The Independent Artist Podcast

Tiny Deer Path/ Kirsten Stingle

April 03, 2023 Douglas Sigwarth/ Will Armstrong/ Kirsten Stingle Season 3 Episode 6
The Independent Artist Podcast
Tiny Deer Path/ Kirsten Stingle
Show Notes Transcript

Working Artists! You are not alone! Kirsten Stingle is a storyteller who has based her artistic career on being true to her voice. When adversity set in and she was butting up against the established paths, Kirsten deepened her commitment to authenticity. She bravely explored the "tiny deer paths," ........and that has made all the difference.

For information on Kirsten's International Artist Residency Exchange in France

In the preamble discussion, Douglas and Will discuss the details of being on a remote jury for Art in the Pearl.

Visual artists Douglas Sigwarth and Will Armstrong co-host and discuss topics affecting working artists. Each episode is a deep dive into a conversation with a guest artist who shares their unique experiences as an independent professional artist.

PLEASE RATE US AND REVIEW US.......... and SUBSCRIBE to the pod on your favorite streaming app.

VENMO/ username @independentartistpodcast or through PAYPAL.ME by clicking on this link

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Music  "Walking" by Oliver Lear
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[Music] foreign
artist podcast sponsored by the National Association of Independent Artists also
sponsored by zapplication I'm will Armstrong and I'm a mixed media artist I'm Douglas sigworth glassblower join
our conversations with professional working artists
well Douglas we decided to jump in here and try to knock out a podcast Preamble
here before we head off to our first shows of the year it's nice to see you on here I know we're a little bit
frantic getting work together it's like okay we got a spare 15. should we knock this out right now and we're doing it
right now yeah exactly I feel like we're trying to make a baby I'm ovulating Douglas get on the mic
jump on that mic all right Douglas you're um you're kind of you're more of a communicator than me I feel like I
feel like you've got like a stable of friends that you're constantly in in touch with is that true keep in touch I
try to yeah yeah you've got a fairly large group I feel like I don't right I
mean I kind of do and I kind of don't I just see people at shows and then my wife and I like my my email list is
pretty short and so is my wife's okay but where are we going with us well well I just don't have an awful lot of
contact with people until until they find out that you're on a jury [Applause]
have you found that to be the case I I was on a jury this past weekend I didn't have too many people uh reaching out and
wanting to Buddy up with me no I haven't had that experience well maybe it's just because you're not noticing because I
feel like you're um you're kind of taking the torch of Mayor of art town from like Michael McKee and Eric Lee I
feel like you're I think you're ready to make a move and be our town mayor and uh maybe you're just used to all of the
communication and and I'm I'm not that used to it so you start to see like I've got a very dear friend that's getting
ready to be on another jury okay she's like oh that's that's interesting haven't heard from you in a while
jury they're coming out of the woodwork just like a hidea do you
remember me it's nice to see you oh yeah is that a new shirt you're looking very handsome like get out of here well I did
have an interesting weekend this weekend I was I was on the jury for art in the Pearl and there's a lot of experiences
that I want to share about it so we might dedicate this entire first part of the the podcast to just talking about
things because you know I we've talked about juries throughout the last three years on the show and we've kind of had
our stable of reactions at how you and I felt but this changed a lot of those points of view for me so yeah a lot of
great experiences this weekend okay interesting what um what changed I mean I in in previous jury experiences I I
feel like folks are ready for the good and they're ready for the bad going into a jury but they're not ready for the
sheer volume of like middle of the road like like stuff that doesn't really move the needle left or right it's just like
I don't know what the what to do do with this I mean I do we do know what to do
with it but um yeah how was your experience I mean you tell me I don't want to put words in your mouth sure well what was different for me was when
I first got into the business of of doing these art fairs I went to the projected juries I went to a number of
them to kind of get a feel of what I was up against what the formatting was and this jury that I did this weekend for
art in the pearl was a monitor jury and and I feel like from what I'm hearing
out there that there might be a lot more the the tables might skew or tip towards
the monitor during which I think getting um some feedback out to our listeners
about what my take was on it might be helpful might give people choices yeah
you think as far as like helping folks um with what they're showing as far as the their slides and stuff is that the
presentation I used to feel like that the order of the images presented
in a collective across the room when it's projected had impact and I would select my images
on that kind of overall snapshot right but when we're doing a remote jury and
as artists we have the ability to view our own applications just like how the
jury's kind of view it sure which is that like you just preview is juror right is that what you're talking about
that's exactly what the juror is seeing when they do the remote jury okay so
there was a couple of nuances in that because when they were in a lineup the
images are so small and I'm using a big monitor I'm not using a laptop or whatever I have a nice a nice big screen
that that the layout of the images kind of loses its luster because you can't really see enough of the image to get an
impact of the body of work interesting so even on a big screen like that you're you feel like you're like the way I feel
about it a lot of times is like I'm looking at it through a pinhole camera you know it's like you can't well you're trying to look something up on the phone
and you're kind of like I want to see the big picture of the map I don't want to just see this like little little
thing but it's kind of like that with the the jury it is so when you go through they make it so that you can't
skip ahead and just look at a block of the four images in a booth and move on
you're forced to individually take in each full-sized image on your screen one
after the other consecutively you get one last kind of uh group shot which
again is small and then you score so it's really important when you're thinking of placement and order is
thinking of the image sequentially like what's the next one going to build on the one previous and the next one built
on the previous it might it might just be a different way of approaching how you want to pick your images or how you want to put them together that's you
know I've always kind of assumed that it was like that like that you'd be reading it like you you're flipping through a book almost I want my like me personally
I want my AI lead image kind of facing to the right which leads you into the
next one whereas the middle ones are kind of facing you know the composition is is more out and the the one on the
end kind of faces you back into the uh it's almost like you're composing I am
anyway I don't know if it makes any difference but I I you know that's what I do I I would say that the tension that
you're talking about is important and especially if we want to start putting
our focus on is this a projected jury or is this a computer monitor jury we might
want to make some different decisions on that so that was my first take my second thing was remember years ago when zap
said you don't have to upload borders anymore yeah okay so this particularly
pertains to the landscape orientation of your images and that is that if you upload the 1920
as your width and you don't do the borders and I think
I think anyway I want everyone to do this for themselves just to make sure but if you want your landscape
orientation to fill the whole screen and kind of like take over the the
viewers eyes you wouldn't want to do the border of the top and the bottom because
it's so don't do the Border correct when it's a remote viewing that I'm
losing right it just shrinks it in but there was something about when I
would flip and I'd get a landscape orientation that was not done with the top and bottom borders it filled the
screen and whether the work was great or not it gave you more of a of a presence
I mean it kind of like you sit back and you go whoa and it kind of your eyes get to take in more so that was something to
consider right I I feel like um like I know that I actually know that even it's it goes
against what some of the people online are are saying look like some of these advisor groups that um there's a there's
a guy that does does that all the time he he's a big proponent of like you have to put your black Bill orders on you
know it's like okay well this is It's I knew that so I feel like I'm doing some bad acting what what Douglas I can't
believe it that's no but yeah it's interesting to see that right it's a
choice and I think if you were going to have a projection jury you'd want everything to be congruent if it's like
these are the five images we're looking at all at once and then these five images are going away where your eye can
kind of like bounce back and forth between all the images but if you're just going one image at a time it's
something you might want to consider interesting yeah all right good advice there is there anything as far as
um like what what you saw uh this past weekend and since this is fresh like
something things that work and don't work that people are doing I'll tell you what doesn't work there's some bad Booth
images I mean a booth image with a group of people standing in it like look my booth is busy all the time
when you're slagging through the thing it is important to have a shitty Booth
image so that you know who to just cut right away right because it's so that's what you want to look through right yeah
don't change your booth image leave it okay leave it leave it bad uh I'm for
more bad Booth shots so that we know who to hack through and just throw in the garbage I mean seriously like I I all
the stuff about like all of these coaching things and online about all this stuff with your booth image and
it's it's a it's a hack detector right it's totally a hack detector I mean that's the one thing like it's like to
see the context of the work you're right you got the context and it's like oh well the context is it's okay well
I I do have a reaction to that because you'll look at the work and like I found
myself rooting for some work that I hadn't seen before that was really well done and then I got to the booth shot
and I went ah and so we all asked you know because there was well I'll
backtrack here the way this jury is set up is there's no talking amongst us like
we can't I can't say I really like exhibitor a right I hate exhibitor B this is my podcast co-host
this guy rocks but um so the only time we were really
encouraged to to speak is to ask questions for clarifications or whatever
and the question came up was how do we how do they want us to rate the booth shot and they said they primarily want
us to rate it on the work because if based on the score that gets in if they
feel like the booth shot needs work this particular show was going to reach out and advocate on behalf of the artists to
up their game or talk to them about ways that they could be better so I think that helps kind of an emerging crowd
step into the market yeah it does and I you know I kid with with that stuff absolutely I mean I I'm a big proponent
for uh emerging artist programs and and helping people up their game but I do
think that you know the booth shot sometimes is like you know that's the context right well sometimes the context
is that I don't like it anymore right I had stuff I liked better when I saw the booth shot and the reverse I had stuff
that I liked less once I saw the booth shot for sure interesting uh what else did you uh did you learn this past
weekend anything else that popped out I really like the way that they that they do this jury because there are some
juries where really the the jurors it's their job to pick the show through
collaboration and discussion and they'll like they'll get to the end and they'll be like well we only want to allow in 10
class artists but we've got like 20 to choose from that we've narrowed down who gets the spots and who's on the waitlist
we didn't get any of that we were totally individual scorekeepers and I have no idea who's in the show that I
just juried I know who I would have picked and the feedback from other jurors was they felt like that kind of
talking that they've experienced on other juries it's just counterproductive it can be contentious it can you know
who really cares if I like something and the other juror doesn't you know well I do I think that's I kind of the other
way I kind of prefer the other uh set of during so that you can be like hey how many of this do we have this person
looks a little bit like this so maybe we cut that who we want over this one or this one I don't know that that seems to
be an interesting way to to compose a show or to curate a show if that makes sense too so I mean everybody it's kind
of like you know I prefer four day weekends you prefer two who said that maybe not just you but you know some
people yeah right for example some people I don't know I'm I'm uh I like to set up shop I like to go and have a have
a talk and sometimes somebody knows more about like if there's a jeweler on the jury for
example they can explain to me what I'm seeing I mean I'm more educated than most uh because I live with jewelry but
uh as far as like if you don't know what you're looking at me like hey this actually this this simple clean bezel is
harder to to set a stone in and have it clean then you know this over here that
has more more bells and whistles on it and more you know the filigree and all this other stuff is is like okay that's
hand done that's hand carved this is machine done like I can recognize it if you don't know what you're looking at
sometimes it helps to say hey what is this guy doing is if um I mean it's very
clear some some artwork comes through the jury and you're like I like that that's good what is it it's pencil holy
I want that in my show sure you know versus something else where I'm like what am I what is this that I'm
seeing so sometimes it helps to have somebody in the Jury Room that can talk you through it so well we did have that
and we did that through the jewelry a lot believe me we had a jeweler on the jury and it'd be like what am I looking
at here what are the you know are these components they made or these components that they sourced and built or right
that was definitely allowed but what wasn't allowed was I couldn't pick out
an exhibitor and say I love this work everybody score them great you know what
I mean that that stuff was was kept at Bay so um yeah but I think part of it is
too you know it's a Pearl is a show that is run by artists and there are shows
out there that are run by artists that kind of you know come from our point of view they know what's important to us
absolutely so you know like what we've been talking about with Rick Rubin how we train ourselves to he talks about how
he gets these gut reactions from work from music for example that's his industry right I started to feel that
way as we got rolling with the during is it could settle into that that gut
reaction and the thing about the monitor jury that I thought was nice is that when it
is all projected at once and you have all images at once you are sitting there waiting for like quickly you're almost
like panicking like when are they going to take all those images away I've got to soak it all in but when you are the
juror on a remote jury you're in control of when you've seen enough and when you can move on and you can really settle
into that flow of see it react move on see it react move on to all of the
images so you can get kind of an overall and it was a very interesting process to
kind of trust that that gut reaction and to know where it was taken you know to know where where it was taking me you're
taking me to sleep okay fine boring all right I've heard
enough about all this I wasn't sure on Portland's amazing all right the Pearl
but yeah no that was that was good I like shows like juries sorry I don't
have anything else to add just leaving here it's supposed to say I'm supposed to say yes to uh to whatever hey
speaking of saying yes we had the most random like the lamest random celebrity sighting on our plane
back from serious for Baltimore it's like kind of unders like I kind of heard
this voice and I'm like I think I know like it it's a it's a I don't even know
what network it's on my My Wife puts it on sometimes but Say Yes to the Dress
yeah it's like a Bravo show yeah it's like this guy who is uh like he's very
kind and he brings these uh these gals onto the the show and they they have a
big fight about what wedding dress they like and and all the stuff and he's he's you know whatever but the the only
reason I recognized it is because the flight attendant was being such an
a-hole about really a dog like that has to find out like like look I fly six
times a week like I it it always sits right here with the you know it's fine and she's showing him the rule book she
had to be right that was one of these people that had to be you know was like rule stickler to the degree so yeah
that's the only reason and and somebody just bitching and complaining but um I was we were laughing I'm like that
is that's got to be the lamest celebrity sighting of all time like I can't imagine like pulling back the
curtain on that one Say Yes to the Dress holy so this week you actually have
one of my art show Heroes that I'm as excited to hear the talk as anybody else haven't heard a rough cut nothing you've
been you've been cagey about this one Douglas I haven't even had a chance to work on it yet it's really crazy getting
ready for for this show you're gonna be it by you and me like I've got to go back to the hotel to get the podcast so
anyway maybe it'll be a day or two late you never know but yeah it's probably for sure going to be going out at the
end of the week but by the time they hear this then they'll know when it came out it's now it comes out right now no
it's live it's right now uh but uh Kirsten stingle an amazing creative
person and I love her vision and uh kind of unflappable direction that she's gone
in with her work for her entire career and just a lovely human as well so thank
you uh first of all from all of us really for for sitting down and talking with her and and getting this uh this
view on the air here she is Kirsten stingle from Atlanta Georgia this
episode of The Independent artist podcast is brought to you by zap the digital application service where artists and art festivals so will that's
that time of year again when we all need to start getting stuff ready for taxes ugh
thanks for that Douglas I appreciate that we all do quite literally I did get an email recently from Zapp and they
were talking about uh doing line items and keeping everything together in one place yeah that's right I tried it out
for myself so when I was logged into zap I went to my profile and one of the
options further down the page is to download your transaction history amazing that's after you've proven to
them that you're not a robot by uh correctly identify the tractor before you play that lovely game so once you've
identified that you're an actual human it's super easy just to select your date range and then it will create a report
of all your purchases so you can hand off those booth fees and application fees directly to your accountant
Kirsten stingle welcome to the independent artist podcast I'm so glad to meet you this is the first time we've
ever met yes thank you I'm really happy to be on here and talking to you you are part of a gallery that my friend Steve
Cox is a part of so I kind of saw your social overlapping with his social and
I'm like you know what I looked into your work I was like you seem like somebody I'd really like to get to know and talk to thank you
glad you could carve out some time today absolutely I have to say though I am a little disappointed about something I
was expecting you to show up with your big pink wig I thought this was gonna be like what's going on here I don't I
don't get the wig what's up with that that's that's my show for sauna so I um
yeah actually somebody suggested you should wear the wig and I'm like you know then it gets into a thing of you
know is she wearing it while she vacuums what's going on so it's just it's just
in your everyday life and anyone who wants to know what we're talking about could clearly go to your
Instagram and see you know part of your your profile pic and you at shows you have this beautiful fun character that
you kind of take on right exactly yeah big fluffy cotton candy wig yeah
I always say at the at the shows I'm living in my character's world so yeah
yeah so is it a kind of an extension of the work that you're making too so yeah you know I sort of stumbled upon doing
that because it was funny I was showing with okay spark at sofa and it was
Halloween and I had purchased the wig with the intent of like you know maybe
wearing it at some point and so I thought well I'll just it's Halloween and it's the opening I might as well
just wear it right and so it was a great success I mean because all of a sudden
it it was it sort of like broke the ice with people and so people were coming up
to me and just you know chatting or wanting a picture and or anything and and so it became a way for me to be sort
of comfortable in myself without feeling like I'm on stage trying to like let me
explain my work to you let me tell you about my work it was just felt like much more natural
um or I could be much more natural in it so yeah after that I was just like let's just keep wearing it because it's sort
of fun so yeah yeah yeah kind of roll with it exactly exactly and you know
it's funny because it it really really does sort of Link like if someone's like oh do you know Kirsten's work and I
don't know I might you know the woman with the pink wig oh yeah yeah I know her work so it it it is
it's sort of bookmarks me a little bit that's your branding thing right
well what I do know about you is that you have a theater background so I mean just part of it coming to that the
theatricality of it definitely it does I mean you can see that theatricality in my work I was always afraid to get on
stage when I was in theater so I did back of the house stuff but this is I guess my chance to sort of spread my
wings a little bit so yeah for those people listening to the podcast keeping score we can add another list to the
tally of the the former theater people turn to visual artists
in a way it's really not surprising because you know the I think we're all
just trying to figure things out and tell our stories and and so having that
theater background you're trying to tell stories and trying to get across themes and it's a little bit easier it's less
collaborative nuances when you're with individual artists
um if that makes any sense yeah it's like all of these people are
working on an aesthetic it's such a communal thing yeah and it's like we all
are working together to kind of tell that same story so there is that communal collaborative aspect in that
respect yes absolutely absolutely there's there there is that sort of um
Family feeling especially with you know in in art shows and things like that yeah yeah
well let's talk about what you do what you make as an artist and kind of your voice in that so tell me about your work
and you okay yeah I consider myself a narrative sculptor all the figures are
in hand built porcelain I don't use any molds they have ceramic finishes and then after they come out of
several times in the Kiln I then build up layers and layers of mixed media and
found objects to sort of tell the narrative what I'm trying to do with my work is
I want the viewer to get lost in it and sort of explore it and I think in some
ways it's like the worst thing to try to accomplish as a sculptor because
really you it's so much easier like if you're in a theater you know the you they dim the lights you get lost on
what's on stage and you enter part of the story right and even looking at a
painting that that border around it you sort of get it sort of focuses your mind
and your imagination and I think with sculpture in a lot of ways what you've
done is complete opposite it I mean it sits on a pedestal so it's sort of alienated from the viewer and and I
understand the reason for that is because it's you know it makes it more special it highlights the object but
what I'm trying to do is highlight the story so that that bit of alienation
that isolation between the pedestal and the and the person is really a stumbling
block so what I've tried to do is just layer and layer and layer little details
in mixed media just so the person can start to get drawn in and get lost in it
through all the details and the story sort of opens that way okay so let's say there's an element of
gesture maybe an object your figure is holding or expression that those can all
be means to tell the greater story oh absolutely is that what you're describing yeah yeah I mean for gesture
and expression I spend a lot of time on those aspects because they really are I mean that's something that theater
teaches you it's the PowerHouse of the story right so I spend a lot of time on that but I in my mixed media work I I
eco-dye Fabric and then I make uh hand-stitched flowers and forms from it
and then beat it and then you know maybe rust it and so there's just it's just
level after level of layers if if I have a flower on something I don't want you
to say oh like I think I saw those flowers at Joann's and they were on sale for you know 50 off because it takes you
then out of the story you're all of a sudden in current right your your contemporary Society so I want you to I
want you to stay lost in there and I want everything to feel very much like it's that world right yeah so that the
details are not only an OCD issue but it's also just because I really want to
hook the viewer in and so they they stay engaged with the piece this reminds me
of a conversation that we just had the episode will come out before yours with
uh Joachim Neal and he talks about how he gets an idea and then he feels like a
slave to that concept like every little detail he has to go down the road of
specificity in every element is to be considered and it sounds to me like
you're kind of just describing that you want everything to kind of go deeper and not a step away from the overall concept
or the overall story yeah well you know and that is also very theatrical in the sense of the the suspension of disbelief
you know that that is in theater right so every little aspect of what we're
doing is taking us further into the story and and removing the things that
will detract right exactly and just it's spinning off of this in fact with my
work I'm also trying to collaborate with other mediums to also push my work and
so it's less of an object and more of a strong narrative device so like I've
I've even partnered with a actress from Rome it was a it was a piece that
involved film it involved her monologues and a stage piece and then my pieces
also supported and were part of the story in that and so I'm always looking
for ways to sort of push that I mean another way is I've worked with several photographers and we take my pieces and
put them in natural settings a lot of times I try to put them in like abandoned settings and so all of a
sudden it takes that narrative where if you usually you would have like a black background in a picture and so you're
highlighting again the object but this all of a sudden with an environment around it it sort of narratively
explodes and I think really brings out what I'm trying to express in my work
cool so it almost becomes like installation work in a way because the environment then also feeds into the
narrative so I I'm wondering if when you started down the road of being an artist did you
kind of identify with a particular medium but then as you find your voice
and find your direction as a Sculptor is it like basically any medium is it's
a tool in your box to try and Implement into your story did you start as a ceramic artist or have you always
comment for to it from a sculptural point of view well I mean when I was little I had to
and we called it the craft room and I had a little craft table and and I would go through all my dad miscellaneous
stuff he he was the product of farming community and you never throw anything
away in a farming community so I always had this involved and I would remake things so that whole sort of like
looking at objects and sort of thinking of them in a new way sort of was imprinted early but then I and then I
had the theater background and then I really don't have any formal training in visual art I was working in something
completely different and when I decided to switch over I just started taking I
was like I'm just going to start taking Community classes so the first one was
in ceramics and you know I I think so much of our
path is based on the kindness of people and the encouragement they give you and
and she was just really lovely and and you know if she hadn't her name is
Monica litvini and if she hadn't been you know saying come on take another class it's really good you you have a
you have a touch with this even though you're looking at this blob and you know it's it's nothing where you want it to
be and so I just kept taking classes and I gravitated towards the figure the more
I worked with Clay because that's just that's a narrative tool that that I just
feel very comfortable with especially with the theater background and everything else yeah so that Evolution
started with kind of learning about the materials and satisfying a creative
curiosity and then things kind of yeah they kept snowballing and so
it and it's it's through the course of being an artist how I've tried to
incorporate more and more of the mixed media and and different types of things again I feel like I'm a little bit of a
disadvantage because I don't have the formal training in Visual Arts in terms of just the exposure wherein if you have
a a you know a BFA and visual arts you would you will you will have taken a
whole bunch of things mono Printing and all these you know just different different courses and I don't have that
so I have to seek it out but I'm really hungry for it so that's how all of this it's sort of I Look to incorporate new
things to learn about new things and also to take my work into a different level
that makes sense yeah it does and uh I do feel like there
is a benefit to what you're describing also because you're not burdened by the
direction of let's say a BFA or something you know what I mean that it's like it's like well you have to do it
this way some people feel like that or they feel about themselves as if that is something that is like a setback I don't
think it is I actually don't think it is yeah I I I feel out that sort of behind
the eight ball you know sort of behind on everything a little bit I think I've been able to work outside the normal
path in a way that I'm able to achieve and search out things that
interest me and that I want to do in my work that's cool that's awesome so one of the things I've read about your
approach towards your work from your artist statement is you like to delve into topics
around the topic of the modern Paradox so what does that mean to you oh right
okay so basically what sort of driven my work and again it
I've said this before um it's storytelling because I feel like stories are
they're sort of the ground zero in terms of how we can learn and communicate with
one another they're so powerful and right now our ability to communicate while there
are so many ways like having this wonderful discussion here you know we're not in the same place and and and now
it's going to be shared with other people and that's like an amazing thing technology has also really heightened
our impulse to just respond rather than to think or have a discussion about
things or to to question and be curious about things I think it's much more
knee-jerk in a way I think a lot of of the connection
in in that way is not helpful it's not important and so here we are connected
in so many ways yet we're all feeling a little bit disconnected and I can just speak on
sort of my journey is in it seems like in the past 10 years it feels like things have gotten sort of
out of control in terms of how polarized we are and how little we we just talk to
one another and and share things with one another and so that's what I'm
dealing with in my work is I want to create a dialogue with the viewer I want
the viewer to be able to come and see to engage in a story and a lot of times
I'm happy if they go oh my gosh that that's sort of scary I'm like okay that's not how I meant it but okay you
know let's let's talk about it there's no judgment on the reaction of what you're getting just to have that that
give and take you know uh something I've learned over the years is that forming a
connection with somebody is really about sharing vulnerability sharing sharing personal stories in a safe space and so
that kind of comes up to me with what you're describing is you're making your art as a way to connect with people
or the story to connect with people to say it might land with someone and they say I I experience this yeah or it
doesn't mind and they don't experience it but it's still that that's the intent behind it it's definitely about connecting with with other people I I
feel like when I started as an artist it was because of 9 11 sort of made me
switch everything because I was in New York City working at that time it was an overwhelming feeling of disconnection
and that you know what are we doing why why why does everything seem like it's
splitting apart and so when I went back to work they had right after 9 11 all of
the flyers for the people that were missing right and describing who they were and a lot of them were you know he
he's a father of three and he does this and he like you know they were there were snapshots there were stories of
these these human beings and they were all over every kind of bus stop and
every kind of subway stop and everything and and I remember spending a lot of time reading them at a certain point the
city decided okay we need to get rid of these we need to move on and so it was
just they one more we're done with that we're done with we're done with yeah okay so one morning they were just all
gone and I understand a reasoning of we need to move on as a as a society or as
a community but at the same time it just felt like you know those voices were
were gone and were just wiped out again so let me let me see if I understand you so it was it wasn't just like these
flyers weren't just saying this person is missing this was a tribute to say this person has has passed in this and
and wanting to and wanting to have people notice or pay attention yeah and
remember when 9 11 first happened a lot of people didn't know where everybody was they didn't realize that they could
be buried in the rubble or something they didn't realize no if they got out so these were stories of of these
individuals saying look this is my husband he he is this this and this he
does this it was like a little bit of a story to get you you know oh this is a real person it wasn't just like a
picture all of them had a little bit of a description rather than just like height and weight and that kind of thing
when they I guess decided that okay most these people that are missing have
passed they're they're not going to be found that's when they decided to get rid of it all and and again it was just
sort of that like experiencing that loss and then experiencing it in sort of like a
reverberation like a you know like a an earthquake after the beginning yeah yeah and I that's that's when I quit my job
and I thought I I need to start like figuring out how I can express myself in
a creative way and and so that's where that's how it all began in terms of Ceramics and and my work now okay so
before 9 11 you were doing the traditional job kind of thing yeah what you're saying and then you then you were
like I that was kind of the impetus to move into this new life right exactly
yeah yeah wow that's impactful I mean and and was it that you wanted to just
like grab the meaning out of life I mean what did it kind of feel like it's like we're here for such a short time and
like the mortality of it all it's like this is something I really want to do yeah and I had known I really wanted to
be more creative I was in a job that it was not created at all and it was an
important job but I was not satisfied and it became
more and more apparent that I was not going to find happiness in it and but it
was it was 9 11 it sort of made me think I can't continue this is yeah and so and
luckily you know my husband was like yeah try it do it yeah he he saw how
miserable I was and and and it just it was one of those sort of things again it's like all of a sudden you try to you
you listen to your inner voice or something and and sometimes things just click and work out and it did at that
time did you start in with with the whole focus of sculpture from from the get-go or kind of what was the start of
what you were making um and first class I ever took was a tile class
again the teacher just was like take another one come on come on but and then
I started making pinch pot I don't know if if y'all are familiar with pinch pots
but you take like a ball of clay and then you stick your thumb in it and you just press around the sides it's very
meditative and you get make the clay walls thinner and thinner and thinner we had like I don't know 15 different types
of clay in the studio we were really lucky so I just spent a long time probably a year just pinching different
plays and getting to know their boundaries and how far I could push them and I don't know just having
that that quiet time I ca I can't say that you know I went right into the
sculpting it was more like okay let's let's just explore the material a little
bit which which is now looking back I don't like thinking God that was actually A really lovely pause to be
able to do that because so so often now it's sort of this there's that tension
between exploring something and having to produce something and at that point there wasn't anything like that yeah we
have that that um that voice in our head saying you have two days to work this
out because you've got a show in a month or whatever your end is right but back
then it was just like I wonder what happens if I just spend the entire day
pinching this material and feeling good about it and seeing where it goes and right exploring it yeah yeah those days
do seem pretty far away don't they so it's a little nice reminder I'm just
thinking now like maybe I need to start to reweave that back into my studio practice a little bit like allowing
myself you know a few hours to just like play with the material and not really
worry about the outcome I'm so like sort of type A though so that's really like a lifelong lesson Journey for me
okay so you have to schedule in the play time exactly that's how type A's can do that
and be creative known a glass blower before who said
that there's a certain month I can't remember the details but let's say he picked the month of March or whatever
every single year as his Innovation time where I'm not making work to sell I'm
not making work for a show I'm just innovating and playing and who does that
anymore I think that was a brilliant thing I thought I should do that yeah and now it's gone five years and I
haven't done that so I'm gonna have to take that advice I think that's lovely yeah and especially something like that
because that's a whole month of you to just breathe and and you know where if
it's it's something shorter there is there is still that time component to it that okay I only have a couple more
hours to play with this but a month you just can you know you give yourself that
permission it's lovely and and to not say when I get done with that month I'm gonna have a series realized right it
really is just going into it with to see what comes up yeah yeah with a with a with a medium like I think you know with
with sculpting clay or manipulating glass it is like I think that that there
needs to be that that period I guess now that I say that I'm sure there's a all these other mediums we're like well that
fits for me too but yeah all of us it really just just without any preconceived outcomes just just to see
what happens yeah see what comes out of it yeah I think that's something almost like a human level people need to we
don't allow ourselves to do that in society I think it's like you know that that whole capitalist structure of like
go go go go and always have to be you know achieving and stuff it's not really
ingrained in us to to allow ourselves to just breathe and play yeah I mean how many of us have parents and I'm not
saying your parents are like this and my parents weren't like this but there are a lot of us as we're growing up be like
well what are you gonna do with that field are you going to be an artist how are you going to make a living out of
that how you know there has to be like this productive and yeah and as kids we
are just so open-ended about I'm doing it because I like it right that's simple yeah exactly exactly
and I've actually noticed in my my young adult children I have a daughter and a
son who are in their young 20s that as they were getting towards middle school and the the the guidance counselors and
the teachers they were really pushing them towards careers pretty early and I saw the pressure in them like I have to
know what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life at 9 10 years old yeah I mean yeah it's a lot I'm even telling them
nothing with my kids yeah I'm telling them now it's like you won't know that something brings you like it's like this
new aha until you've experienced it and you're like I want to chase that you
know you can't anticipate it yeah yeah it's so true it's so true I was just talking to my my
um youngest son is uh 19 and he's going into International politics and um he
has a minor in music he's like you know I always thought I'd want to take I would be interested in doing forestry
I'm like take a class take a class or two and Fourth Street see where it goes
you this is the time to do it man this is a time to like it gets harder and harder to to switch modes I mean look at
me I didn't have this background and and here I am as an artist but like if you can you shouldn't feel pinned in by it
by any anything and they do that really young yeah they do uh so once you kind
of got going with it and started to find your voice what kind of a Marketplace or venues did
you start to sell your work um um Community classes you
see if Dale now the like holiday sales and stuff like that and then I started doing art
shows at the Four Bridges art show in Chattanooga I don't know if you are
familiar with that they have I think they still have it I don't know um I've heard of it yeah they had a
wonderful program for emerging artists so they would provide you with the booth
they would bring other long time show artists in and you would have like you
could have like a one you know it was sort of like a a powwow session and so you could ask questions and and get
feedback from them on your work or like your sales or or something like that and
they gave you business cards I mean it was just really nice so it that's sort
of just that being in that program for that that one year that show just really
sort of allowed me to lift off a little bit into art shows well to all the art
shows out there who listen to this if they wonder if that is a good program to
do or if it's worthwhile I mean you're living proof right there that yeah you know what I mean you got the benefit
from from that and that was the the launching pad for then you turning the
work that you're learning about and that you're developing your voice for then
also that then Translating that into how do I get this in collector's hands right I sell this yeah work and all this stuff
so that that was a kind of the next step for you yeah I mean that's awesome yeah it was it was really great and
especially because they've they connected you with so many you know people that are Professionals in the art
shows and so you've really felt like you were starting out with a community anymore like you know just the resources
yeah the resources yeah like the yeah that it's more than just saying okay well you've juried into the emerging
section and here's your spot right figure it out yeah that that next step of kind of like hand-holding to you know
having a successful return because honestly a lot of people their first time at an event will go and they will
maybe feel a little defeated because they maybe didn't sell what they wanted to sell right but those building blocks
are so needed they are they are and I'm still in touch with a lot of the people that that I met John Petrie was he's a
metal sculptor and he was one of the people that was like the one of the mentors and yeah it was just great it
was really helpful so then you're not doing outdoor festivals now but that was
kind of what was the marketplace for you for a while anyway yeah that's where I
felt it I guess it was easier for me to approach like galleries that's
a whole nother learning curve you gotta get you know and so it is but our art shows allowed me to present my work to
an audience and get feedback and hopefully make sales and and and and like we've got access yeah and and like
you know there is that sense of community and family in those shows which is so lovely too the community of
other artists yeah I guess communities of collectors but yeah the community of artists yeah yeah absolutely absolutely
I mean there's a learning and a support system that comes out of that Community as well and you were hungry for that
yeah and then so I know like I just mentioned you're not doing those types of shows anymore were there struggles
were there were you kind of butting up against things that didn't really fit for you I think that's a great way to put it I think we're all trying to
figure out how we can do what we want to do in a way that makes in in ways that allow us to continue yeah and for the
outdoor show market for me it because I'm dealing with porcelain and little
tiny fingers it was super super stressful because anytime there was a
rain rainstorm or a windstorm and of course you know it's I'd probably have
to apologize to everybody in the art show it's like oh Kirsten's coming there's going to be a huge hurricane okay so oh so you were cursed
you brought the weather so after a while just I felt like it um just that that
kind of thing it was really hard and at the same time I had two small kids and
so going away for a week or so all the time was it just it it just got really
hard and and there was one other element of it I felt like it might my work
might not always be a a great fit with some of the audience at those shows I
think that there there's a lot of people that are afraid of figurative work just
because it's not like a phobia or something they don't like figures and you know and so there was a lot of sort
of not understanding or not wanting to engage like I said if somebody thinks
something scary I'm just like oh that's that's interesting let's talk about it but not wanting to engage you can't even
engage with them I thought this it just didn't it just didn't feel right and I
remember after that a show the Milwaukee show the Milwaukee Museum show I forget
what that late front yeah yeah and it's beautiful beautiful there but I had
broken a few pieces and I was just like you know you hit the those points where you're like this is just ridiculous and
I was across from Robert and Leslie and they were so lovely and all the pieces
that you know it felt like to me at that point all the pieces that people were like ooh what is that
um they were like oh my God that's really great you should do more of that you should do more of that and so it was really like one of those things where
I'm like okay this is what I want to do so if I want to move my work and maybe this isn't the
the right fit for it at least right now how can I pivot to allow me to continue
to do the work I want to do so it and again it's it's one of those things where never say like oh it'll never be a
a good fit but at that point it just whatever reason it what just was not clicking the way I wanted it to it's
really hard to be feeling that you're like a square peg and a
round hole and not taking that on as like well what's wrong with with me like
I see I see exhibitor X over here and they're like selling hand over fists and
so what do what do I do do I change what I make do I change where I go and I'm
sure there's a lot of people out there who are struggling with that right now yeah we're all sort of on this this
journey defined exactly what what works for the work that we want to do right and some people have find it find it and
that's great and and other I feel like I'm always like okay well these are the established paths what if I take this
little Deer Path over here that leads to another one will that allow me to get where I want
to go so yeah and you know what the only way to know is to actually go down that
path and find out right how it works yeah absolutely so so what were what
were some of the things that you try right out what was that little Deer Path
that you took initially to kind of like find a different way for yourself well I started
craft shows and they seem to be decreasing I don't
know since kind of like the same model is it like the same model as the outdoor shows but say like the the Betsy QB
shows that used to be around exactly exactly yeah and so I started doing that
yeah and and that that seemed like a a little
better fit for me it's like getting closer yeah
exactly yeah my feeling with some of those shows were just the energy the
enthusiasm levels it was hard to feel that buzz that you sometimes feel out
out on the road you know what I mean out on the outdoor shows the that the inner indoor Craft Market which I've I've did
the like the Washington craft and Palm Beach Craft and all of those two it just it just felt a little stuffy and a
little yeah it is it is a different environment right it is a little it's a date yeah they're playing like yeah like
really weird Jazzy you know guitar music over the speakers and yeah it felt a
little bit more sterile than the outdoor there is something lovely about outdoor shows that that have a little bit it's a
little grittier and it's a little more real and and that's yeah yeah yeah but
like you were saying and I'm noticing too some of those venues the indoor
shows from the retail aspect seem to have kind of lost their footing right I
mean right so a lot of those those fell off and I started with okay spark I
guess in 2014 and they're a gallery okay spark is a gallery yes it's owned
by Matthew fine who is a glass cast glass artist and so
he he was one of us out here on the streets too yes one out there years ago
absolutely and he has such a sort of entrepreneurial spirit and and we had
all been friends so he just started looking at again like the Deer Path looking at where we want to go or what
we might want to try and then figuring out a way we could all do that together so he had a brick and mortar building
so he started to apply as okay spark his his gallery to these bigger shows like
sofa and there I I call them Gallery shows because they're really they're just you don't have individual artist
booths there but the interesting thing about his model was not only that all
the artists were sort of it was sort of like a a family we were all like uh
equally responsible for aspects of of it and
were really close-knit we were really intertwined together and so it was less
like somebody just saying okay well you get this wall and there you are um it was okay so it's his Gallery but
yet there is collaboration that that works between all of the the
participants absolutely absolutely and so and one thing that he felt and we all
feel especially coming from you know the the um Outdoor Show environment it's it's
it's critical for artists to be there to discuss their work and to share what
their vision is I mean it's once you talk to a person and they get to know you they've been like oh I want to
invite this piece of work into my home I liked it first and now I really want you know yeah that's definitely that that
becomes more attractive than speaking to a gallery owner or a gallery employee
representing a handful of the works that they're bringing to this event exactly
exactly it was a little bit of a different approach and one that we felt more comfortable with working with the
clients that came in you know sometimes those Gallery booths can be a little
uh you know like we were talking about before can be very sort of sterile and and they don't have like they don't they
don't know all the processes as an artist would about their their work and and the work that that they represent
and so it was a nice opportunity to be able to you know it was sort of a breath of fresh air from the typical model to
then have artists there and we all equally talk about each other's work and we're all there as a as a family yeah I
love that aspect because I've always felt like my artist friends can talk about it better like they you can't say
isn't this a beautiful piece I made it just sounds so off-putting
this one rocks doesn't it you know but I can say that about math this piece
really you know it's stunning yeah and um yeah yeah that's totally cool I love that it
sounds like Matt is comfortable giving everybody a voice and giving everybody a say yeah and and how you guys do it yes
it's definitely very team oriented and in that way again it goes back to that
what's so nice about like art show is there that sense of community with with
each other and and here it's just on a smaller level but it it still has that
same sense of community and if I'm going to be out selling my work and and to be quite honest I sort of sometimes hate it
I hate the the modification of my artwork because I can feel so great
about it and then you go to a show and it's not selling and then you have those things playing in your head that like oh
it's not as good and trying to like separate all of that out and to just focus on the fact that
I'm telling stories and then engaging in that way that family group really is a soft place to land yeah you're not out
there all on on your own right you know what I mean yeah you know you've got a buddy you've got a network yeah I'm sure
I'm sure you guys may be give the real I mean might not be as uh as a criticism
but maybe as a have you thought about this or are you sure about that and that helps push it in a good way or whatever
so it is a it sounds like a really wonderful nurturing kind of environment it is I'm really so blessed to be a part
of it it's it's a great it's a great group really is yeah that that format isn't probably right for everyone I mean
I know a lot of people who are like well that's why I don't want to work in a job because I don't want to I just want to do what I want to do and I don't want to
have to be told you know or interact with other people's impressing upon me
or my outcome or whatever I hear a lot of artists who say that that them alone in their studio is the perfect fit for
them right exactly well I think another thing that's interesting about what you guys are
doing is it kind of redefines like who gets to have access to the art
buyer you know these Gallery owners they take on the risk of you know the high
expense of producing or being involved in a show like that and if an artist is
able to step up and say hey we'll take the risk for this because there's going
to be you know something at the other side of it that that gets you that connection yeah I mean Matt started out
he did he had a a brick and mortar and it it over coveted it closed and he's
working on getting um another one so you know there there it's atypical of of the it's like a
pseudo-formal of the gallery model so hybrid or whatever yeah yeah and and and
again I keep saying family but you know we all knew each other when we were
doing the show circuit and everything and so he just sort of picked people he
wanted to work with and thought that would make a great blend and it really has yeah so how long have you guys been
together working this way I'm showing your work this way so I think I was
looking at my CV and it's since 2014. so we have like a 10-year anniversary
coming up woohoo for us yes you got to plan something right
well uh would you say that at these shows that you do the gallery model
shows that the collector is different than what we experience in other venues
like who comes to who comes to the show like that to see you know they seem to
have more of a an international draw to them like like these are the best
galleries from around the country all coalescing and one of you know venue so to speak yeah yeah
um I I think that the The Collector base
or the people that come to the the gallery shows are because I think that
in a lot of ways you get the same amount people that just are there as a Pastime as you would in a
show in a show circuit or you know in an outdoor show and then you get those people that have
come to buy the gallery shows are less accessible to hey let's it's a really
beautiful day let's take the kids out type of thing not and not to say that
those people aren't collectors you can you know you never you can never judge who's a collector and who's not but
right so I I think in that that way it's a it's a little different I think what's
ultimately different is the price point in the shows because you're dealing with
things that are fifty thousand to a hundred thousand dollars a lot of them and and and so you're getting people
that are it's hard to even imagine paying that for something but that are used to sort
of doing that and I think that's the place to go to find that kind of work where they might not like for example
sofa some galleries would have that have Chihuly glass you know so it is a whole
other Echelon and also at these Gallery shows there's also I think a lot of
um I I don't want to use the word that I use a lot of like shiny objects look at me
it's you know it's it's resin and it and
it's really you know not to say that it's meaningless but it's a lot of sort
of uh Flash and not a lot of substance
because it's Gallery driven it there's a lot more of that stuff rather than in
like the indoor craft shows or in on uh the art show circuit it there is a
little bit more of a focus on making sure that this is you're curating the
the show to make sure that the artists work is is is not something that have
come from overseas or is not something that is is mass produced you know and I think not only the show curators but
also fellow artists all sort of curate that and make sure that the the work is
sort of real it has this this this feeling of of realness to it of course we're talking in generalizations here
but I think that there's a lot of really lovely intimate work at Gallery shows but then there's also a lot of big
statement work that is sometimes it it it it's very commercial
and and there's a place for that and and those Gallery shows are a place for that
kind of work for the big commercial work is that what you're saying sometimes that that can be that can be a place like somebody what wants to you know do
something for their office building or you know this big huge weird
hectagon shape thing uh you know of of resin or whatever and and that works
really well in their Lobby you know and so there is a is a place for that and I'm not diminishing its value so much is
just to say that then in comparison it's sort of harder to
have quieter work that's more intimate and doesn't have that that that's like
the big sort of I don't know if pension's the right word but it's you have two different worlds sort of
colliding in that Gallery setting and you know you have you could have the big like the there's a lot of the Marilyn
Monroe and the Audrey Hepburn stuff with you know photographs and then it's taken
and manipulated and things like that and I'm not saying there's not a place for that but then it's very different from
something that's a little bit more personal like that flashy thing can be right right beside you and so then The
Quiet Things are really really go off the radar so that that that would be I
think a difference and I I think in a lot of the the outdoor shows and the curated craft
shows seems to me that they they tend to be a little bit more geared towards
highlighting artists made handmade things and whether there's a there's a
one person or they might have you know some employees with them but it's it's a little bit more
um the authenticity of the artist I was gonna say authentic yeah right that this came from the human that's standing in
that that booth and for the most part at the outdoor shows it's one artist one
body of work per Booth yeah and the thing that's different when it's more of a gallery setting is there can be let's
say five let's just pick a number five artists that are represented in this Gallery space and so that person who is
in charge of that space the gallery owner is going to highlight their work
as if they would in their Gallery you know what I mean so like the work that needs more quiet attention
like theater Aesthetics you know how to direct the eye so that this piece which
might be small and expressive gets the equal kind of focal point as the Big
Shiny thing that is you know two feet away from it because it's all being designed to move through space and if if
it happens within a gallery then that's that then the there is that balance but
when you're talking about a whole show sometimes that that balance gets thrown
off a bit I feel like it seems it seems to me I don't know it is good to talk about the differences because when we're
out on the street doing the the art fair art festivals as much as we want our boots to look
like a gallery setting it does feel like a bunch of different stores you know under a tent and it is a whole different
look and feel when it's an indoor Gallery setting yeah and I think there's something that's
beautifully authentic about that in terms of the outdoor shows so um you
mentioned you are a wife and and mother how do you juggle and you said the outdoor shows kind of were a challenge
to to do that yeah yeah how do you how do you feel like you know how how do you
find that balance to be an artist who wants to share your voice but then also
having these other responsibilities too yeah I think it was really hard because I got pregnant when I quit my job that
same month I got pregnant so it was sort of like oh great I'm starting on this
new path and I'm going to be a mom all the same time so you know all sorts of newness
and and but I have an amazing partner Richard Cosby who he's always gave me
the space to try to go after what I was what I was trying to learn so that that
that was amazing I don't I couldn't have done it if I didn't have somebody that would support what I was trying to do
and then when we moved we ended up moving from New Jersey for his job to Atlanta area and all the houses we
looked at the first thing was okay it needs to have an unfinished basement because I'm taking that over and that
was like that's right that was the best thing because then kids are taking a nap I've got 30 minutes before something's
due you know I can just I can weave you can yes it was it was so great it was it it
really worked out well and I think at the same time like when when I was sort
of you know I'd come back from a show dejected or whatever I'm feeling like yeah oh that didn't work out or what
what what should I do and and then you know the kids would come and hug me and give me pictures I'm like oh yeah it
doesn't really matter yeah oh yeah okay well this audience here missed me right
the audience at home missed me and they think the world of me exactly it's perspective right so I mean for a while
though when I was doing outdoor shows I would have you know you have that little like I always call it like the Weeping
Corner the corner you can go around and just like eat your sandwich or something like that
and I would have just their pictures all over the back you know yeah
it was a nice that's like okay balance yeah oh no uh so I I think about like for us
being parents and being two artists raising kids
in that in this hustle has been a very unique challenge not not
unique to other artists parents out there but it's a unique challenge to most people out there and it's just
coming to me now it's just Dawning on me now that our I'm an empty nester and the kids are the kids are all right they're
in their own places and they're supporting themselves and I forgot how I didn't realize how much they occupied my
daily headspace even if I'm working in the glass oh my gosh you are so wrong
it's like so they you think about the struggles they're having at school you're thinking about the event they've
got to do that night you're thinking all this other stuff and now that I don't have to think about every little Nuance
that's going on in their lives we can really just as artists kind of live in our our world live in the world
that we want up in here yeah that tells the story or flushes out that story
instead of like okay I've got a half an hour in the studio and I gotta go crank this out real quick before I throw in
their supper right exactly and go to listen to like the principal lecture about whatever yeah I mean yeah I I I'm
just realizing that now because Dylan just this is his first uh he's a freshman and my other son Caden is a
junior and so all of a sudden this year you know I was like whoa there's a lot
more space I mean time's still like flies by in some ways but there's Faith to like
figure out other things than just sort of reacting to what's going on because the kids are you know it's interesting
yeah it's it's it's it's lovely it's and and I think that's why like we were
talking before about the people at my workshops like a lot of them are are women who are you know have their kids
have grown up and so all of a sudden they have this this sort of creative outpouring and and
this sense of wanting to remake themselves and to pursue things that
they haven't had a chance to pursue and it's so it that's exciting because they're so excited about it as well so
tell me about that you you you offer workshops you teach right you teach workshops so talk about that so I um I
teach workshops it's usually well three to five a year probably and either
weekend or they could be longer the ones that I do overseas are usually about 10
days because I mean you're overseas so if why would you only spend three days
overseas and where is your next one going to be overseas so my next one overseas is
going to be in San Rafael uh France and it's it's a lovely place because it's
right on the Mediterranean but it's it backs up against the the mountains and
so there's a sort of Rocky rugged aspect to it and then this wonderful Beachside
aspect to it but that area is so rich with storytelling and myth from you know
that come from turkey and and all all over from the Mediterranean in that area
and so it's it's lovely to sort of tap into all of that storytelling and use it
in the studio cool I mean it sounds like you're facilitating that nurturing
environment that you got when you made your shift and to create that safe space
to have not just make art I mean obviously it sounds like the art is the main component but there's also like a
sense of connection and bonding and should I say therapy I know it's all a
sense of like expressing something that's inside and saying it's okay tell me what you're feeling tell me what you
get from that yeah and and the great thing about the overseas Workshop is that you're you know you're going out
and exploring and you don't speak the language most the time you don't you
know you're right you're driving down the wrong way on the one way and and you know you get back into the studio and so
all this like usual stuff in your head of like oh I don't know I can't do it you're exhausted by the fact that you
didn't know what you were doing for them the whole day so just getting into the studio and working there's like a
freedom there you say you sort of um those things that can sort of stifle and
limit us I think when you're put into a setting that you're unfamiliar with someone that starts to melt away can be
much Freer with with how you want to express yourself as you are discovering
things like you're in an environment that's so different from what all of the participants have on a on a daily basis
yeah and so so many times we all are so embarrassed
or so like we we feel bad that maybe we don't know something you know and it's
hard to to be vulnerable and say I don't really know what I'm doing here but this is a is a place where you're all
learning together and it's it's uh and you're all making discoveries together and it's like it's all okay it's like
it's kind of part of the whole thing it's a whole kind of bonding thing yeah
and we can you can laugh at each other and we're we're meeting at a winery and and one participant they ended up going
down a road and it ended up being they were driving through the golf course of
well we went via golf course I don't know what happened and you're like okay
all the overseas workshops have been especially tight and I think it's
because of that that there's an extra level of bonding there you know yeah and there's so much to
learn and I I think it also appeals to the person like you're talking about
that has always put their family first maybe and that's like now they get to think
about the things that give them inspiration I think that's really exciting yes yes yes and I'll let you
know I I um now that I'm sort of at the same point I can I can completely understand
that the world sort of opens up again to you and you're like okay I'm going for it you know
this much of time like sort of in a way you know even if you're pursuing your
dreams you're sort of a little bit stifled a little bit you know you're having to balance other things you're
having to everything's a negotiation and then at a certain point it's like oh well hell then the chains are off now
I'm going how many of these uh overseas workshops
have you done well I started right before coved and then covet hit so we do
have to manifest one for like three years in a row every time we thought kovid was like over right it's over now
yeah yeah over yeah so um yeah this will
be my fourth one and then I'm planning to do a couple more next year in different areas yeah and it's really
nice to work in an area where you're learning you know that somebody has a facility there so they there's that
extra level of support so if you need something or have to work something out
that it's that structure is already there for you so that's great and then
do you feel like I mean you're you're facilitating this Workshop but then do
you feel like on a creativity level that you're getting your soul is getting fed
by the experience as well and it kind of it goes it feeds back into your own artwork absolutely absolutely and and I
have to say that when I'm teaching I'm usually not thinking like I'm always talking to everyone in the class of
about okay what's the story and what do you want to express and then they turn to me and go well what's your story and
I'm like well I can't I can't think that way when I'm teaching I have
I have no story I'm out of story but it certainly comes back around not only in
like how much inspiration I'm just getting you know in um just feeling but also like when I get
back into the studio and how it weaves itself through the the other aspects of my work absolutely and just being around
a lot of creative people you're always learning new ways of thinking and and and new ways of expressing things and
that's really fascinating that's really it's a special time yeah wow that sounds
really great I just love that you've you know taken experiences over your career and you know you're you're creating
these situations with people that that form connection and form uh inspiration
I think too often we we kind of stood in isolation as as artists and we look
outside of ourselves and and and we feel like well what's wrong why aren't why aren't we selling the way we want to
sell or it looks like things are going better for that one over there and and that's really being outside of our own
power and right and I love that exactly you follow your voice you encourage
others to find their voice and follow their voice as well and I just find a
lot of inspiration in that yeah absolutely I mean I think I think this whole journey to find to to strengthen
my voice find it and strengthen it is is is my artistic journey and I mean I put
a little dot on the lower lip of each of my figures and it a symbol to remind me
to be true to my voice because the bottom line is whether it sells or not and you know whatever happens and it
breaks or whatever but is was is the story good is the story true is the story authentic you know that voice is
the voice I keep trying to strengthen in my head right that the value isn't given its weight from an external source and
especially when it it comes to storytelling and the need to you know focus on listen to each other's Stories
the fact that I'm able to create these stories and then talk to people about them and they can be moved or not moved
by them but that's an an incredible blessing and so that's the work I want
to do and that's the kind of connections you want to build yeah because when when you tell something from a very sacred
place somebody else can say that well I feel safe telling you something that's
really important and sacred to me and that's how true connections build and grow as opposed to the the bragging kind
of energy of saying my world is great and everything is great well then I don't want to share with anybody that
things aren't great with me so I mean keep that at a distance
so true believe it or not this has been an hour so we've had a really cool
okay awesome okay so one of the things I want as we lead out here is I um uh will and
I when we would decide you know when we come across people were interested in talking to you know we kind of banter back and forth with each other about it
and you know that say what would you ask what would you ask whatever I brought up your name I said hey well
um I hope you ever heard of Kirsten stingle and he said oh yeah she's badass totally talk to her she's totally cool
so I'm so glad this happened dude on me
so anyway well this has been so much fun thanks for taking the time and sharing about yourself and looking forward to
everyone hearing your story yeah thank you for allowing me um this opportunity it's been really
great and so am I talking to you now I don't want to end let's just go to round two we'll just keep on going well okay
so now we know each other you know so you know we don't have to record all of our
conversations but exactly Kirsten this has been fun thanks so much okay take care tell Will I said
hi I will he's a badass too [Laughter] great talk with Kirsten uh that was
another killer interview Douglas nice job with that and and thank you Kirsten for giving us your time and and your
Insight and uh sharing your vision so just just a just a good talk right there it's interesting to know kind of the
different mindset different world between these Gallery shows versus the
road shows that we are typically used to she's you know been in both and she has a different take on them so I really was
interested in in hearing what she had to say about that and about being willing to Pivot when things aren't going aren't
going right so yeah it's tough to sell a certain kind of work at an art show some
of them only like some of these best shows you know quote unquote best shows don't work for some people you know
there are plenty of people that I know that don't go to some of the quote unquote top shows or super shows or
whatever or even apply because they're like you know what I can do just as well show in my backyard here and sleep in my
own bed on Sunday night so it's interesting to see what works for her and how she's taking her career and to
make those changes when you kind of feel like something's not working for you or Square a round peg in a square hole and
you're like why does it work for other people it's not working for me and something that happens nowadays with
with being able to look over our shoulder and look online and look on social media that can really like knock
us off of our vision knock us off of feeling good about what we want to make and put out there in the world so yeah I
totally agree with you social media is a Time suck and it makes me feel bad for example like I hate like I'm gonna I'm
not that far away from Texas here in Mexico so I don't have to leave two days in advance but uh going online and
looking and seeing everybody saying leaving for Bayou on Monday it gives me a freaking panic attack I texted you
yeah I was like when are you guys leaving I know better than to ask that mm-hmm like wow we're gonna leave on
Monday I'm like I'm gonna be painting on Monday yeah and Tuesday like I'm gonna
throw something that's dry on Wednesday morning into the right before I hit the road yeah and we've talked about those
Panic dreams where we're showing up late to the party or showing help plate to you know the late for school kind of
thing and right that it's true it was it creates undue uh anxiety doesn't it it
does it does it doesn't help me at all but and also you haven't seen me on there much
either duck into Facebook and take a dump on Tom Hanks performance and Elvis and then like jump back out and be like
I just need everybody to know that I think he sucked and then I'm out I'm out you guys do with that what you will I
needed to get my my opinion out there on the yeah thought grenade here you go and I'm done well thanks for uh making time
to hammer out this talk and I'm looking forward to seeing you face to face yeah I think we're neighbors that buy you so
I'll see you soon sir and thank you to the the Bayou folks for giving me a good neighbor there and um we'll see you soon
they basically just did that so they knew that you'd have some kind of help right maybe help me oh man it's not been
easy I don't mean to complain but it's not that easy but I'm gonna get there I'm gonna get there yeah well I'll bring
a rusty saw in case we need to saw that foot off okay sounds like a plan all right buddy travel safe hey to Renee
all right bye this podcast is brought to you by the National Association of Independent
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