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Artist Interview: Kari Maxwell on the Creative Process

Thursday, December 10, 2009 · No Comments

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to interview the energetic, Minneapolis-based artist, Kari Maxwell, about her new watercolor series and life as an artist. To see more of Kari’s work, check out her website and etsy shop.

AH: Your watercolor series, unadorned yet strikingly beautiful, is clearly a hit, but this is a relatively new direction for you. What did you work on previously and what drew you to watercolors?

KM: Oh, there is a subtle shift with everything and then, all of the sudden, I find myself somewhere else (this is typical for my process).  This recent body of work is meant to represent days I have “wandered and wondered”…  Over the summer, my husband and I made several trips to the South Shore ( a local get away for us) where there was a lot of time to sit, reflect, rest.  I spent a lot of time with my travel Windsor and Newton watercolor set on the beach.  It was glorious.  Although, at the time, I saw it as something temporary, it (obviously) stuck (the watercolors, I mean) to get me to this point, this body of work.

AH: What’s the hardest part about being an artist for you?

KM: Oh, this is easy…  Ha!  There is so much down time for me, so much time between bodies of work.  It’s at these times that I feel so creatively frustrated and anxious, always asking the question, “What is the next direction?”…  Of course, art never reveals itself this way (at least for me).  The creative process always surprises me (something else I LOVE)… I believe that if I show up for my art every day, my art will make itself known to me.  This has turned out to be the case over and over again.

AH: What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an artist for you?

KM: Two things come to the top of my head: 1. When I am completely absorbed in the process, so much so, that I catch myself dancing around my studio or when I am so absorbed that I haven’t even noticed that I needed to eat.  2. When someone can appreciate my work (or “feel” it) without even speaking to me (or even meeting me, for that matter).  I LOVE THAT!

AH: How does social media play a role in your career as an artist?

KM: I see the world and experience the world through images.  In fact, I usually require an image before I have anything to say.  I use social media as a means of putting my art out there, “to the universe”, a demonstration and an acknowledgement of the significance of art AS communication.

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