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VNDL: Describe your work/process.

CKIRK: My painting is a fervent collection of eclectic figurative drawings and paintings created using various media including oil, watercolor, spray paint, pastel, collage ect. It’s not an attempt to reinvent the wheel. I grab something that already exists, then, I make it my own. For me, my work is a fragmented mixture of personal experience translated into my own brand of expressive portraiture.

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As far as my process goes, it’s not the same every time.  Sometimes I use spray paint other times I prefer watercolor or oil.  I occasionally use the grid method to enlarge a reference photo and transfer it to canvas that way.  I sometimes completely freehand every aspect of a piece while other times I may use a projector to blow up sketches I have done.  Sometimes I slop paint onto a canvas and other times I employ great care.  I think my process changes with my mood and whatever physical condition I may be in that particular day.  Really I have to say that being the result of millions of years of evolution is probably more responsible for what shows up when I paint than what methods I use.

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What have you been up to recently (trips, projects, work)?

I was in Los Angeles a while back, but primarily, I’ve just concentrating on painting.  The last couple of months it seems I have had one idea after another.  I have to write them down and it’s become a rather long list.  Many of the ideas can become multiple works so if I pursue them, I should be busy for quite a while.  The idea of illustrating a children’s book has recently popped in my head as well.

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Favorite Quote?

I am absolutely sure that there has been a much more heartfelt and insightful quote written, but here’s one of mine instead, “If we didn’t eat chickens or cows, other predators would. Why should they have all the fun?”  Hope you’re not a vegetarian.

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Advice for other creatives/aspiring artists?

I certainly don’t claim to know everything, but I can definitely offer a few bits of information.  First, don’t let yourself get stuck in a particular style or method, but experiment.  Move to an up to date, culturally connected city where art is valued.  If you’re unable to move right away, learn to use the Internet to your benefit.  When dealing with potential collectors, past collectors, galleries, or really anybody, lay off the pre Madonna act and handle business like a businessman.

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What are you currently listening to/reading/watching?

I’ve popped in an old burnt copy of Beck’s Mellow Gold while in the car, but was jamming to 2 Live Crew last night for a few minutes.  I’m reading The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures by Double Dixon when I can.  I read several children’s books to my son every day, which seems a little lame, but strangely, it has made my art a little more playful the last several months.  Watching various political programs.  I don’t have a favorite.  Trying to avoid the commentary shows as much as possible.  It’s gotten to where keeping up with current politics has almost become the equivalent of tuning into the Jerry Springer Show.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully back in California where the weather is usually nice and predictable.  As far as career wise, I don’t know.  I’m having a mid life crisis about 10 years ahead of schedule, so I may be shorted 10 years on my total life span.  Hopefully in 5 years, I will have at least temporarily satisfied a few more of my ambitions.  I say temporarily because I’m never truly satisfied with anything for very long.  I have short moments where I am sated, but the feeling wears off too quickly and I start thinking about how I can get more of that wonderful feeling I felt.

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Who is or where does your inspiration come from? Any emerging artists to watch out for?

As far as my inspiration goes, the external aspect comes from what I watch, read, hear, and experience. It comes from everywhere. Inspiration comes from Dr. Seuss to science and from history to porno movies from parenthood to grocery store visits.   If every day life is anything, it is inspiration waiting to be tapped into.

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As far as internal influence goes, I have to say being a human animal is largely responsible for what shows up when I paint.  Carnal interpretations of people, needs, desires, and fantasies are often my subject matter.  I’ll explain what I mean.  Basically, I’m a civilized person.  I’m kind, thoughtful, interested in what people have to say, and I generally do well in social situations.  I’m good at making people feel at ease.  The civilized part of me is not on the canvas at the end of a painting session.  All that shit that was hardwired into mankind millions of years ago shows up.  I believe painting is my way of chunking civilization out the window.

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To answer the last part of your question, it seems there are always emerging artists to watch out for?  I can’t think of any by name right off the top of my head, but pay attention to various online magazines and blogs including Juxtapoz and Hi Fructose.  I enjoy quite a bit of what I see and some of the works make my jaw drop.   I don’t understand every piece they post, but what doesn’t float my boat my be a life changing experience to someone else.

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Ckirk is an artist based out of Dallas, TX.

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