The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Cory Peeke: Cory Peeke, 48, Professor of Art & Director of the Nightingale Gallery, Eastern Oregon University to pay the bills and collagist to keep a modicum of sanity.
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?
CP: I love movies, especially old ones from the 30s and 40s. I like to say I grew up in a movie theater which is an exaggeration. However, some of my best memories as a kid are sitting in the projection booth at our local move house as my dad ran the projectors. I love images and am very much a voyeur. Movies are an escape and exploration of a different world for me. I also love to explore junk shops for much the same reason, to find photographs and other ephemera of the past. Part of it I’m sure is a sort of nostalgia for a fictional past, but I also think it is these images that inspire my curiosity. I want to take that discarded image and make something new from it, to give it a new life.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
CP: It can be a struggle. I’m lucky though in that I work in higher education and have my summers free. Without the distractions of teaching and running a gallery, summer allows me more time to focus on my studio practice.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
CP: I tend to be most productive late morning and early afternoon. I probably get more ideas at night though. I don’t sleep very well and as soon as I lie down and the house is quiet my brain starts churning. It is far from an ideal methodology.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
CP: I would really like to publish a book of my collages. I think they reproduce well and I’d love to have someone think enough of them to publish a collection of them. Until that happens I’ll just keep making and exhibiting them whenever I’m lucky enough to find a venue interested in them.
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?
CP: I haven’t been engaged much in the studio of late as I’ve had a busy term at the university. However, I have a faculty exhibit at the university coming up in January that I’m really in my head about at the minute. I want to try something new for it but nothing seems to be gelling. I’m better at just going ahead and doing than over-thinking things and then executing them. It is probably just best that I go for it and see what happens.
TCU: What scares you?
CP: Feeling blocked. It is like I’m empty, that my last collage was really my LAST collage. It seems as though nothing will ever come together again for me in the studio. I know the feeling will pass and I’ll break through, but when it first comes over me it is chilling.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
CP: I’m honestly not sure anymore. It seems as soon as one goal is met another presents itself.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
CP: Just a BIG thank you for your interest in my work and a word of thanks for those taking the time to read this.
You can learn more about Cory and see more if his incredible collage work at www.corypeeke.com.