Thursday, August 23, 2007

{Chris Brown} Junk...what Junk?

Today is full of mist and fog here in Minnesota. Feels more like spring than late August. Our state fair starts today, which marks the official end of summer. As we head into fall and a new cycle of the year, I feel like things are changing here in my art world as well. I'm heavily gearing up for my first vendor experience at Junk Bonanza, two weeks from today. I thought my blog could use a little seasonal perk-up as well. Check out my new blog banner by the amazing Kris Hurst. Such dreamy colors and love how she incorporated a picture of the gorgeous new sign that Cari made me for my booth. More on that later. I was tickled to do an interview with the one and only Chris Brown recently. This guy just oozes creativity, fun and grit. I am so pleased that he is the guest speaker at Silver Bella in November. Sit back and enjoy this little chat with the king of "forgotten treasures."
What's a typical day like for you? I’m not really sure if there is a typical day around here. There are certain things I do everyday though. I’m usually the first up in the morning and the last to go to bed. I kiss my wife first thing every morning and both my daughters as well then head for my studio/office. I’ll check and answer emails first, and then see what is up for the day. Urban Prairie encompasses a great deal of things – Interior design, graphic design, photo styling, writing, collecting, so there is always a project, if not three, at any given time.

How do you define creativity? What does it look like in your life? I live & breathe creativity. All of my waking moments, and most of my dreams are about design. I create, design and style everything around me. What allows you to be most creative? Quiet. I need very calm, quiet surroundings while coming up with new ideas. This could be my office during the day when everyone is gone, our back patio during early morning or late afternoon, or in the deep woods of the many forest we have here in Texas. Once ideas or projects are in motion that’s when the loud music comes on. I’ve been listening to a ton of alternative/roots/Americana country lately. That style of music has the grainy, rusty quality that is so prevalent in my work.
When did you start blogging? Your web site? What prompted you to start? What was your motivation? I started Urban Prairie REFUELED my personal blog, in January of this year. It was a way for me to get information out to Urban Prairie fans on a quick, daily basis. I had no idea at the time that it was going to turn into this massive, cult type thing. The same goes for my website Urban Prairie. The site was started as a showcase for my design/style/collecting works. It has since turned into a movement of sorts – which I love.
How has your online presence influenced your evolution as an artist/designer? I don’t think it has. I’m still doing what I’ve been doing my whole life – designing this little world around me and my family – and for anyone else that wants to come along for this odd ride.
I hear you’re thinking about starting a ‘zine…tell me more about that. I really enjoy the process of developing and designing within a magazine setting, but at the same time pushing that boundary to another level. Some of you may remember the music publication RAYGUN. It was designed/art directed by David Carson. When it came out it really spoke to me in a way that no other magazine had. They were doing with a magazine that I was doing with everything in my life. Seeing things in a different light and trying to inspiring others with their vision. It’s within that realm that I want to create an online ‘zine that presents everything I love about found objects, collecting them and how you can design a life around them.
Who/what are your major influences and inspirations in your art/design? There are many people whom works I find really cool – David Butler of Art of the Midwest, D’Ette Cole from Etta Industry, David Carson, to mention a few. I share a lot in common with these folks, but we all have a little bit different take on things – which is what keeps things so interesting, right? I find inspiration everywhere.

What style was your home décor when you were growing up? What have your influences been in finding your own style? I wish my parents still had the home décor from when I was growing up – it is all so hip again. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, so you can imagine some of the cool sofas we had. It’s that style of decor I now design my home with, with maybe a little cleaner, modern lines. Our home is a mix of modern, alt-country and industrial. Sounds strange, but somehow it all really works. I sum it up for folks as what else, Urban Prairie.

Where’s your favorite place to buy junk? Junk? What junk? I collect forgotten treasures. I collect the coolest things that for some reason people think is junk. But it is those same people who give something to me because they see it as trash then view it in my home in a different context and then want it back. I love to take things people don’t see as beautiful and somehow make it beautiful. My hunting grounds? There are several places I really dig right here in the Lone Star state. In Austin there is Uncommon Objects. With the tagline, “Raw Materials for Creative Living” who wouldn’t love this store? But without question, my favorite place to hunt my odd finds is the antique show in Warrenton, Texas. A very small town that grows to thousands twice a year for a week. It is such a great place to recharge your creative battery. This Fall I’ll be shooting footage there that I’ll be turning into a short film called Highway 290, a name from which the town is located off of. It will be out early 2008. It will be shot and edited by myself, in the true Urban Prairie form. Its style will have Chris Brown written all over it.

16 comments:

Tanya Whelan said...

Thank you for the interview, I love Chris's work and look forward to his new projects. A magazine would be wonderful!

jessi nagy said...

dude this was so cool.
can't wait to meet him at silver bella.
I love your new banner. kris rocks.
jessi nagy

www.scrappyjessi.blogspot.com

Sara Mincy said...

Love your new banner! Beautiful.

eclecticjoy said...

I love your new banner! Good luck at the junkmarket fair. I so wish that I could go this year. Maybe next time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Amy P said...

Great interview Kari, wonderful inspiration!

alice k. said...

Thanks for your ages-old challenge and prompt on creative collaging! I tried your method it today and had fun scraping, chalking, sanding, scratching...
Oh, and I found a shoe challenge for you! Still got those gorgeous Victorian boots?
http://www.joggles.com/shoe-challenge.htm

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

I always keep coming back to you (is that a Country Western song?), anyway...I'm adding you to my favorites as I enjoy your site!

Patti said...

GREAT interview! Loving your blog lately. Tell us more about Junk Bonanza.

annie lockhart said...

it's so great to see this...i've been following him for a while now...being from the same neck of the woods...(growing up) uncommon objects is a must...etta industry...love her too. warrenton!!! all very exciting to see this getting out! wishin' i could get up to see you at your sale...congrats on that and have fun...take lots of pics...great new banner!

Carolr said...

Your new banner is terrific. Crisp and clean looking...not all jumbled up. I kept thinking there was something familiar, and there was Cari's sign. Cool that you included it.

Bonnie said...

Hi Kari
Thanks for the interesting interview, I read it, even though I have no idea who Chris Rock is nor have I ever heard of him-this could be cos I am from South Africa? I love your new blog banner-love the earthy neutral tones. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day too. Take care.

Gina said...

Completely and utterly forgotten what "typical" is supposed to be I'm afraid. Love your new banner!

madrekarin said...

Your new banner is fab and the interview with Chris Brown- too cool. Good luck at Junk Bonanza!

lee said...

how informative, i loved the article, i like to get into an artist head and hear how he comes up with his ideas, he does in quiet. I like to do my ideas while driving in the car......

tamy said...

have seen a couple of other blog interviews with him, loved your more diverse questioning, feel got to know his style a little better...thanks for organizing - you are quite the renaisance woman!!

jade said...

Thanks for the intro to Chris Brown.... I'm not a country gal, but I love him!!! Thanks again!
Jennifer