Name: K.We (not because I’m devoted to hip hop but because there’s another artist with my exact name)
Hometown: Sullivan, IL
Current town: Effingham, IL
Job description: Indie artist, illustrator, fabric designer and ninja wrangler
Bio: In the pre-internet world, I didn’t do much with my artwork due to the area in which I lived. There weren’t many opportunities for those who were outside of the art business. Post internet, I began to create again.
Upcoming projects: I am currently illustrating a children’s book that I wrote about ninjas.
Describe your work. My work is slightly surrealist portrait work with the occasional mixed media addition.
What themes and concepts does your work generally revolve around? I think an overall theme in my work is weird girls. I try to evoke that feeling that we had as kids of everything being beautiful and creepy and possible all at the same time. Life before limits. I think that might be saying something about myself….
What materials do you work with? I work in oil and acrylic paints on canvas and digital illustration. I also do screen printing putting my own artwork on t-shirts and other fabrics.
What are you currently working on? I recently wrote a children’s story and am in the process of creating the illustrations. Being an artist, I’m kind of surprised out how difficult creating compelling illustrations is.
What’s your art background? I had an amazing art teacher in junior high and high school, Joanna Drost, and she forced us….against our short-sighted teenaged wills….to learn art history and multiple techniques like paper casting and batik. I benefit to this day from the things that I learned in her class room.
What’s inspiring you? I am inspired by gothic and Victorian imagery, vintage paper, Japanese anime and alternative music.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? Probably the same thing I’ve been trying to communicate my whole like: it’s okay to be yourself. This is probably not dissimilar to the message behind a lot of outsider art.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist? The biggest challenge that I face as an artist is the vast amount of competition. While it’s amazing that so many artists have the opportunity to gain exposure, it can sometimes feel like shouting into a void.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet? Heavy metal sculpture is a frontier I’d like to crack.
What is your dream project? My dream project would be to create a work of art for a music act that I admire. The combination of my work with the artistic output of another variety would be amazing.
Do you collaborate with other artists? I have contributed work to group shows but I haven’t done any actual collaborative pieces.
Favorite artists and why? Edward Gorey, Ray Ceasar, Kelly Vivanco and Kathie Olivas…just to name a few.
What are you reading? The Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Favorite authors, fiction: F.Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, Alan Moore
Favorite authors, nonfiction: Gore Vidal
Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels? The Watchmen, The Dark Knight and everything by Gorey
What are you listening to these days? Sondre Lerche, Jack White, Tom Waits and The Black Keys are my newest playlists.
What was the last show you attended? Regina Spektor
What was the last exhibit you attended? Aunia Kahn’s show at Articulated Gallery in SF
What was the first piece of artwork you bought? I bought a block print of poppies on a brick wall by Marissa Lee on Etsy.