Today I have the priviledge to interview one of the most interesting, innovative, dynamic and provocative artists I know - Rachel Kilback!!! She is also going to be part of the Second Annual Muse A-Fair (it is basically a 2 day extraveganza of 22 muses showing & selling their creative projects) here in Kamloops this December.
Tell us about your background.
My background is experience. I have no artistic education, which might be fairly obvious, but I feel untainted by someone else's rules and biases.
Actually, I would never have even considered being an artist if it wasn’t for my health. A very talented and creative life coach introduced me to art as an outlet for these conflicting emotions brought on by chronic pain and illness. Art, in any form, can be a safe and productive way to communicate thoughts and feelings otherwise out of reach.
Who are your main inspirations? What are your influences?
My husband, who is an artist and photographer, is a huge inspiration for me. He inspires me to keep creating, keep exploring even when everything around me is a well without a bucket.
Anything can be and is an influence for me – literature, music, other artists, nature. However, my life and experiences are definitely the strongest and strangest driving forces behind my work. As someone living with chronic pain and illness it is impossible for me to not derive influence from its pervasive presence.
How do you keep motivated and interested?
Motivation can be a problem for me. When you're not feeling well it's hard to create anything “great”. The solution is to just show up. Whether that means staring at a blank canvas and attacking it like it stole your lunch money or learning, studying, researching a project. I like to lay out a few proposed elements of a piece, studying their textures and qualities, until an idea becomes too intense to resist. This could take minutes, hours or days. Patience is good as long as it doesn't become lethargy or an excuse to stay where you are.
Do you have any new projects you can tell us about?
I am currently working on a series titled “Withdrawal” stemming from recent events in my life. I am also working on some bookplates for the Muse A-Fair.
What do you know about your country's artists and designers?
I am a strong supporter and lover of Canadian art and artists. I think one of the best ways to know a country is to know its artists.
My favourite contemporary artists:
-Rune Olsen (paper mache)
-Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison (photography)
-Ursala Kluz-Knopek (photography and design)
-Scott a.a. Bibus (seriously wicked taxidermy)
My favourite less-contemporary artsits:
My favourite designers:
-Pina Clothing (clothing, design, art)
-Floating Gold Iceberg (clothing and design)
Any words you would like to pass on to new designers and artists?
Surround yourself with interesting and inspiring people, read everything and get outside.
You need to have people around you who will support and push you wherever you want to go. Read books, not just magazines, comics and websites. Read outside your supposed comfort zone. Read books from other viewpoints than your own. Read poetry. Go outside every day, even if it’s just to sit on your porch or balcony for a few minutes. Fresh air is good.
What is your most favourite work of your own?
My most favourite pieces have to be my vaginas. They come from such intense and personal emotions and end up evoking the same in viewers. I love the varied reactions they produce – from disgust to laughter and from pain to confusion – and find them extremely rewarding. They tend to appeal more to women while eliciting fear in men which is something I’m working on.
I love books, the printed kind that are old and musty, that have a smell and a history. A few of my favourite authors and books are:
-Rabelais’s “Gargantua & Pantagruel”
-A Thousand and One Nights
-Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”
-Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita”
-Herodotus’ “The Histories”
-Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo”
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog here today, Rachel. What great interview! If you want to learn more about Rachel or see some of her artwork, check out her web page: www.elleavuleloup.ca. I encourage everyone to go and take a look, it is well worth your while to get a taste of the work of this talented artist.