Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Artist Interview: Katie Sanvick

Katie Sanvick's drawings are absolutely beautiful.  Combine this with her color-saavy application of bright-yet-elegant color, and you can see why her finished works are incredibly rich. She also does a fantastic job documenting her process, which she's shared with us for this interview!






What inspired the work you have in the exhibition? Specifically, why did you choose the subjects you chose?

The idea for the tattoos came when I was watching Dracula. There's a part in the movie where Dracula says "Listen to them, children of the night, what music they make" and it totally inspired me. I think Dracula was actually referring to the wolves, but I think bats are children of the night too! So from there I decided to make them look more like traditional tattoos with heavy line work but with a little spunk. I played a little with juxtaposing ideas of the dark foreboding Dracula and the nature of vampire bats, against the bright colors, and putting the bats on flowers and giving them smiles to make them extra adorable. They are meant to be worn as a trio because I split up the quote, but they stand pretty well on their own. 

Talk about the medium you used to make your piece.

I usually start all my work the same, I draw it out first with pencil on paper, then scan it in and finish up digitally coloring in good ol' Photoshop. I feel like I have more control over the sketch and can visualize much better on paper than on screen. After viewing literally thousands of images of bats and flowers, I picked my favorites, mixed and matched, and threw together some sketches. Once I scanned each final bat in I had to decide weather or not to keep the line work or re-do it. In this case, I ended up re-lining everything in photoshop. from there I messily slapped lots of colors on to get a feel of what palette I wanted. After what seemed like an endless amount of tweaking, I'm done!

Do you listen to anything while you’re working? What have you been listening to lately?

Oh definitely! I always fire up pandora for a few of my go-to stations. It's usually a lot of Fever Ray, M83, The Knife, Tyga and dub step. Depending on my mood, if the drawing is going really well and i'm pumped about it i always listen to some of that music that makes you say hell yeah- the kind you can't help but feel like dancing to, the feel good stuff. When I'm starting out I'll listen to softer stuff. Then, when I'm so engrossed in what I'm doing I don't even notice that pandora has stopped playing for like half an hour and I've totally been drawing in silence.. that's when you know you've got something good.

Do you have any tattoos? Tell us about them!

Yes! When I was 18 I got a small star on my wrist, it's the star preset brush in photoshop..cheesy, i know.
Then when I was a freshman in college, I got a tattoo on my forearm sort of symbolizing my new beginning. It was around the time when I decided without a doubt I would pursue art at any cost.. which was a great decision! There's an Aries symbol in there because I'm really into astrology, and the words "Vita Brevis ars longa" which is Latin for "Art is long, life is short". Funny story with that tattoo, the artist actually inverted the sun-opposite of the design I brought in and I didn't realize it until she started laying on color after line work. What a great mistake, I actually like it better this way!

(AN: Coincidentally, Katie Sanvick and Rodrigo Avilés from last week's interview share a bond in their choice of tattoo wording!)



Whether you have a tattoo or not, it’s *possible* you have considered a tattoo you would like to have. What would that dream tattoo be?

I'm always considering tattoos, I'm in the middle of designing a very sick nautical/marine/sailor sleeve involving an octopus and I'm totally stoked!

For more of Sanvick's work, visit her website  and follow her blog! She also has a Twitter!

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