People often ask questions about Kevin and his career – here are the ones he often hears, and his answers.
For more information about Kevin, please visit the About page.
Did you always want to be an artist?
I have always built things, but art was not a career goal for me. It really grew out of people’s appreciation of what I was bringing out of my head and into reality. I started making a privacy screen for my own house, and people liked it and asked me to make things for them. Suddenly, I had a part-time business. In 2006, I became a full-time artist. You can learn more about my journey from this ABC TV 20/20 show that featured my transition to becoming an artist.
What did you do before you became an artist?
I drove a semi truck, an 18-wheeler. That gave me a lot of time to think and reverse engineer things.
Have you had any formal training?
I have learned many aspects of what I do, including taking classes and reading books about how to run various equipment like the forge and English wheel. Interestingly enough, it’s mostly people in the field – gallery owners, professors, other artists – who tell me that not having formal art training can be an advantage because I have no preconceptions. That lack of knowledge about the way things are “supposed to be” has allowed me to look at things very differently.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From nature. From sound. From some quiet hidden place deep inside that only seems to come out when I am totally focused on something, such as driving or working on the computer. If my mind is totally focused on one task my creative side seems to be able to run free.
Why don’t you talk more about the meaning of your art?
Art is a very personal thing. I believe art is the physical manifestation of emotion, so a piece of art that makes me feel happy might make you feel sad or confused. It’s very personal to each person. I like to hear what other people see and say. As Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.”
How do you decide what colors to use with your sculpture?
My relationship with color has changed and will probably continue to, but there is always a relationship between the form and the color.
What does it feel like to make things?
I have an image in my mind of what I want a piece to look like. I have to deconstruct it or reverse engineer it to figure out how to make it. I really like to allow the piece to evolve as I’m constructing it. And when I’m finally done and can step back from a piece and put my tools down, there’s a great sense of release, almost like the feeling I get when I ride my motorcycle.
Why do you make so many different kinds of things?
I have so many different ideas in my mind. I believe in experimenting with different forms and shapes, materials and finishes, and allow my talents to run free. I’m always growing. Although many of my works appear vastly different, there are often series of each concept as well as similarities between the series: a strong flowing line and iconic images, among them.
Why do you work with metal?
I find metal more forgiving than most other media. I can cut it and shape it and grind it and, if I make a mistake, I can weld over it and it looks as good as new. I also find it very challenging to take this hard, sometimes brittle material and make it do my bidding.
I now am also working with 3D printing, so I’m creating with filament now, too. You can see what I’m up to on my blog about 3D printing.
Do you have a favorite sculpture?
Charged Particle was a very challenging piece. I love the play of light over it, and I just enjoy looking at it. It’s not only a pleasure to look at, but it turned out the way I saw it in my mind – It’s one of the few pieces that didn’t evolve as I was making it. And when I look at it, it makes me happy.
Have you always lived in Arizona?
I was born in Connecticut in 1960 and have also lived in Florida,:Misawa, Japan; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean; and Yuma, Arizona. I’ve been an Arizona resident since 1973. (When people ask me why Arizona, I explain, “My mother said, ‘Get in the car.'” I was 13.) The desert has had a big visual and visceral impact on me.
Working with heat and wearing heavy protective clothing in such a hot place, how do you keep cool in the summer?
The way Native Americans used to: I sweat. My studio has a swamp cooler, which uses water to cool, but the building is too open for air conditioning.
What is your most challenging piece?
Mobius was the most challenging because it is so small and it twists so much. Torsional Twist is similar but, because it’s larger, it was easier to shrink and expand the metal. Mobius was so much smaller and has so much more of a twist it made it very difficult to get the metal to do what I wanted it to do.
Another was Charged Particle, but for very different reasons. I had to be really precise to get it all to come together.
How often are you in the studio?
I work 4-5 days a week in the studio. I sometimes do rendering in the office, but getting away, riding my motorcycle, being in nature is often as important for me as time spent in front of a monitor with my CAD program or in the studio with a torch in my hand.
Where do you see yourself heading?
Forward. Bigger pieces, more challenging, exciting pieces, learning new techniques to allow me to create new work.
Do you have a question for Kevin? Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-952-8767. Thanks!