The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Kevin Sloan: Kevin Sloan, Artist/Painter, self-employed
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
KS: I try and spend as much time as I can outside. It could be as simple as riding my bike to the studio, walking the dogs in the park across the street or even a day-long trek up and into the Colorado mountains. Nature always has offered ideas and has the effect of calming my mind.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
KS: It’s an interesting balancing act at times. What the galleries sell is always in the back of my mind and can at times direct, even unconsciously how I go forward in the studio. I try to keep this in check but it’s not always easy. I’ve always had a practice of creating “private paintings” - these are generally small works that are far more experimental and unresolved ideas. They are also often concepts I know my current galleries will not want to show. But, it’s very important to do this work and inevitably some aspect of it finds it’s way in to my more “mainstream” work.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
KS: Generally the morning is a creative and productive time for me. I rise fairly early, about 6:00am and hope to be at the studio and working by 8:30 - 9:00. I work all day, 5-6 days a week. As the afternoon progresses, I often find myself tiring a little physically but ideas are clear and fresh. Often during this time of day I find myself writing and researching more than actually painting.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
KS: Some goals are getting my work seen by a wider, more global audience. I feel that my work has an audience far beyond this country and I’m working on ways to find that audience and grow our relationship. This could involve social media connections to gallery and museum connections abroad. My work is going through a bit of a transformation now and I feel the time is ripe for this new audience.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
KS: I’m just beginning a new body of work that includes the human figure. It’s been nearly 15 years since I’ve used the figure so this is a great departure as well as a return. I’m also very interested in the landscape as a more important element in the new work rather than simply the background for the story in the foreground. Some interest of late in this regard are icebergs, shipwrecks and whales, wildfires and floods. The natural world is undergoing rapid change and I want to speak to that as well as the place we humans have in it.
TCU: What scares you?
KS: A scary thought is not being able to make my art. I am truly grateful that I get to spend my days exploring ideas, making pictures, seeking out a challenge and finding ways to resolve the problems. Not being able to do this after so many years would be truly difficult.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
KS: My definition of success has changed over the years. After grad school a goal and definition of success was to be able to make a living via the sales of my work. Gratefully, I’ve been able to do that for a number of years. Lately, the idea of success is more subtle - it is being able to make the most honest work I can - work that stays as true as possible to my initial goal even if it is uncomfortable or confusing to me or the viewer.
If you want to see more of Kevin's incredible work and learn more about him, head over to his website www.kevinsloan.com.