Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Artist of the Week

Katie Perkis

Labels can be a blessing and they can also be a curse, and to bestow a label upon some cannot be taken lightly. The moment you call someone an artist or a writer or a musician, is that when they become what you have labeled them, or have they always been that? When do you become an artist? Many individuals dream of creating when they are young, they passionately doodle, scribble, paint, write, record, photograph, etc., youth is a wonderfully fertile time for the arts. However, it is the true artist that can move beyond youth, and develop that passion into skill and vision. This is the story of local artist Katie Perkis. She has always been fascinated by the intricate details of nature, and how they translate to the creative side of her life. Yet it was recently that she discovered that there something greater to be accomplished than mere youthful creation. Recently, Katie answered a few of our questions, and here are the results.

Orange Alert (OA): When did you first discover your talent and why did you decide to pursue it further?
Katie Perkis (KP): I would say that I first discovered the beginnings of my talent in a pathetic excuse of an art class in middle school. I didn’t really start to pursue art until high school, and even then my first class was only an elective to me. It was in that first high school art class, drawing 1, that I really started coming into my own and started really enjoying it. My junior year I was introduced to two of my three loves in art, photography and ceramics. I took to photo like a fish to water, but I disliked 3-D with a passion until I was introduced to clay. Then I fell in love, the rest is history.

OA: How would you define your work? Which mediums do you work in, and which is your favorite?
KP: I’m not really that sure as how to define my work, so all I can say is the common saying "art is the representation of ones self". Art tells about the artiest so I guess I can define my work as me, a representation of me. Take that as you will and interpret as you like. I personally like to work in ceramics, printmaking, and photo (though with photo not as much as I should be) and would have to say it is a toss up between ceramics and printmaking. I guess my favorite would be whichever I felt inspired to do at the time. I mainly just do wheel work in ceramics and I do relief and mono type in printmaking. The relief style I do is very unique, and I have been asked by several in the field if I am pioneering it, though I feel I am not. The style involves using an etching needle and nothing more to do the cuts on the block.

OA: What is your typical starting point for a new piece, and how long does it take you to complete that piece?
KP: That depends entirely on what medium I am working in. In ceramics I usually just start centering with a general idea in my head, then let the clay tell me what to do from there. In printmaking I either decide what medium I want to work in then find an image, or vise versa. The length of time it takes to complete also depends on what I am doing. I have had mono types range from five minutes to seven hours, relief cuts from two hours to a month, ceramic pieces from ten minutes to an hour.

OA: Who are some of your biggest influences artistically?
KP: I really don't look to the well known art world for inspiration. I find that I am most inspired by the people I know personally, my friends, teachers, and fellow students. I would have to say my biggest and only influences in ceramics were and are my teachers and friends Greg Chapman and Joe Hernandez. They have been with me since the beginning, and their styles have become integrated into the forming of my own. As for printmaking I have several friends and acquaintances that inspire, not so much as shape my style than as to keep me with ideas, criticize me, offer opinions, and keep me motivated and on track. OA: Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, who are some your favorite musicians to listen to? Does their music impact your art in anyway?
KP: Usually yes, and a wide variety. The music I listen to doesn't really impact the subject of my art very much, but it definitely impacts how I work. I work really well to Modest Mouse, David Bowie, Mr. Bungle, Door Mouse, Stunt Rock, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Ben Folds the list goes on, and on, and on... I love ipods.

OA: If anyone would like to purchase your pieces how should they contact you?
KP: You can view my art once I get it up at my myspace, but I will tell you there will be nothing new, if anything at all for awhile. If you are interested in purchasing a print (I don’t sell pots... yet) contact me at my e-mail address
Katie Perkis currently lives in St. Charles IL. She graduated from St. Charles East H.S. in 2004 and is currently attending Elgin Community College. Once she obtains her Associate in fine arts she plans to transfer to N.I.U. to complete her BFA.