If you would like to be featured here, send me an email and I will send you the list of questions/prompts.
Today's interview is with Kirsten Denbow:
1. A little bit about your background, where did you grow up, where do you live now, education, family, etc...
I grew up in Michigan, Detroit metro area. Moved to Maryland when I was 16. Then I went back to Michigan a few years later to attend the University of Michigan. I graduated in '97 with my BFA in Metalwork and Jewelry Design. I then went to Cal State Fullerton for my MA from 1999-2001. Now, I live in Denver with my daughter and my husband. I teach high school jewelry and have a studio where I pursue my own work.
I'm sure my first work of art was a finger painting about age 2 or 3. My parents had it framed and hung on our wall. I do remember in middle school my mother would take me to the bead store and I would make jewelry. I didn't take art in high school or realize I wanted a career in the arts until college. My first intentional work that I was really proud of was in college in my 20's.
3. What did you do for fun as a teenager?
I was a bad kid. I didn't do anything productive for fun. Actually, most of what I did was kinda illegal, except play cards.
4. What and when was your first job?
My first real job was when I was 13. My mom was the manager of a catering business and when they needed extra help I would work as a server. I was told to tell anyone who asked that I was 15. Please, don't get the impression that this was a bad child labor violation thing; for a 13 year old it was great money and I got to go to some cool parties with local celebrities and eat really good food! I even met the Vandellas (from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) at the Motown Museum in Detroit.
5. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?
I was taking a class at U of M called Mixed Media. It was the first time I had really started combining materials and techniques. I realized that I have too many interests to focus on just one thing. I was making anodized aluminum pieces that I would die form and then sew to watercolor painting on fabric. They were my first Ah Ha!, epiphany moment for me, when I just knew I was doing what I was meant to do.
6. Who was the first artist to influence you?
My Mixed Media teacher, Marianetta Porter, really was the first one to truly influence my work. Her work has a great sense of humor to it. As a teacher she really influenced me to think about my work differently.
For fine art, Pop-Surrealism, Contemporary, Abstract Expressionism. For design, I am very into mid-century mod and Americana design aesthetic. It is very nostalgic for me.
8. How has your work changed?
For years I worked primarily in silver, copper, and brass and I heavily oxidized just about everything. I have always loved including weird found objects and odd things. For years I looked for non-gemstone ways to add color to my work. Gems just don't fit with my conceptual pursuits. I tried fabric, paintings, found objects, polymer clay... In the past few years I have included enameling. It started as just a few pieces. Now, I work almost exclusively with enamel because the colors are just so great! I have recently started to add more silver work back in with the enamel. I am constantly getting ideas for new things and I rarely stick with one design or look for too long. Blame my ADD.
9. What things do you not like to do?
Accounting. Marketing. You know, the essential business stuff outside of making. I'll do it but, I really just like to make things.
10. Most significant project or accomplishment
I was pretty proud of going to my first wholesale show last year. I went into debt to do it but it was a big step.
11. What are your goals?
My goals are to be an independent, self sustaining artist. I currently teach high school and as much as I love sharing knowledge, teenagers don't always appreciate what you are teaching them. My goal is to make a living teaching adult classes and workshops and producing work. Bigger goals include professional recognition like doing some of the big shows and getting work into galleries that I have been admiring for decades.
12. What toys do you have?
In the studio, my favorite is my kiln. Personally, I have a 150cc scooter, a vintage trailer, and a juicer!
13. What do you eat?
Right now, mainly vegan. I don't usually like to define it because I don't stick to it strictly. True vegans would probably cringe at that statement! I have a love affair with popcorn!
14. What are your favorite movies/tv shows?
I love the creative challenge/building/how to shows. Face Off, Project Runway, Tree House Masters, How its Made... and comedies Raising Hope, The Big Bang Theory... As far as movies, I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy, the funnier and sillier the better.
15. Do you believe in magic?
Nope. Actually, I really dislike magic shows and magicians.
16. Should there be censorship?
For the most part, no. I think there should be a few exceptions. I do think we should continue to have censorship to protect innocent people. For example, child pornography, publishing images of people without their consent, etc... For the most part, if it isn't hurting others, I think people should be able to decide for themselves what they want to watch or read.
17. What advice would you give to others?
I don't really see myself in a position of being an advice giver. I usually seek out advice from others! I'd keep it simple. Be a good person. Be kind to others. Be true to yourself.
September 14-16, 2014
6640 Delmar Boulevard
St.Louis, MO 63130
Dim Sum - A Concierge Shopping Service
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
800 Cottageview Drive, Suite 50
Traverse City, MI 49684
228 Forest Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
9020 76th Street
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
Show of Hands Gallery
210 Clayton Street
Denver, CO 80206
1943 Rt.9 North
Clermont, NJ 08210
Willow - An Artisan's Market
2400 W. Main Street
Littleton, CO 80120