The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Braeden Cox: Braeden Cox, 28, Abstract Painter, Currently working a part time retail job.
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?
BC: Most of my hobbies are art related. However, I do listen to music all the time, and enjoy baking and cooking as creative outlets. I will also jump at the opportunity to go on an outdoor adventure with friends. I definitely find inspiration in nature, from the colors and textures to the temperature. It influences the stories I want to tell and the emotions and tones I’m interested in exploring in my paintings and personal projects.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
BC: At the moment I don’t have much of a problem with this. I would definitely love to have more time to spend on these projects, but I’ve been able to work with a kind of stop and start schedule for creating my artwork. I see my professional work as painting and my personal work as digital or illustration based. I make my digital projects fairly quickly compared to my paintings, and I can work on them in my studio or on my dining room table. If I find myself with some spare time, often while I’m waiting for paint to dry or rice to cook, I try and fill it with digital work. It’s that in between time where my digital work gets done, and I’ve found I have enough moments throughout the day or week where I can make work that I’m proud of. I also know this work influences my painting, so I’m usually ok with spending a little longer on it if I know I’m close to finishing something special.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
BC: I feel most creative just before the afternoon, like around 11am and then long into the evening. I like to have a relaxed morning where I can eat breakfast, drink some tea and read the news. It’s a bit of a casual start, but after that I get into my studio totally energized and I can focus on work without distraction for the rest of the day. I’m most productive when I’m working on a painting and it just starts to come together, when that happens I can work for hours without a break.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
BC: To continue pushing and challenging myself creatively. I’d also like to be represented by galleries in states other than Oregon, and start showing my work internationally.
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?
BC: I’m in the middle of a long term digital project right now. I am creating 100 digital images using text and found imagery. I’ve just finished image 56, so I’m over half way there! It was a project I developed to get me to practice with Photoshop and Illustrator, and integrate text, which I’ve never been super comfortable doing. I chose to do 100 images because I felt that after a while I’ll have exhausted all my initial ideas and it will force me to think more creatively. I’ve been posting them on Instagram so it’s been really fun to share this work with others. The process for this project is pretty simple. I start with a list I made of words and phrases and a digital folder full of found images. Then I try and match them together to create a story of some kind. I’ve given myself no restrictions on what I can and can’t do visually so I’m open to experiment. I’m really happy with how they’ve been turning out so far. It’s definitely started to get more challenging and I’m excited to see what my work will look like when I’m done. I’m also working on another zine. I finished my first on this year and immediately started thinking about my next one. I’m taking time to develop this story so even though I think about it a lot, I’m not rushing it.
TCU: What scares you?
BC: The idea of having to give up making fine art as a career for something more practical.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
BC: To me it means being able to create art work as a professional, and not have to rely on a part time job to pay the bills. It also means that I’m able to take care of the people that are important to me and help the causes that I’m passionate about.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
BC: Never stop creating work you’re passionate about, and make as much as you can!