The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Katie Donovan: Katie Lochhead, 28, Artist with an emphasis in drawing, Currently a 2nd Year MFA Candidate at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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?
KD: I listen to a lot of podcasts, some with a storytelling or entertainment bend and others with a societal study perspective or scientific leanings. As my drawings contain narrative, botany, and contemporary concerns, listening to podcasts serves as both inspiration and background noise as I'm working. Some favorite podcasts include RadioLab, Two Dope Queens, This American Life, Invisibilia, and Here's The Thing.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
KD: At the moment this is structurally easier for me, as I am in the middle of a 3 year graduate program. I'm at an incredible program where I can dive in, but also remain challenged and have access to a sounding board of amazing colleagues and professors. I'm in the perfect zone to be making creative professional work that I want to create.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
KD: As far as working goes, I prefer to be up when no one else is, whether that means late into the night or early in the morning. In terms of being creative or hashing out ideas, I find that I can't exactly sit down and force things to come out. Reading quite a bit and listening to podcasts works as an input. Sharing what I read about, etc. with my fiancé, colleagues, and friends usually results in looking at this information in a new light. Mulling over these new perspectives while driving or making dinner usually manifests new project ideas.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
KD: I'm very interested in making books, specifically the possibility of compiling a series of drawings like "A Brief History of Complex and Delicate Situations," into a book.
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?
KD: I'm working on a new series of drawings titled, "The Illuminated Manuscript of Alternative Facts," that takes the format of traditional illuminated manuscripts such as William Morris's The Story of The Glittering Plain but presents "alternative facts," such as the dangers of "climate stasis."
TCU: What scares you?
KD: The current political climate is a bit spooky.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
KD: There are varying levels of success in the work. Sometimes the process of making requires "bridge" pieces - pieces that won't make it into the body of work that you show, but needed to happen to get you to the next body of work that you do show. I would still count those pieces as successful - they're a necessary part of the process. I prefer to work serially, but this requires a certain level of commitment to a specific process and concept, so research and awareness of how the work is perceived is just as paramount as the ability to render.
Head over to www.katiedonovanart.com to learn more about Katie and check out her intricate work.