Interview with Aidan Koch
q)Please introduce yourself.
a)Hello. I'm Aidan.
q)Where do you live and work?
a)As of the past three years I've been in
q)How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
a)Dreamy, fractured reality. A scape of human interactions clouded and abstracted in colors and shapes. Drawings with pencil and gouache primarily.
q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?
a)Both of my parents were artists. They love drawing and craft and it was always part of growing up. I guess, I decided that I had to go to art school when I realized how much "regular" college life would just kill me. It was the only way out of that misery.
q)What are your favorite art materials and why?
a)Pencil, gouache, paper. They are so easy. small, cheap, storable. I've recently taken up oil painting more, and it's great, but I'm not settled enough in life to commit myself to canvas. I need to use materials right now that I can take anywhere. I can also control them in all the ways I want with opacity, saturation, color, line.
q)What/who influences you most?
a)There is a group I went to school with at the Pacific NW
Love and little passions have done a lot for advancing my work. Intimacy with others.
q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.
a)I can draw all day.
I can also spend all day at a coffee shop doing comics or video.
Or sit on the porch for hours in the sun oil painting.
Hours and hours.
q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?
a)I guess I just want it to be a career.
q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
a)I use very direct mediums, so a couple hours. I like to work start to finish. Comics can take weeks, but I'm always thinking about it, and I don't really let other work get in the way. It's most important to make a piece that's really authentic to the moment. Sometimes, it's just a matter of collecting and building up stock. Drawings from the week that I can take apart of photos of people I can redraw parts of, or things people say that is really captivating. That is the work that is always happening.
q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?
a)I can't keep things. I feel like it is always getting better, and there's no reason to linger around some old style or palette. I love some old work, but I have it on my computer. It exists somewhere I can always access it. Usually if someone I know tells me how much they like a piece or wish they could have it, I have to let them keep it! I like what my art can do for other people. That seems much more valuable than what it does for me in some portfolio or back at my parent's house.
q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?
a)I've been listening to a lot of podcasts while I paint lately, and pandora radio. Often I find myself listening to old afro-pop, Lucky Dragons, Harry Belafonte, Yoko Ono, Bobby Birdman, mix tapes of swedish and american underground music, and tapes my sister made for me.
a)I've read three and two halves this summer. Death of a Beekeeper, On Beauty, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and some of A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Mandarins.
q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?
a)Either it's there or it's not. Either you have to or you don't.
q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?
a)Sunbathing, drinking wine, dining out, swimming, walking, reading magazines and books, dancing in nightclubs.
q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?
a)Right before I move, Paul Wagenblast and I are having a kind of finale art show with just the two of us at a small gallery in NW
q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?
a)A little bit of comics, a little bit of illustration, a little bit of local, a little bit of contemporary. I work so much that it can be hard to really be up to date on what's happening anywhere. I'm really into C.F.'s and Blaise Larmee's comics. I like ArtForum and sometimes Giant Robot, and AnotherMagazine, Androgyny. Around town, Floating World Comics, Together Gallery, and Grass Hut have always been so good to me.
q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.
a)Are you optimistic?
q)Any advice for aspiring artists?
a)Talk to people. There's this image of the lonely, angry, miserable artist that everyone has, but all of the young successful artists I know are where they are because they are not afraid to talk to people and be social and work it.
q) Where can we see more of your work online?