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Interview | Kate Drewniak

On her process and her most recent work:
My process is a lot of back and forth between responding to materials and trying to realize a form or color palette I’ve created in my head.

When I was in art school, one of the first projects I was assigned was to cut out 1” squares of varying hues and shades of a color from all different sources to create a larger square. I chose to use reds and kept rearranging them until they meant something to me. I think this was the beginning of how I work now; color shifts and fragments merge to create a whole.

I had been working on a few larger, long term projects last year and I needed to get my ideas out with an immediacy I had been missing. These pieces are smaller so that I could create faster and vary compositions easily.

On Boston:
I think I’ve made a lot of great friends in Boston that influence my work ethic and are just really supportive and fun to talk to about art and everything. I try to collect art from friends and other local artists; I like to support people I care about that are in my community doing cool things. I also get a lot done in the winter because I don’t want to go outside.

On the first time a work of art affected her:
When I was in high school I went on a field trip to Mass MOCA and saw an installation by Ann Hamilton that blew me away. It was the first time I’d seen anything like it. I thought it was so beautiful and so amazing to be able to stand in the middle of a piece of art and interact with it. I felt like I was a part of the piece and understood reciprocity between art and the viewer then. It was a defining moment for me for sure and it made me want to be a professional artist.

On the person who changed her life:
My grandpa was one of the smartest and kindest people I knew. I feel really lucky to have had him in my life. He was a machinist and always knew how to fix anything. I mean anything. He was always creating things and building and inventing. If he wanted to know how to do something, he found a book and taught himself to do it. Growing up, we would always sit and talk at his kitchen table. He and my dad would sit and talk about projects they were working on and sketch it out. That really influenced me; I always go to draw things when I’m trying to explain something to someone now.

On the habit she wishes she could break:
I have a tendency to think my age should dictate where I am in life. I think most people compare themselves to others and get caught up in what they think they should be doing at a certain point. It’s something I’ve gotten better about but occasionally I still have to remind myself to just do what I do and not worry about it.

Quick Hits:
Describe your work in three words: Delicate, subtle, intimate
One thing you still have from childhood? A Polaroid camera I got for Christmas when I was 8. I still use it all the time.
Favorite Quote: “I didn’t have a hard time making it, I had a hard time letting it go.” - Elliott Smith
Philosophy on Life: Just try to keep moving forward.
What makes you nervous? Public speaking. And answering interview questions.
What makes you laugh? My boyfriend Julian

See more of Kate's work here.