Sunday Conversation with AT
Tell us about how your creative journey began.
I've always enjoyed drawing and creating. Halfway through high school, I transferred to an arts-focused school. From there, I attended RISD and have been in the design industry since.
Who/what are some of your early influences and current?
I would consider my parents as the earliest influences: both have a strong appreciation for the arts and so creative pastimes were a substantial part of my childhood.
The earliest piece I can recall having a significant impact on me was Gary Hume's Orchid (I); I must have been around 14, and I found the quiet elegance of the linework against the acidic green ground remarkably dynamic.
Tara Donovan, Ruth Asawa and Agnes Martin are constant inspirations for me. I have a deep admiration for the peaceful intricacy of their work.
Last but not least, my RISD professors have had a lasting influence on my work. In particular, two from Foundation Studies: Wendy Seller and Matt Monk.
Wendy taught me to question the impact of the word "should"; its removal from my vocabulary expanded my brainstorms and drove me outside familiar trains of thought. In Wendy's class (and in post-RISD endeavours, I realized), the word "should" adds rules; its elimination invites playful freedom.
Matt taught me about the power of multiples: the exercise of iteration upon iteration of the original concept. The process of multiples created an ongoing state of ideation and (like Wendy's class) propelled me outside of my comfort zone.
Since taking their classes, these two practices have become permanent pillars for the foundation of any creative project.
The process and the result are equally motivating. The playfulness of creating is consistently, reliably a fun time. A former manager (and coincidentally, RISD grad) once stated about the creative process, "Being done is the best part!" While I've previously been guided to focus on "the journey, not the destination", at the end of the project (or even part of the way through) it is inarguably fulfilling to see something where there was once nothing.
And when you’re feeling tapped out / depleted of ideas and inspiration what do you do?
I go do something else. Napping and showers are quite effective (but I've been advised to tone it down a bit with the showers because #skincare).
How has year 2020 impacted you as an artist?
I lost my job last year; that development introduced a change of pace in my day-to-day. Unemployment has opened up my schedule- the increase in creative time has been a silver lining to the storm cloud of 2020.
What are you looking forward to the most in 2021?
Starting new projects and building upon existing ones. It's creatively stimulating to see how far a project can go.