35岁以下创意人:Katie Benn

世界永远需要艺术,艺术属于所有人

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gooood团队采访世界各地 35岁以下的年轻创意人,他们有的是创业者,有的是业主,有的是普通职员。我们探访众生百相,记录这个时代年轻人的面貌和真实状态,欢迎您的推荐和建议。
第35期为您介绍的是美国独立艺术家 Katie Benn

gooood team interviews creative individuals under 35 years old from all over the world, some are pioneering founders, some are clients, some are ordinary practitioners. gooood is trying to record the authentic living and working states of this era. Your recommendations and suggestions are appreciated!
gooood Under 35 NO.35 introduces Katie Benn, a full-time artist based in San Francisco

出品人:向玲 / Producer: Xiang Ling
编辑团队:陈诺嘉,武晨曦,刘丹阳,李诗蓉,徐馨羽 / Editor: Chen Nuojia, Wu Chenxi, Liu Danyang, Li Shirong, Xu Xinyu

 

 

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成为全职艺术家之路
The way of being a full-time artist

我必须画画。在我还是孩童的时候,我就为绘画和创作而生。绘画是我最长久的伙伴,我们一起聆听和学习这个世界,并与巨大的未知玩耍和对抗。除了绘画,再没有什么事物能如此令我平静而又富有挑战。绘画给予了我无与伦比的知识和激情。绘画永远不会抛弃我。我很庆幸自己可以将其作为职业,把所有时间投入到对色彩和形态的探索与创作之中。

我的作品中的信息一直在变化。我认为生活就像一个万华镜,鲜明而强烈。比起传达自己的个人意愿,我更希望尝试通过新的镜头发现与感受整个世界。我的作品围绕自我反思展开,随着精神和情感的不断转换,以一种嬉闹的手法触及人类体验的不同领域。人与人之间的情感可以互通;透过艺术作品,观者可以看到或感受到自己。

I paint because I have to. Ever since I was a kid, I have always run directly for drawing and painting and creating. It is my longest relationship, listening and learning, playing and fighting with the great mystery. There is nothing that gives me more solace, challenges me more, teaches me more, excites me more. It has always been there for me. I am incredibly thankful that I am able to continue this relationship in a way where I can work full time exploring creative ideas and colors and shapes.

My artworks have varying messages. I experience life like a kaleidoscopic dream- constantly and loudly, and with no regard to my personal will, I am sifting through and trying on new lenses with which to see and feel the world. Through this constant shifting of mental and emotional gears, my work tends to touch on many corners of the human experience, centering around self reflection and playfulness. I hope that those that experience my work feel themselves inspired to create, and perhaps recognize the duality, the silly and the sad, to be reflective of themselves. To see a feeling or a part of yourself in a work of art, outside of yourself, that someone else has created, can be transformative.

▼Katie Benn的绘画作品
painting works by Katie Benn

成为全职艺术家的过程说来话长,甚至可以专门出一套书。我相信大多数人之所以将一生投入到创作中去,绝不仅仅是因为某个巨大的机会,某人的一句话,或者某个上天的指引。成为全职艺术家,是一个个小举动以及偶发事件积累而成的选择。

我没上大学,更没去过什么艺术学校。过去,我做过各种各样的工作,从服务员到咖啡师。我最后一份与艺术无关的工作,是在一家洛杉矶的技术公司做职员。这份工作持续了很多年,十分稳定。然而某天,当我和往常一样在柜台后面工作的时候,我突然意识到世上有那么多有趣的事情发生,而我又有那么多想法想要去实现;我不能再把自己的时间和精力浪费在这些让我毫无激情的事情上了。我开始厌恶这份多年的工作,这种没有创造力的生活令我坐立难安。我必须要遵从自己的内心,因此我辞去了工作,开始构建新的生活。自己为自己工作并不是一件易事,你必须靠自己扬帆远航,你所拥有的就是你的全部。你必须自己去搞定每一件事情,这需要高度的自制力。我强迫自己一直创作。为了将自己的作品分享给全世界,我开设了Instagram账号,几乎每天都坚持投稿。Instagram对于自由职业者或创业者来说是一个不可多得的工具,它是我主要的工作来源。刚开始的时候,我只能从一个工作跳到另一个工作,不停地积累经验。每当看到外界那些诱人的机会,很难不怀疑自己这样孤注一掷是否是一个正确的选择。但是既然做了,就必须坚持下去。当我开始有一些比较长期的工作的时候,一切都出现了转机。我可以花更多时间去了解自己,而不是与自己对抗。我强迫自己跨出舒适区,去进行自己本不擅长的社交活动,去参加各种各样的艺术展览,去出席画廊开幕活动,去结识新的朋友。借此,在过去几年中,我遇到了许多自己喜爱的人和艺术家。

I could write a very long book about how I became a full time artist. I could probably write a series of books. I think for most lifetime creatives, it’s not just one big opportunity, one person’s advice, one single sign from the universe, it is many many small steps, actions, and serendipitous happenings that lead one toward becoming a full time artist.

I never went to art school- I never went to college, actually. I worked a lot of odd jobs long ago, waitressing, making coffee. My last non-art related job I had, I was working behind a desk for several years at a tech company here in San Francisco, which was fine for a while- but one day I just realized that there was way too much cool stuff going on in the world, I had way too many ideas for things I wanted to make and do, and I simply could not continue to pour all of my energy into something that brought me relatively no pleasure any longer. I felt repelled by the work I had done for years. Suddenly, the idea of not pursuing a more creative life was scarier than staying where I was. I had to listen to myself and how I was feeling. The only way I believed I could honor myself in this way was to leave my old job behind and build a new life for myself. Of course I was scared to take the leap. Working for yourself is not easy. You are at the helm of your own ship, you are sailing off on your own. If you don’t do things, things do not get done. It requires a lot of discipline. Part of that discipline for me meant pushing myself to constantly create and share what I was making with the world, so I started an instagram account and began posting all the time. I’d say even today, the majority of work opportunities I get, come through instagram. Instagram is an incredible tool if you’re running your own business/freelancing. And really in the beginning, there’s a lot of learning and swinging from one job to the next, with some lulls in activity that make you think maybe you’ve made a mistake putting all your eggs in one basket, but you have to stay the course. Once I started getting more consistent work, everything changed. I started learning more about myself and listening to myself more, having a less antagonistic relationship with myself. I began to push myself out of my comfort zone. I am someone who loves alone time and gets drained very quickly from social activity, but I pushed myself, and still do, to apply for various art fairs, attend gallery openings, meet new people. I have met some of my favorite people and fellow artists in the last few years of doing so.

▼Katie Benn的作品 – 一起
Work of Katie Benn – Together

成为全职艺术家侯,另一件发生很大改变的事情,就是我可以用新的眼光去看待世界。曾经我认为艺术并不是适合每个人的,你可以画画,但是不可能真的靠它吃饭,因为创作生活必定充满艰辛。而现在,我发现世界渴望艺术。艺术中承载着巨大的希望。艺术中有爱,有我们每一个人。通过艺术,我们可以放松,可以振奋,可以逃避现世。没有什么东西与艺术无关,这个世界永远需要更多艺术。我的全部身体和心灵都为创作而生,我没有任何理由停止创作,也将一直创作下去。

One thing that has also changed since I moved to full time art, is my outlook on the world. I used to think that art wasn’t for everyone. That maybe you could draw and paint, but you couldn’t actually make a good living doing it- that the creative life was going to be full of struggle. I realize now, the world needs art so badly. There is a tremendous amount of hope in art. There is love in art. There is us and ourselves in art. There is relaxation, excitement, escape in art. There is nothing without art, and the world will never have enough of it- and since my whole body and mind is so dedicated to creating things, there is absolutely no reason at all that I shouldn’t pursue it and that I shouldn’t continue to pursue it.

▼Katie Benn的作品 – 儿童相扑
Work of Katie Benn – Kidsumo

 

 

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关于绘画
About Painting

 

色彩
Colors

我经常使用自己创造的色族中的颜色。一套彩色蜡笔,拿掉橙色和紫色,就是我所使用的颜色的基础。当我想表达复杂的主题和想法时,我会使用相近的、更加友好的颜色。当观众看到这些基本的颜色时,他们会回想起生命中那些更加单纯的时光,如童年;越过这一层,当他们更加深入地欣赏我的作品时,他们会在幼年与当下之间建立起一座桥梁,达到一种新的境界。心理学家研究表明,成年的痛苦很多来自于童年。我相信,我的作品也许可以触动一些人童年时期的经历,照亮他们过去的创伤,让他们能够某种程度上理解和原谅过去的自己,从而得到某种解脱。

I often use colors from my favorite color family that I have developed. It’s basically the rainbow you would find in a box of crayons where the orange and purple crayons have gone missing. They’re elementary. I like to use familiar and friendly colors to express some of my more complex themes and ideas. I like to think that the viewer recognizes these very basic colors, that maybe these colors will subconsciously remind them of a simpler time, of being a child and what that felt like, and then once that is established, a deeper look into the work will lead them someplace new- perhaps connecting a synapse from when they were very young, with a new current synapse, creating a unique pathway between the two worlds. Psychologists will have you know that most of what afflicts us as adults, begins in childhood. I like to believe that maybe, even just once, I could use art to help someone now, touch on something from when they were younger- and bring some lightness to an old wound, give some understanding or forgiveness to a young memory.

▼Katie Benn的作品 – 大盗贼
Work of Katie Benn – Bigthief

▼Katie Benn的作品 – 混杂
Work of Katie Benn – Painting Miscellaneous

 

灵感来源
Source of Inspiration

我习惯将大量梦中或想象中的图像组合在一起。每天晚上,我都会做色彩鲜明而强烈的梦。我仿佛踏入了另一个世界,一个无形的魔法世界。在梦中,我见到了许多符号与平衡,因此它们也是我在工作中最关注的两个元素。我会不断问自己:我在表达什么?这些形状在表达什么?它们看上去是否和谐?

我还收集了大量古老的食品包装和旅行书籍,以及几十年前的产品包装和广告册等。我喜欢古董,它们是我创作的灵感源泉。我汲取这些物品中的形状和颜色,并将其融入到自己的创作中。

I tend to pull a lot of imagery from my dreams and my own imagination. I have really intense, colorful dreams nearly every night. I have always had one foot in another world, a world less tangible but much more magical. I am a lover of symbols and balance, a lot of which I see in my dreams, so these are two things I am always paying attention to when I am working, often asking myself: What am I saying? What are the shapes saying? Is there visual harmony?

I also have a large collection of vintage packaging items and books of food, travel, and product labels, advertising catalogues from decades ago. I love old things, and taking inspiration from those things to create something new. Again, familiar maybe in shape and color, but taking it someplace new.

▼Katie Benn的作品 – 大零食时代
从过去的食品包装中获得灵感
Work of Katie Benn – Mega Snack Time
Inspired by vintage food package

 

元素组合
Arrangement of Elements

在和客户合作以外的作品中,我使用的元素都十分直观。我会一直修改一件作品,直到其中所有的形状和颜色都达到令我满意的程度。在以明确的方式表现一个主题或某种观点的不同维度的同时,我还会设置一个或多个隐藏的元素。对于只是在Instagram或画廊中粗略浏览的人来说,这些元素可能很难被发现;它们需要停下来仔细观看和理解。我收到过很多反馈,认为我的作品十分甜蜜可爱;但是无论声音多么轻微,我的作品中永远可以有另一个层面的解读。

Unless I’m working with a client, it is all done very intuitively. A piece is not done until my eyes move throughout the shapes and colors in a way that is pleasing to me. I like to show enough for certain aspects of a theme or an idea to be understood in an obvious way, and I leave an element or elements that are more either hidden or maybe not so easily perceived if you’re just scrolling through your instagram feed for two seconds, or doing a quick walk through the gallery. I get a lot of feedback from people that my artwork is very cute, which is very sweet, but there is almost always another layer to the work that is saying something else, even if it is saying it quietly.

▼Katie Benn的作品,使用鲜明直观元素
Work of Katie Benn using intuitive elements

 

材料与介质
Arrangement of Elements

有时你会感到迷失了方向。你必须要极度亢奋,以完成展览所需的新作品,或见一个新客户。在这种亢奋过去之后,你会开始胡思乱想,觉得魔法突然消失了。这就好比房间中有一个馅饼,你很饿,你相信你看到过它,你可以想出它的样子,你甚至能闻到它的味道,但你就是无法找到它在哪里。这种感觉会令你发疯。因此,我会利用不同材料进行实验创作,以帮助找回平常的自我。创作工作让我可以在迷失中重新意识到自己真正想要的东西,不会为了一个馅饼而发狂。

现在我最喜欢使用丙烯和丙烯酸胶乳进行创作。这些颜料不透明不反光,很快就会凝固。我的作品大多使用厚重的形状和色彩,这两种材质呈现的效果与我的期望相符。此外,我还喜欢用油画棒、蜡笔和iPad作画,任何一种我都无法割舍。

Sometimes you can feel real lost. You might be super excited to start working on a collection of new work for an upcoming gallery show, or ready to dive into working with an exciting new client, and then, maybe because you start overthinking, you feel like the magic suddenly eludes you. I kind of think of it as a pie in the house. You’re hungry, and you thought you saw the pie, you can envision the pie, you can smell the pie in the house and you want to eat it, but you can’t find it anywhere, so you start going crazy. This is when I experiment a lot with different materials because that helps me find my way again. There’s nothing like creating work that you don’t like to help you recognize then what you do like, whenever that comes to you. Whenever the pie reappears.

Right now I like using acrylic and acrylic latex, mostly because they dry fast and are super opaque. So much of my work uses big chunky shapes and colors, and I like the finish specifically using those mediums. I also like to play around with other things like oil pastels, crayons, and I draw on my iPad a lot. There is a time and place for all of them.

▼Katie Benn在不同介质上创作的作品
Works of Katie Benn on different mediums

 

 

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壁画创作
Murals/Frescos

壁画创作对我来说是一个截然不同的经历。我的大部分壁画作品都是为公司或商业项目创作,需要我在有限的时间内完成。由于我喜欢独自一人绘制全部的墙面,因此我必须要连续几天,每天工作几个小时来完成这些壁画作品。这些日子里,我的脸几乎一直都贴着墙面,笔刷在墙上滑动,内心则回顾着这些年间的所有点滴。古老的梦想浮出水面,带来熟悉的符号供我解读。渐渐地,我失去了时间的观念,忘我地投入到了绘画之中。这是世界上最美好的感受之一。当你在纸上作画的时候,你可以随时停下再重新开始。它不像壁画工作那么紧迫,也不似在6米高的墙上作画那样耗费体力,因此更难让你达到这种精神上的巅峰状态。在玻璃上作画尺度往往较小,体验也有所不同。这些作品通常是出于我的个人兴趣,并且会做成短视频发布到网络上与他人分享,因此在创作的时候我会更关注当下,更清楚自己在做什么。

Painting on a wall is a completely different experience for me. Considering the majority of the murals/frescos I have painted have been for companies/businesses and I have a limited amount of time to do it- this requires several hours in a row for multiple days to complete. (I like to paint alone, to complete the walls by myself, so that is why it takes so long!) During those days where I am painting for hours and hours, my face an inch or two from the wall, I go places. Mentally I am sorting through years of memories, old dreams suddenly surface with familiar symbols for me to attempt to decode, silently, while I dip the brush and smush the brush against the wall. I lose my sense of time and sometimes self, and I just paint. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Painting on paper you can stop and start anytime, and it can be more difficult for me to achieve a peak mental flow state because often the activity is lacking the urgency of completion or the physically demanding aspect of say painting some walls that are 20 feet high. Painting on glass is different as it is on a much smaller scale usually, and because I do it for fun, to share with others in short videos online, I am more present and conscious of what I am doing.

▼Katie Benn正在进行壁画绘制,Katie Benn painting on the walls

根据空间、客户需求和整体情况的不同,壁画作品的内容也会有所变化。有些是把我的绘画作品放大到墙面上,有些则会与空间产生互动。空间、文化、室内设计以及建筑本身的风格,决定了我在创作上有多大的自由度。

Depending on the space, the client, and the general opportunity, these frescos or mural works could be either an extension of my smaller paintings, just much larger, or they might be designed to interact with the space. It all really depends on how much freedom is allowed with the space, with respect to the culture, interior design, existing architectural vision.

▼完成后的壁画作品,completed fresco work

 

 

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创作计划与未来预期
Plans and Future Expectation 

去年,我开始涉足布料和服装设计。我喜欢为不同社会经济背景的人创作艺术作品。当我看到人们穿着自己设计的服装时,我感到十分激动。因此我希望能够接受更多这方面的挑战。同时,我正在设计一幅巨大的室外壁画,并且会雇佣一些当地的艺术家朋友来帮助我完成这项工作。

最近我正忙于多项壁画、服装设计、布料和印刷品等工作,在它们面世之前,我不想过多谈论。我十分感谢这些项目以及合作伙伴,相信它们都会是令人激动的作品。

In the last year I have begun to branch out to design textiles and apparel, I’d like to challenge myself to do more of that. Seeing other people wearing your art can be a huge thrill. I also like the idea of creating art that is accessible to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. I also would love to design an outdoor mural that is gigantic and employ a bunch of my local artist friends to help me execute it.

I am working on a lot of things these days and I don’t love to talk about projects before they are released, but there are a lot more murals, clothing designs, textiles and prints releasing this year. With regard to the projects and the people I am working with, I am both very excited and very thankful.

▼创作中的Katie Benn
Katie Benn dedicated in artistic work

More: Kaite Benn

 

 

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