We had the good fortune of connecting with Kay Hale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kay, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I am impelled for the most part to create. If I ignore the desire, the call to create then I can fall into a very dull routine. I pursue my art career because I have always been an artist. Even during times of slow down, or busy with other things life brings, the desire to create has always been there. I consider even my down time a time to dream of art. Considering this time of isolation, I have used it to prepare myself for new work, new ideas, and rest. A weary body and soul has difficulty creating. I have fallen into the idea that to be a successful artist I must sell,sell,sell. But to keep creating, I have had to put that selling idea to bed! There is nothing worse than letting outside influences and social norms to dictate my art making. It is me, it comes from me and I do it even if I don’t have an audience.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I currently work in mixed media on paper or board. I mix paint and collage to come up with abstracts or whimsical designs including animals or other representational things. What sets me apart from the crowd is my design, and bright color. Also the fact that when others are “taking away” things, I am adding more and more! My paintings are layers of texture, color and images. I work in series developing processes until I have exhausted that line of inquiry. I rarely leave a place for the eye to “rest”. Instead I move the viewer around with design and hope they come back time and again to see more within the surface. Each series brings me to my next series. I spend a lot of time day dreaming about what I want to do and so when I work it comes together very fast. That doesn’t mean anything comes together according to a well thought out plan! Mostly I wonder what would happen if I do this and then I try it and it leads me somewhere else, Ideas come as I work and add to the work. What I have learned is I do not work like anyone else. I cannot expect to be held to a process or a plan. The many “shoulds” learned in art schools and workshops have to be left behind for me to get my work done. I take workshops to get out and try other things but I may not ever use those ideas. Being an artist in a world of millions of artists over the world is not easy. I have had the idea many times that to be a successful artist means to sell and be in galleries. I have been discouraged by those ideas and had to make a decision that it is okay not to be in galleries and not to sell so much, Making my own work has to be more important than running a business. These days artists have to do both, but I must do art first. I would like the world to know that my work is genuine. It is all me! It comes from a place of hope and optimism. I hope it makes the viewer smile. I hope it keeps the viewer engaged.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first place I would take my friend is on a road trip to the mountains and parks. Finding quiet places to enjoy a picnic of homemade food and wine. I might take them to Salt Lake City to visit friends’ studios and a few galleries. Certainly to eat at one of the many great restaurants in the city. Within a week, I could take them to Yellowstone park and drives through much Idaho and Wyoming wilderness. There is so much to see within a day or two from where I live.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think lately the Creative Visionary Program, Art2life by Artist Nicholas Wilton has been a very positive driving force for me. It is all online and although it was intense, I participated in 2019 and not only gained much insight and technical information but a huge world wide community of like minded artists, creatives. I am still in touch with many of them. Another artist is Katarina Ring, a plein air artist who lives in Italy. This is where social media works for me. I began following her years ago on FaceBook and then went to Italy and took a 10 day workshop with her. Again I gained technical experience but mostly friendship, encouragement and life long friends with not only Kat but classmates. The shoutout would be to those who have passed away, my parents. As middle class parents who worked hard, they let me daydream and make art. They encouraged my journey, sought out ways for me to do art and hung my art in their home. They and my Dad’s brother(an art teacher) and my Mom’s friend,Pat( an artist) were all there for me. I was a lucky kid!