Interview with William Emmert
q)Please tell us a brief info about yourself.
a) My name is William Emmert. I'm from Seattle and I trace and paint over magazine clippings.
q)Tell us about your humble beginnings, When did you you first realized that you wanted to be an artist?
a) I first realized that I liked to make things when I was like 9 and the movie Star Gate came out. I was really into the movie and I spent all this time building this Star Gate costume out of card board and hot glue. I loved wearing my cardboard outfit and I loved making it
q)What are your tools of the trade and why?
a)I mostly use whatever is the cheapest. I love bic pens, I only use ball point stationary pens when I'm tracing. I use house paint and spray paint for all my surfaces, and I try to find all the wood and old cabinets that I use. The most important tool I use is the magazines. When picking my images I'm very selective and try to only use material that was printed within my lifetime or that has in some way a personal or historical reference to my family. Right now I'm using a lot of male sports imagery including baseball cards, programs from games, and head shots from sports almanacs. I see this as being a connection to my childhood hero worship and a stand-in for a fatherly figure. It is also about the glorification of talent and the idealized form that it takes.
q)Who or what gives you inspiration on your morbid art?
a) It's not morbid really, However it is strongly focused on emptiness and lack of identity. I'm trying to not only examine the effects of absence over time but how we replace or substitute for it.
q)Is your artistic background self-taught or did you go to college to study?
a) Yes. I have an undergrad degree in mix media studio.
q)How do you keep “fresh” within your industry?
a) I don't really see myself as a part of any industry. I make things alone in my cold garage. I tend to start things because there on my mind or because I become inspired by something.
q)What are some of your current projects?
a)At the moment I'm in a big push finishing up the application processes for grad school.
q)Which of your works are you the most proud of? And why?
a) I wouldn't really say I'm proud of any of my work. That's not to say I don't like it or enjoy the process of creating it, I just don't think I can be super attached to any of the work once its finished. The point I'm the most "proud" of what I'm doing is when I'm in the middle of it. It's when I step back from something I'm making and I see all the thing I could do with it. Once all the decisions have been made I don't really know what to do with it.
q)What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
a) I'm motivated by progression. Creating things is kind of a compulsion, so I just do it. I haven't really burned out I guess because I try not to stop long enough to think to hard about it.. .
q)How do you spend most of your free time?
a) More boring things that most people probably don't care about. I like to watch movies.
q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a) I'm really into Leroy Neiman. I love his sports painting and his facial hair. I would say I'm into any painter that had great facial hair. I'm also very interested in late 80's/early 90's pop culture.and the products of that era. I'm very inspired by time travel and the first two Back To The Future movies, but not Back To The Future Part III.
q)We really like some of your pictures, how can we get our hands on them? Do you sell them? How?
a) I will trade my stuff for trapper keepers, yearbooks, old magazines or other stuff people have made.