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 artist?
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 them?
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.
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 ( www.welcomefriendorfoe.com, www.fecalface.com).
I also love reading art and design blogs such as www.designsponge.com.
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?