Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Interview with Kiersten Essenpreis

q)Please introduce yourself
a)I'm Kiersten Essenpreis and I'm an illustrator

and gallery artist.
q) Where do you live and work? 
a)I currently live and work in Brooklyn.
q) How would you describe your work to

someone who has never seen it?
a)Paintings based on the exaggeration of

childhood memories. Clean,
detailed and narrative.
q) How did you start in the arts? How/when

did you realize you were an
a)I've been drawing as long as I can remember. 

When I was little I used to
write, illustrate and make my own books, so I

think I've always know that
I wanted to be in the arts somehow.  After I

graduated from Pratt
Institute, I had 2 weeks before my rent was

due and I finally thought,
well I better sell some work or that isn't

happening! And I did. That's
when first experienced the ups and downs of

living as an artist.
q) What are your favorite art materials and why? 
a)I mainly like to work with Flashe paint

(a high pigment, vinyl based
paint), with very tiny brushed on Baltic Birch wood.
q) What/who influences you most? 
a)I have many, many influences, but if I

had to choose just one, I'd say the
common everyday experiences that everyone

shares and can relate to.
q) Describe a typical day of art making for you. 
a)Wake up, make a big pot of coffee, play

with my cat Bruce, check my email,
do visual research online or at the library,

put on an audiobook and paint
until it's time for dinner.
q) Do you have goals, specific things you

want to achieve with your art
or in your career as an artist? 
a)Definitely, yes!  I hope to continue as

an illustrator and gallery artist,
but also expand into other areas of art

and design such as textiles and
ceramics.  My boyfriend and I have started

our own small design company,
Thersic, and I'm hoping to evolve as it grows.
q) How long does it typically take you

to finish a piece?
a)It usually depends on the size and

detail of the piece, but anywhere
between 2 days and 4 weeks.
q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are

you emotionally attached to
a)I actually really enjoy selling my work,

especially knowing that someone
is paying to own something that means a lot

to me. It still amazes me
that I'm paid to paint!
q) Is music important to you? If so, what

are some things you're
listening to now? 
a)Since I work in my studio 90% of the week,

I'm constantly either listening
to music, audiobooks, or watching documentaries

while I work. I listen to
everything from underground hiphop, to death

metal to old folk country..
which surprises everyone who meets me.
q) Books? 
a)Does my Calvin and Hobbes Anthology count?
q) What theories or beliefs do you have

regarding creativity or the
creative process? 
a)I've always followed the belief that you

should create what interests you.
q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing)

when you're not creating?
a)I love camping, seeing movies and traveling

anywhere. I also waste a lot
of time daydreaming.
q) Do you have any projects or shows

coming up that you are
particularly excited about? 
a)I am very excited about a few shows I

have coming up, particularly one I'm
working on now for Gallery 1988 in LA.  

I'm also excited about starting a
small line of stationary and invitations,

everything from weddings to baby
announcements.  I've never really done

anything like that before, so I'm
looking forward to the challenge!
q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes?

If so, how? What websites,
magazines, galleries do you prefer? 
a)I do to an extent, but it's mostly other

fellow friends and illustrators

I also love reading art
and design blogs such as
q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer,

and answer it.
a)q:  Kiersten, can you make more coffee, please?
A:  Why, yes I can.
q) Any advice for aspiring artists? 
a)It sounds cheesy, but create what you love!
q) Where can we see more of your work online?