Posts Tagged ‘Okay Mountain Studios’

Farewell… and hello there.

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Hello friends,

It has been almost a year since I last posted on here, I had a lot to figure out in that time and while It has been a wild ride, things have started falling into place quite nicely. In the past year my family life took a wild turn into an unknown dark place where we quickly moved on from as soon as we figured out a few things. Dark places are never fun but sometimes a visit to them is necessary to realize what you are missing in those warm, well-lit places. I am happy to say my wife, daughter, and I are doing great, stronger than ever and making up ridiculously silly songs almost daily.

Not only was my personal life suffering but so was my work. I was in a stale, unmotivated place in life where I was making almost nothing new, that I was stoked on, for long stretches at a time. So I quit my day job a couple months ago and started working out of my studio. I call it The Kevin Munoz Studio. Here I am able to make stuff for clients and for personal pleasure. I also get to practice shadow puppets for as long as I want without anybody telling me not to!

In other news, a few months ago, I dusted off my old 35mm SLR cameras and have started taking pictures of things, people, and places around me. I am addicted to shooting those beautiful old minolta cameras just as I was nearly 10 years ago before they became bookends. This town is filled with so many amazing people and things to take pictures of. I sometimes feel like a curator of a grand art show or exhibit that everybody/everything is a part of. To view a little bit of that show click here.

I have started a new blog which you can find on my new website and I will not be updating this blog any longer. I hope to make what it was initially supposed to be, a growing collaborative art project instead of my personal blog.

All in all, I don’t think I have ever been happier than I am right now. I learned a valuable lesson and that is that life can get really fucked up and the best thing to do is communicate with others, especially those close to you.

Thank you all for the support. Again, you can visit my new website here which the wonderful Renee Fernandez helped me set up. Also, feel free to email me, I’d love to hear from you.

Stay swell,
Kevin Muñoz

OKMT Studios Artist Spotlight: Katy Horan

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Since January I have been renting a space at Okay Mountain Studios in East Austin. I feel both lucky and excited that I get to share a building with some of the most creative people in Austin. I am so excited about all of my new neighbors that once a month or so I will be spotlighting one of them so that I can share with you how truly awesome they are.

One of my new neighbors is the very talented Katy Horan. I first saw her work at a group show we were both in and I immediately fell in love with it. Her work gives me goosebumps both from how intricate and precise her detail is and because her subjects are just plain creepy. Katy is busy getting ready for her show at Domy here in Austin but was kind enough to answer some questions.

You have amazingly creepy yet fantastically beautiful characters and settings. How do they come to be?
I have always been drawn to that combination of creepy beautiful, even as a kid….especially as a kid. At this point, it’s an aesthetic that I am just really comfortable and familiar with. It’s hard to really say where my images come directly from though. It’s like all the characters and images that I have found interesting or appealing over time have gotten stuck in the back of my mind and melted together….so my characters sort of emerge from the influence stew that’s brewing in my subconscious.

What are your materials of choice?
Right now it’s all about the gouache, brown pastel paper and tiny brushes. 

I LOVE your use of drab and dark colors. What kinds of responses have you gotten from people about the colors, and moods set by them, in your pieces?
The response has generally been positive. I am very particular about how I mute my colors and the role they play in the images, so I hope that they have the effect I am going for.

Is there much planning with your pieces or does your process stay pretty loose? Like, is there room for happy accidents or are they all horrible mistakes?
I am always trying to loosen myself up, worry less about the outcome of the piece and enjoy the process more. My latest pieces were an attempt at abstraction and improvisation, so there is definitely more room for accidents now as opposed to the more literal work I was doing a year or so ago. All of my pieces begin as a particular idea though, and while some end with the same idea, some turn into something else over time. I always leave room for improvisation in the details though. That way, I stay interested. 

You have incredibly intricate pieces. How much time do you invest in each piece you make?
The larger ones take around two months. The largest one I have done took around 6 months (on and off).

What is your favorite thing to draw?
If I was being totally honest, I would have to say clothes! I don’t draw for fun much any more. Everything I do these days is in the service of a piece I am doing (not that that’s not fun for me…it totally is!). If I were to sit down and just draw whatever I wanted, it would totally be pretty ladies in pretty dresses. I have always been into that. I actually wanted to be a costume designer when I was younger and would spend a lot of time drawing and making watercolors of intricate period costumes. I think that shows in my current work. My characters are essentially an excuse to break down the elements of women’s historical dress. 

I love your dog. Has he ever made it into a piece?
Yup, he’s pretty awesome! He doesn’t show up in the work though…not much of my actual reality does. I am an escapist and use my work to indulge my need for fantasy. 

What is your research process like? I noticed a lot of  images of medieval and victorian ladies and dresses on your studio wall. You capture the complexity of the dresses and forms of that time very well. What else inspires you?
There is a lot of stuff that I dig. Folklore, history, movies, music, kids books, photography etc… A lot of times it will be a random character in a movie or a line in a song that will spark an interest in a new subject matter, such as witchcraft or the civil war. A perfect example is this one character in the movie “Cold Mountain”.  At one point Jude law is taken in by an old woman living alone in the woods with goats, growing herbs and wearing pelts. There was something about this character that ignited something in my brain. I fell in love with the idea of the staunch survivalist woman living in harmony with the woods. I ended up creating many characters based on her in particular. I also like to spend time at the public library looking through books and filling my brain with imagery and ideas. It all gets thrown into that stew I talked about before. Sometimes something I read or saw will come out directly (like the character in “cold Mountain”) or give me a general direction for the future. I’d say the opportunity to research any subject that interests me is one of the best things about doing what I do. 

How has getting work ready for the show at Domy been different than previous shows?
I had a lot more time for this one, which has been completely amazing! For a long time, it was a constant hustle to get shows and then make work for them because I always overbooked. When the Economy turned, it was harder to get shows, which was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to step back and focus on my process, while giving me the time I needed to push my work forward. I have never been more excited for a show! I ususally feel that I had to rush my work in the end and compromise it’s quality. The work for Domy has been done for a while now, so I am able to take my time with the final touches and just be excited about it, rather than stressed.

I hardly ever see you in your studio in the evening. Are you more productive earlier in the day?
Very much. The earlier I get there, the more productive I will be that day. I need to build up momentum and the later it gets, the less time I have to do that.

Favorite place to eat in Austin?
Right now it would have to be Sunday Brunch at Olivia. I am a big fan of breakfast and Olivia does it right. I can’t afford to do it all the time, but  it is always a great experience when I get to go!

You work at a pretty awesome place, can you tell me about it?
I work at the most magical antique store on the planet called Uncommon Objects. I work with a group of wonderful people who simply love old, beautiful things like I do. It is a family, and I am really grateful to be a part of it and to spend my time surrounded by the incredible relics of the past. It is a huge inspiration for me.  

You have a marker in a bathroom stall. What do you write/draw on the wall?
Nothing. I respect public property.

You recently moved from Brooklyn, How does the art scene here in Austin compare to that of Brooklyn? What are your thoughts in general about the art scene in Austin?

I feel pretty new, so I am still just feeling it out. Austin is definitely a healthier environment for me to make art in. In Brooklyn, so much had to do with who you knew (or who you partied with). There was definitely an astounding amount of talent there, as well as great people who aren’t into competing, but it always felt like it was about so much more than the work itself. It has been so easy to meet like minded, supportive people here who are genuinely interested in creating an artistic community. That felt hard to come by in Brooklyn. I am still trying to determine my overall feel about the art scene here and what it might need to move forward, but I know that there are a lot of motivated people really investing their time and passion into this community’s future and that is what really matters.

Who are you wearing?

Coffee or tea?
Usually Coffee, but sometimes I just need a cup of tea.

Future shows/projects?
We’ll see. I am waiting to hear from the Grad Schools I applied to. Those decisions will determine my next move, so for now I am just finishing up stuff for Domy and hanging out. It feels pretty great not to be worrying about what comes next.

Katy’s show Lady Monsters will be on exhibit March 20th through April 22nd at Domy in Austin.


Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Happy new year everybody! There is some new stuff going on around here lately. First off, you may have noticed, we updated the theme here on our blog. It really is nothing fancy. It’s actually the default wordpress theme, called Kubrick, with a fun header I designed featuring our new logo, but I like it. Less is more, right? I’m also, excited that comments should now be working again. The last theme disabled comments for some reason and I was just never nerdy enough to figure out why. Somebody please comment on here so I know comments are working again.

Also new this year is our new store hosted by BigCartel. We’ll be updating our ol’ Etsy store with the same items for those of you that like to hang out over there. I’ll be posting different things in the stores real soon aside from tees, like drawings, zines, etc… eh, hopefully.

What I’m most excited about for this new year is my new art studio. It’s run by the fine folks at Okay Mountain. It’s right around the corner from home. I plan on being there daily, though this first week back from the long, laaaazy break was a little more demanding than I had hoped, stifling my chances to be studio bound daily. I did make it down there one evening to organize some materials, coat some panels, and draw these dudes.

sharpie and spray paint on yellow pages.

So far we’re off to a great start to a new year over here at casa Muñoz. Here’s a new year and lots of drawing, making, and loving.