Saturday, October 18, 2014

Five Minutes With Artist Kyle Voigtlander

Kyle Voigtlander is a young, Minneapolis-based artist whose work has been on display at Benchmark Tattoo since his show there in August. The tattoo parlor in located in the new building across from Chester Creek Cafe/Sara's Table on Eighth Street here in Duluth.

EN: When did you get serious about making and showing your work?
Kyle V: It wasn't until a while after I earned my undergrad, maybe two years or so. I made I drawing that I liked and got really good feedback from those who saw it.

After that it was just a matter of making more. I took a few months and really figured out what it was I was trying to do, and did that until I had about six drawings. Then I was able to display in the restaurant I was serving at, and once people started seeing my work it's been a steady stream of sales and new opportunity. About 30 drawings later, I'm now booked for shows for the next six months and don't plan on stopping.

EN: Where were you trained?
Kyle V: I graduated from University Northwestern St. Paul. I was part of the digital media art program there, and took several classes that really helped me develop as an artist.

EN: What are your primary themes?
Kyle V: I'm not sure. When I'm making a drawing I'm really all about that drawing and just having fun with it. There's really no motive in my work other than doing my best work, enjoying it and arriving at the end of my process with a high quality drawing.

EN: Who are your favorite artists?
Kyle V: Kandinsky, Audubon, Com Truise, The Pharcyde, Oliver Vernon, Pat Perry, Conor Nolan, Mickey a.k.a. Loveable Monster, Feng Meng Vue, Shaina Lund, Steven Janowicz.

EN: Where does your inspiration come from?
Kyle V: For me it's more about maintaining a sense of awe and wonder toward creation than actively searching for inspiration. Having the right type of attitude allows just about anything to inspire me, and also allows me to draw inspiration from every aspect of my life experience.

EN: Any up-coming shows?
Kyle V: Blue Moon Cafe in Minneapolis for the month of October. November I'll have my drawings at the Seward Cafe, on Franklin Avenue. December I'll be at Espresso Royale, the official coffee house of St. Katherine's University. Then it's off to Gethsemane Lutheran Church for a two month show during January and February. That's all I've got scheduled for now. It was really great to have my work in Duluth and I hope to be back sometime in the near future.

EN: Do you have a website or somewhere we can see your work online?
Kyle V: I post my work on facebook. You can see them there, otherwise check out my Behance page.

EN: Is there anything especially unique in how you create?
Kyle V: I'm really not sure. My focus is trained so intently on my finished product that my process isn't really something I dwell on. I just draw as much as I can, put in as much time on a drawing as is required, and just keep going. Guess you could say my process is between me and the all knowing God, and the finished drawings What are you working on now that has you jazzed?

I'm jazzed about a drawing of a vulture I've been working on for a while. It's bigger and bolder than a lot of my work, and a showcase of my development over last year. I've got several other projects that I'm excited about, but I think the vulture will be the biggest achievement.

EN: You identify yourself as both a Christian and an existentialist. Can you elaborate on this a little bit? 
Kyle V: I do identify as Christian, but I'm still young, and growing in that. I am fiercely independent and often act on my own without considering what God's will might be, and those natural tendencies of mine fit quite closely to the existentialist approach, so I identify as both.

EN: How does your world view impact your art?
Kyle V: In terms of my art, worldview gives a solid sense of meaning and purpose to my creative process. My worldview shapes my definition of art: human representation of God's creation. I'm convinced that the more I learn about and live out the values and everything else associated with my worldview, the faster my skill as an artist develops.

UMD Faculty Biennial at the Tweed, 6-8 p.m. tonight.

Goin' Postal 2014 Fall Art Show this coming Friday the 24th

Zeitgeist 5th Anniversary celebration October 20-24

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