Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Interview as Art

kleines vier augen worm profile
What better way to get to know the group than to have them all answer the same set of questions. It would be cool to compile them in an online book after they are all done and perhaps extend out into RAW also. Please leave comments and feel free to ask the artist any questions you like... of course they are not obligated to answer them

Here is the first Artist Interview for TADA with Kest Schwartzman aka Vagabond Jewelry

mug shots

1. What was your first work of art and how old were
 Seriously? I have no idea. My dad likes to tell about my figuring out how to turn on his circular saw as a toddler, but I doubt I made much of it. I do still have sketchbooks from kindergarten.

2. What did you do for fun when you were a teenager
Oh gee. I read books. Lots of them; good, bad and indifferent. I was in drama club in high school and played live action role playing games. I did logic puzzles by myself in my room. I ran around in the woods a lot. In college there was a group of us who would get together on Friday nights in front of the fire and read children's books to each other. 

What and when was your first job?
I started working at a zoo when I was 13 or 14. It was seriously fun. There are still times when I think I ought to have gone that direction with my life.

4. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?
 When I was a kid, every piece of art I made pleased me. That's not true, some of them I threw away without showing anyone, but all the ones I admitted to, I loved passionately. There was this wooden dragon puppet I made in middle school shop class - he was the awesomest. Hordes of little paper clip men made in grammar school were, at the time, the best things ever made by man. I've never been particularly humble. 
ghost on the runway08
5. Who was the first artist to influence you?
Probably Maurice Sendak, if we're really aiming for first. In a serious, admiring and trying to emulate way, Ann Hamilton, in High School.

Who were your favorite movie stars growing up?
Rowlf the Dog

7. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?
We didn't watch television. 

Has your work gone up in price compared to when you first started?
Not a lot. I do more complicated things than when I first started selling my work, and those more complicated things cost more, but the basics are just about where they started. My time is worth more than it was then, but I work much faster.

9. Where do you get your ideas? 
Books, trees, and streams. 

Who do you think is the best business artist in the world?
I don't know. Depends on how a person defines each of those terms. What's best? What's an artist? What counts as business? 

Do you think that there are any art movements now?
hunter's moon worn Billions

12. Do you think kids should get grants to decorate subways?
 I think everyone should get grants to decorate subways. Then more cities will have to put in more subways to accommodate. It's perfect.

Have you or anyone you know been involved in street art?

Do you ever think about politics?
Honestly, I try not to. It makes me want to cry. But yeah, sometimes I decide I need to do something.
seafaring worn
What is your favorite color?                                                        
That shade of blue right before the sky goes dark.

Do you do all your own work, or do you have people working for you?
all of it! I've been known to get help sitting at tables at fairs. 

Do you have an interest in films or video?
Frankly, no.

What kind of toys do you have?
All kinds! I have a tiny stuffed pony who's almost always in my pocket. I have old tin toys and fancy new legos and wooden pull toys and stuffed elephants and plastic ponies and a stunt kite that I can't fly and wooden 3D puzzles and pinhole cameras and tops and remote control helicopters and that's just in this room.

Do you have any habits you’d like to kick?
Once a year or so I decide to stop biting my nails.
family portrait finished
What do you do when you’re not working?        
I make things out of metal.

21. Do you play any games?
Dominoes, cards, bike polo, TADA

How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it?
16 years, 5 months, and 3 days. IN CT, at the time, you had to be 16 years 5 months old. That fell on a Saturday, and then there was labor day, so it was Tuesday before I could get it. I got my first job exactly one week later when I realized I was gonna have to buy gas for the car.

What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.) 
I try to be in bed by midnight, but fail. I try to be up by nine am and fail. 

How much time do you spend on the computer?
three hours a day. If I could hire somebody to do that part, I would. 

Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?)
I've never even owned a television. One of my old roommates had one and would watch godawful movies all the time. We had a grand time.

What do you eat?
anything that happens to be in front of me that isn't moving. Really, I find that I care significantly less about this issue than almost anyone I've ever met. Left to my own devices, I'll go a week with nothing but a box of triskets, just because I have better things to do than go to the store.

Do you believe in flying saucers?
 We can detect neutrinos by knowing that electrons are acting funny. There's no way there's flying saucers that scientists haven't noticed. I DO believe in extra terrestrial life, I just can't imagine what they'd want to do with us.

28. Do you believe in magic?
Sufficiently advanced technology. But yes. 

Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
I'm sure there were hundreds, if not thousands, of butterflies flapping their wings that day.

Do you look in the mirror when you get up?
Right now we're in the midst of a semi renovation of the bathroom, so I haven't seen myself in weeks. Usually, yes, it's right there when I'm brushing my teeth.

Do you think the world can be saved?
I think the world is saved thousands of times a day. 

Do you think there should be censorship?
Oh, if you saw the ideas I thought of at 1am, you would. Self censorship is the most important force in the world.
steg hat done worn


  1. A Zoo? That sounds like fun.
    It's really cool to read all your answers. Nice to know a little more about you.

  2. two zoos, in fact- I interned at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT, and worked long hours at this weird little private zoo (the kind of place that, if you were a library or the mother of a spoiled brat you might call to have a petting zoo come visit). They were very different, but both highly educational for a 14-16 year old girl.

  3. Hi Vagabond:) congratulations, your work deserves great things!!

  4. Hi Kest! You are soooo sweet with your answers... most of them extremely motivating.

  5. Evelyn- Rowlff the Dog is the muppet who plays piano. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. Sadly, I have both been enable to grow long floppy ears AND can not play half as well. Sigh.

  6. Hi Giardinoblu and Aleksandra! Thank you and I'm glad.

  7. I thought he was a muppet! Don't give up they say your ears grow bigger as you get older!!

  8. "Self censorship is the most important force in the world." Brilliant.

  9. just imagine how full the world would be if we all made/said/did every single thing we thought of! Plus, I'd never make anything good, for having my time filled with crap

  10. I always enjoy reading your answers, so thoughtful and with a unique sense of humor. This interview is a great start to the whole series!