today if it had not been for her time and dedication. Watching others create also inspires me. Each March I facilitate a charity-painting workshop to benefit Gilda’s Club of Louisville and I am so inspired by the work of the participants, I spend several months painting from that inspiration. 2017 will be our third year to hold this benefit. 

What frightens you the most?   

I think what frightens me the most is the uncertain economy – while we have bounced back from the last recession, the election has brought more uncertainty.   The lack of compassion I have seen, scares the heck out of me – though in a good way it has sent me into my studio more so than it might have otherwise.  

"Water Lilies" by Julie Rowling, 9x11in, liquid water color and pen and ink on cold press water color paper (2016), $125 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Water Lilies" by Julie Rowling, 9x11in, liquid water color and pen and ink on cold press water color paper (2016), $125 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

What are you reading right now?

I AM A BOOK JUNKY! I have 1628 books on my Kindle and 587 on my Nook.  I easily have at least five books going at one time. I like mostly humorous novels set in the South – I just read one by Anne River Siddons that I enjoyed. That said, about every fifth book or so I feel needs to be edifying in some way – either spiritually or historically. Last week I read a biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe that I found to be extremely fascinating.  

"Tiger Lilly" by Julie Rowling, 8x10in,  acrylic and water color mix on canvas panel  (2016),   $175 (double matted & framed) |   BUY NOW

"Tiger Lilly" by Julie Rowling, 8x10in, acrylic and water color mix on canvas panel (2016), $175 (double matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

If you were given $100,000 what would do with it?

Buy a new car and then hit the road and travel the United States for a couple of months staying in Bed & Breakfast Inns in small towns across the country.  

What does art mean to you?

Art is not only a means of expression for me it is also a mean of escape. When I am lost in my work, my mind is off of everything else and the troubles of our world seem to disappear.

What do you feel is your greatest flaw?

That’s easy – I buy too many books! I also have too many projects going at one time and I am impatient with my work. I could never work on a painting for more than two days, which is why I like small watercolors. I have also been told I don’t charge enough for my pieces but the way I look at it, I do them to share with other people and not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a painting. I feel like if I invest fifty dollars in a painting and sell it for $100 - $150, I’ve made nice profit and I am not really trying to earn a living.

What's your favorite place to visit?  

That is hard to say since I am not that well traveled. I have been to NYC and Chicago and LA. I have to say I was in total awe of Chicago. Places I want to visit include New Orleans, Savannah, GA, the Carolinas, Martha’s Vineyard and Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 56
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jaie.rolwing

"Nora" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, acrylic, liquid water color, pencil and coffee (2016), $195 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Nora" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, acrylic, liquid water color, pencil and coffee (2016), $195 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting, Mixed Media

Q&A: Artist David Iacovazzi-Pau


"People need to be educated about the value of art." — David Iacovazzi-Pau


David Iacovazzi-Pau: Photo by Michael Brohm

David Iacovazzi-Pau: Photo by Michael Brohm

David Iacovazzi-Pau’s work focuses on the human figure and is a visual diary of the people he encounters. His series reveal different aspects of the sitters and the link between their physical appearance and personality. “My aim is to portray idiosyncrasies and evoke the mood of the subject in order for the portrait to have an accurate likeness and affect. The work reflects what I sense about a person and is a documentation of my community.” 

Born 1978 in Luxembourg, Iacovazzi-Pau began his education in fine arts from the age of 15 in Belgium. He later attended the Centre Académique des Arts in Luxembourg and immigrated to the United States in 1997, studying at Indiana University Southeast. He currently lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky.

When did you first think you would be an artist?

I don’t recall a specific time or moment. Over the years I gradually felt I was one. It was obvious early on that I was not going to be a mathematician …

If you could do anything else but make art, what would it be?

Probably something related to art history. Then again running a vineyard could be fun too.

"Little Miss Flint" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 12x8.5in, Ink drawing and inkjet on paper (2016)—5999 ink lines representing the amount of children that were affected by lead in Flint's tap water.

"Little Miss Flint" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 12x8.5in, Ink drawing and inkjet on paper (2016)—5999 ink lines representing the amount of children that were affected by lead in Flint's tap water.

What frightens you the most?

Crowd manipulation, albeit interesting, is frightening. I also have a phobia of reptiles, especially snakes. 

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

That varies, a lot of jazz and classical. Sometimes I turn on the French news for a while. And sometimes silence seems to be my preference.

Favorite movie?

A Pure Formality by Giuseppe Tornatore, starring Roman Polanski and Gérard Depardieu.

What are you reading right now?

“Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch", and the Philip Guston Retrospective (2003) catalogue.

"Self Portrait with Maya (in the studio)" by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 30x24in, oil on paper (2016)

"Self Portrait with Maya (in the studio)" by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 30x24in, oil on paper (2016)

If you were given a $100,000 what would do with it?

I'll let you know when I get the $100,000.

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

I would encourage them to see as much artwork as they can whether it's in museums, galleries, or studios. Contemporary art as well as historical are fabulous sources of inspiration. Also, don't worry about fitting in, paint for yourself and make artwork that excites you. 

What does art mean to you?

Art means different things to me. I was lucky to be encouraged to draw and paint from a young age, so it has become a way of life. As an artist I’m working within my own means and in the process there's self-doubt, frustrations and disappointment but in spite of it all, I enjoy working things out in a painting. It gives me a sense of freedom and purpose when I'm engaged with it.

"Teddy #2" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, graphite on paper (2016)

"Teddy #2" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, graphite on paper (2016)

If you could have a talent that you currently don't already have what would it be and why?

Having the skills to be an eloquent orator would be my first choice. It makes things a lot easier if you are able to articulate your thoughts well. 

How do you feel about the local art scene in Louisville? Would you change anything about it?

The amount of local artists is increasing and they are good. The problem is that there are just not enough buyers to sustain it. Galleries will close and artists will continue to struggle (nothing new here) but also move away as long as we don't see any changes. People need to be educated about the value of art. They will then in turn invest in the local visual art scene. 

A photo from David's studio (2016)

A photo from David's studio (2016)

Has your style changed or evolved over the years? If so what do you think influenced this?

Yes, it did. Probably because of being exposed to different styles and new artists. Also, making mistakes can take you to uncharted territories; you can learn and grow from it. I like to think that I did. But I think progress and change mainly comes from working. Chuck Close has a great quote, "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work."

What do you feel is your greatest flaw? 

I tend to obsess over things and I can be stubborn, that's the Breton in me.

Name: David Iacovazzi-Pau
Hometown: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Age: 37
Education: Centre Académique des Arts in Luxembourg and Indiana University Southeast
Website: http://www.davidiacovazzipau.com/
Gallery Representative: Swanson Contemporary Gallery

"Teddy #3" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, oil on paper (2016)

"Teddy #3" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, oil on paper (2016)

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Painting, Photography, Drawing

Q&A: Jennifer Laura Palmer


“Sometimes it is a little better to travel than to arrive.”  Robert Pirsig


Location and maps are a crucial part of painter Jennifer Palmer’s work. “The first maps I collected were from my childhood and they were used on family trips. I loved that they were used on our trips and I could see my Dad’s handwritten notes and the highlighted route for each adventure. These memories have become even more precious since my Mother’s passing from cancer this past year.” Palmer is currently working on a new series involving plein air artworks created during road trips throughout Kentucky in a 1951 Chevy Pickup: http://palmertravelingartist.tumblr.com/

"Paintings of Maine (    In Progress)" by Jennifer Palmer, mixed media on poplar (2016)

"Paintings of Maine (In Progress)" by Jennifer Palmer, mixed media on poplar (2016)

1951 Chevy - Barbara Jane (Name after my Mother)

1951 Chevy - Barbara Jane (Name after my Mother)

Are you still touring Kentucky in your 1951 Chevy pick-up?

I currently am and the project is still in the beginning stages. I have spent the summer working on organizing my trip and scouting out locations to complete my artwork.  This has allowed me the necessary time to come up with a more cohesive plan that has clear objectives and goals to make this a successful project. After my trip to Maine this summer I realized I wanted to challenge myself to something much larger than I had originally intended and to push myself creatively to use materials and process that I haven’t used before. This has slowed down the project, however, it has increased the drive to have a series that goes beyond what I had originally envisioned. 

How many different places have you been?

Only a handful of places at this point and mostly I have been cruising routes and making notes on good places to stop and make some art. I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the places to explore in this beautiful state. I have toured a lot of backroads in Kentucky cruising and I started to realize that I need to also include more urban areas on my travels. 

"On site Traveling Drawing (Phippsburg, Maine)" by Jennifer Palmer, 9x12in,     ink on paper (2016)

"On site Traveling Drawing (Phippsburg, Maine)" by Jennifer Palmer, 9x12in, ink on paper (2016)

What music do you listen to on the road?

I tend to just keep the windows down and listen to my surroundings and mostly the sound of the truck’s engine. 

Do you listen to music while you paint?

I do and tend to listen to the same music over and over until I finish a series.  You would most likely find Shovels and Rope and Roy Orbison in rotation in the studio.

What expectations did you have for the journey?

To stumble upon beauty in every place I visit. 

Tell us something about the people you have met?

I have found that everyone enjoys sharing a story if you are willing to slow down and ask some questions and be sincere in wanting to hear what they have to say. The people I have encountered are the greatest resources on learning more about the areas I am visiting. They know the area and give out the best suggestions for places to see and also to eat. I have experienced that people always love sharing stories about their animals and that is a great way to start a conversation. 

Also, I would like to add since I am still in the planning stages I would love to hear from people in Kentucky on places to go and more importantly why do they think I should visit there and document the space.

"Olsen House (Cushing Maine)" by Jennifer Palmer, photograph (2016)

"Olsen House (Cushing Maine)" by Jennifer Palmer, photograph (2016)

What's your favorite place to visit?

I will have to say Maine. I spent two weeks there this summer on an art road trip and I fell hard for the state. The landscape, the history, the people and the air were so inspiring.  What made the trip memorable was visiting the Farnsworth Museum and seeing Andrew Wyeth’s work in person. It literally brought tears to my eyes.  I was then able to make the journey to the Olsen House and spend time photographing the house and grounds.  I have never felt such a connection with a place.  

Honestly, this trip to Maine got me a little side tracked on the Traveling Artist Project here in Kentucky with the Chevy, however, it stirred a passion and desire to make it a more impactful series by slowing down and really taking time to plan out the project so I can create a wide range of pieces in various mediums. Kentucky holds the same charm and beauty and I want to explore the forgotten spaces to see the hidden gems myself and then be able to share these finds with an audience in a thoughtful manner.

"Olsen House (Hidden Stories)" by Jennifer Palmer, photograph (2016)

"Olsen House (Hidden Stories)" by Jennifer Palmer, photograph (2016)

So far, what is the longest you spent in any one location?

I crave the chance to be nomadic however, my heart always belongs to one place and that is wherever my horses are located. That is what brought me to Kentucky 10 years ago and what keeps me appreciating this amazing state is all the open land that is still available here. So my journeys tend to be short in nature, however, the list is extensive on places I want to visit, even if it is only short term. 

"Maine Summer" by Jennifer Palmer, 16x22.5in, mixed media on paper (2016), $300 |  BUY NOW

"Maine Summer" by Jennifer Palmer, 16x22.5in, mixed media on paper (2016), $300 | BUY NOW

What's the most challenging part when starting on a piece of work?

To not worry about what the outcome will be and just create and be in the moment.

How long do you usually spend on a specific piece of art?

It varies and can be a few hours to months. Recently, I have been going over work I had in storage for a few years and remaking it into a new series. I strongly believe in including an element of history in my work and I am enjoying making something new out of pieces that I never felt were quite finished.  It is nice to see new life given to them and also to go back and relive the time period of when I was creating them. 

"Travel Drawing Series (Maine)" by Jennifer Palmer, 9x12in, ink on paper (2016)

"Travel Drawing Series (Maine)" by Jennifer Palmer, 9x12in, ink on paper (2016)

Has your style changed or evolved over the years? If so what do you think influenced this?

It has and it goes through cycles. Location and time of year influences it, also the events going on in my life. The most significant change came with the passing of my Mother from pancreatic cancer. She was the inspiration in starting to live my life to the fullest and to finally get my dream truck, and then for this journey to gather stories. I realized how significant stories and personal histories are after you lose someone and they take the stories with them. If you don’t take the time to gather and archive them you will end up losing them forever. And now my work is more about searching out those feelings and memories and I am seeing a shift of including more figurative elements into my work as a way of processing these shifts in life.

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

Wendell Berry and I would love to ask him to show me his favorite location in
Kentucky and learn more about why he chose that spot. 

Name: Jennifer Palmer
Hometown: Simpsonville, Kentucky
Age: 35
Education: MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design; BA in Art and Political Science, Cedar Crest College (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Website: http://jenniferpalmer.tumblr.com

"Summer Days (Finchville, KY) by Jennifer Palmer, photograph (2016)

"Summer Days (Finchville, KY) by Jennifer Palmer, photograph (2016)

"Maine Traveling Sketchbook" by Jennifer Palmer, ink on paper (2016)

"Maine Traveling Sketchbook" by Jennifer Palmer, ink on paper (2016)

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Digital, Illustration

Q&A: Illustrator Scott Soeder

Photograph of artist Scott Soeder at work.

Photograph of artist Scott Soeder at work.


"Art means me. It is my personal visual language for communicating my ideas and getting lost in my thoughts." — Scott Soeder


Various vehicle illustrations by Scott Soeder.

Scott Soeder is an award-winning professional illustrator and designer specializing in illustrations for children's books, magazines, apps and games. Select clients include Highlights for Children, Timehop, Lightchange Studios, Reelio Inc, 311, Lake Street Dive, Sharks 4 Kids and more. A graduate of the University of Louisville, he is based in based in Louisville, KY.

When did you first think you would be an artist?

I can’t say there was any defining moment. I have been drawing as long as I can remember, as if I’m simply naturally attracted to do so. Maybe we all are and for whatever reason some of us move away from it. I played football on a team when I was a kid, but by the time I got to high school I had very little interest in playing. Maybe art is like that for others. Also I was a scrawny kid, even in high school, and I knew I would end up a small pile of broken bones had I attempted to play.  I was very fortunate to have parents who kept me stocked in art supplies and who encouraged me. I absolutely adored looking at and reading “Peanuts” in the newspaper and watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. Animation and comics were my experience with art. When I was around 7 or 8 or some age expressed in a single digit, my grandfather made me an easel. I would sit for hours drawing at that easel. I remember feeling like a real artist working at that easel. At an early age I was equipped with art supplies, had a paying customer and friends referred to me as a “good drawer” So artist was added to my list of “what I want to be when I grow up” directly under Astronaut and Spiderman. 

Is all your work for clients?

Being a full-time artist means that a big chunk of what I create is for clients. However, I do spend time working on pieces for fun, to experiment, or for personal projects. I have been working on illustrating a series of vehicles from pop culture titled Pop Wheels for fun and to give my self a challenge. I have done about 16 and have a long list of others I’d like to do. Also, I work on writing and illustrating my own stories for children’s picture books.

What frightens you the most?

That’s a great question and probably depends on the moment I’m asked. An overarching, big-picture-thought that comes to mind is - being forgotten. That my little blip of time on the planet being Scott Soeder was wasted and that I didn’t use everything I’d been given to the fullest. I want to be able to leave something behind that my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren could say: “my dad did that”. Besides my children themselves of course, they are my best creations. But in terms of art, Charles Schulz lives in Charlie Brown and will continue to for generations, possibly inspiring other kids to pick up a pencil and draw. That’s an amazing accomplishment.

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

Something upbeat and rocking. The list of specific artists would be long! I love music and enjoy listening to it while working. I’d say most of the time it would be music from 311 or pop metal bands from the 80s. 

What are you reading right now?

I’ve been reading Chuck Jones’ autobiography, “Chuck Amuck”. I love looking at his drawings in the book and it is really funny. I would have loved to meet him. I bet he was hilarious. 

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

Learn about business and develop your business acumen. Educate yourself on all the opportunities available for artists. Put in the work. 

Tell us about an important moment of transition for you as an artist?

I feel like every moment is one of transition. It is persistent evolution. Always striving to express the emotion or develop the image I see in my head. There are moments or milestone pieces if you will. The ones where something clicked or a visual problem was solved or it made someone laugh, etc. Some of my favorite moments are getting an email or message from someone who really enjoyed a piece and took the time to say so. 

What does art mean to you?

Art feels like a part of me. It has been tied up in my identity for as long as I remember. Art has been the means of showing others ideas in my mind, of depicting humor and simply passing time. When I was a kid my sister had dance lessons and I would bring a sketchbook and art supplies with me to stay occupied. I don’t know what I would have done without it. A great benefit of art is that I am never bored! Art means me. It is my personal visual language for communicating my ideas and getting lost in my thoughts. 

soeder-animal-swim-party.png

If you could have a talent that you currently don't already have what would it be and why?

I would like to be able to sing. Being able to sing like Steve Perry from Journey would be nice. I play drums and can hold my own on a few other instruments like guitar and bass, but I lack a singing voice. A rusty muffler being drug down a gravel road would sound more pleasant. I have a personal project where I am playing and recording all the instruments myself and having a decent singing voice would be advantageous. 

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

If it could be anyone even if they were deceased it would be Charles Schulz. If it were a contemporary it would be John Lasseter. I would ask Charles Schulz about his work ethic and productivity tips. He drew every single Peanuts strip himself for 50 years. He’d have to have some awesome tips! I would ask John Lasseter about storytelling and creating great characters. Pixar has had an amazing track record of doing both. 

Name: Scott Soeder
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 43
Education: BFA in Communication Art & Design, Magna Cum Laude, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
Website: http://www.scottsoeder.com

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