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  • Sydney Nalley

Interview with Wende Cudmore

1) Describe your typical week.

My typical week varies as to what art project I am into. Most of the time, I first take care of household and pet responsibilities. Then I will plan the rest of the day working on Pressed fruits and veggie art and gardening and outside work. In the months that I work on making garments for KMAC couture most of my time then is designing, pressing and constructing pieces that would be worn in the runway event. During summer months, you most likely will find me outside creating Sun Prints, and Eco prints.

2) What was the first thing that informed you you needed/wanted to be a maker?

I have always loved art...all types. So when I started college in 2004, that was my goal as to look into studio art. By 2008 I was in love with all the mediums. I realized that I was drawn to art that had many processes to it, which is why I chose Printmaking as my first choice. I connected and understood the Printmaking process.

3) What advice would you give your college-age self?

I think I would tell her that the hard work that she has put into studying, working late hours in the studios, Using critical thinking skills, listening to her professors and accepting advice from critiques would pay off for the future she was looking for. It may not come in the form of straight up Printmaking, but with that learned skill you will land a job thinking way out of the box, that challenges you beyond your dreams as an artist.

4) Could you please describe the research process behind your work?

I started researching my current work as a Pressed Fruit and Vegetable artist in around 2009. I was taking a papermaking class and found some information on pressing fruits and vegetables to make art forms as it dried. It started me on a long journey of research and experimenting with this medium that was not well known and not a lot of info on it. In 2010 I was encouraged by one of my professor's to apply for a Fall Fellowship for Research/ Creative work, I did and got the Fellowship. At that point I was already starting to figure out how I could make this a success. That started the path I have continued on ever since. I have learned through experimenting what works what does not. Since that time, I now have home made working presses, for pressing the fruits and vegetables and creating/constructing objects of art.

5) How do you find your market/collectors/clients/audience?

When I was in school, I remember an artist lecture I went to. The artist was saying that 70% of art students would not make it in the art field. I thought to myself, I don't want to be in that percentage. So I promised myself that when I graduated I would make as much art as I could and put it out there. Easier said than done. One of my professors also said to me, apply to everything, not just to the field you are wanting to be in. You never know who will accept your work. So that advice worked for me. I kept on appling and entering my work and I had many rejections. I had also applied to the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts couture event. At that point I had only made small objects and was learning how to create a hat with the pressed fruits and vegetables. To my surprise they accepted my work which then pushed me into a new direction in the field of art and design, that was in 2014. I am learning how to market myself, I am very timid about that, but getting better at it. I do think it would be very helpful to art students to have a class in Marketing your art and finding your audience.

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