Interview with Katherine Knudsen
Please tell me about your art practice. What different types of things do you do? I am a figure artist and printmaker. I practice lithography, intaglio, and some relief printing. I draw constantly. I carry a small sketchbook everywhere I go to jot ideas down or do a quick sketch or study. I am a process driven artist so I usually have several things working at once so I can jump around. Describe your typical week in the studio, at home or other activities. My typical week in the studio, hmm, what is typical? Well, lately my studio has been cold almost too cold to work in, so I have been doing a lot of little things at home, working on a smaller scale or drawing in my sketchbook. I am a working artist, so having a ‘typical’ week doesn’t always happen, but I usually work in the studio three days a week one day being Tuesday night. That is my open studio night, open to whomever wants to come and watch me work, learn a new technique, or work on their own projects.
Describe your influences. What sources or artists do you look to for inspiration? Lately I have been very inspired by music, especially hiphop, and written word (Logic, G-Easy, Jamaica Kincaid). The way musicians and authors express themselves feels so vulnerable to me, almost more so than visual art at times. Visual artists can hide behind a mark or inclusion of some symbolic reference that maybe nobody would get other than the artist, whereas lyrics and written words are there smacking you in the face. That vulnerability putting all of you on display, has been my main source of inspiration as of late. Of course I always have my artists inspiration as well, Jim Dine, Sean Starwars, Tom Huck, Egon Scheile, Koichi Yamamoto, Rudy Pozzatti, Bill Fick, to name a few. Where is your studio and what does it look like? My studio is in Old Louisville, on the corner of 6th and Oak. My studio is not glamorous, but it is cozy and has a ton of old Louisville charm. I have a litho press, drawing table, easel, and plenty of room to dance!
How do you balance your art practice and other non-art related responsibilities or jobs? I suppose I am a lucky one on this topic because my job is very flexible on hours and almost always gives me the extra time I need off in order to be at a gallery opening or to work on my art for a deadline. I am not married, nor do I have children so I don’t have too much extra responsibility other than myself. Balancing a job, a passion, and social life isn’t always the easiest, however. There has been an ebb and flow to how much time I spend working on art or going to hang with friends or working. Everyone is different. I can’t live in my studio I have to have time away to keep me balanced and not overwhelmed.
What opportunities for professional development have been most helpful to you? Were there things that were more helpful in your earlier years to get you started or help you become more professional? Living in Louisville in itself has been helpful because there are a ton of opportunities for artists in this town. I’ve worked with LVA [Louisville Visual Art], KMAC [Kentucky Museum of Art + Craft], U of L [University of Louisville], and JCC [Jewish Community Center] applying to shows, judging Scholastics art, and simply networking. I have my BFA from U of L and that definitely opened several doors early on in my post graduation art career. Knowing people in the art scene early on and going through formal training helped me become more professional in the early stages then once you get a lingo going and feel more confident in yourself and your art things just happen. Maybe I shouldn’t say just happen, I still have to work hard and network and get my art out there for all the world to see.
Can you share what ways have helped you get your work out there the best or most consistently? Staying in contact with professors at the universities post graduation has been super helpful. Keeping a conversation going with my peers and other artists in my community has kept me in the loop about art opportunities around town and some out of town. I go to printmaking conventions and talk to people I don’t know. Really, I just don’t stop talking about art, with everyone. Opportunities are everywhere and if you keep silent you might miss out.