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Meet Artist Kayla Newell

 

A

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Kayla Newell

My name is Kayla, I’m 25 and I live in Portland, Oregon. I make mixed-media painting/drawing/collage work. I have an academic background in Art History. I live with and work for a world-renowned Dutch painter. My life revolves around making art or maybe I around it.

 

 

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Why do you make art?

KN

Simply because I must. There is no question in my mind as to why, I never think to question it because it’s just what i need to do. It’s destiny, you know? You go down to the river. I’m just like you. It’s more like a compulsion than anything, and I think anyone that works as an artist in any capacity, or in the manner of creative production, it is just that. It’s a necessity to human existence; you just can’t get away from what you have to do. Anyway, I try not to think about it too much because truthfully it’s what keeps me from being sad and I have a great tendency toward sadness and melancholy, as do many people. The weight of existence is often too much to bear, this is how I will get into heaven.

 

 

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What do you think of your work?

KN

I think a lot of things about my work. I think about it every day, all the time, far too much. My work to me is more of a snapshot of some time or some place or some one more than anything, a reflection of my life at the time of creation. And I think it’s very pretty. I make this work look the way it does because I like to look at it, and I want to make something that is beautiful to me. Fortunately, other people like it too.

 

 

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Who/what are you inspired by?

KN

As far as artists go I find great inspiration and solace in Agnes Martin, in her work as well as her writings, most particularly the essay “The Untroubled Mind” which discusses inspiration at length (I have referenced it already several times, actually, I hope someone got it). It is a funny question because really I think the biggest “inspiration” is just paint, the paint and all of the mystic secrets that it holds. There is so much that paint can do that nothing else can, I am constantly amazed by it’s power. Like I said, it’s more of an obsessive need and so I have some weird deep feelings about it. Inspiration feeds inspiration, the work informs the work, that’s all it is, really.

In another sense though, lately I find myself very interested in the power lines. I am always looking up to see the sky and they are always right there. They never end.

 

 

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What (if anything) do you want your art to accomplish?

KN

I don’t “want” anything. I will continue to work as much as I can to feed my tender heart, but there is this understanding that you must come to with art and your art and being an artist that the world will perceive you as they will and you have no control over this. I am so grateful that other people like what I make, but really it’s nothing about them. There is nothing I need you to understand about my work and nothing that I want you to take from it that isn’t entirely your own feelings. I didn’t come here to tell anyone what to do. I’m satisfied knowing that someone ever felt anything. I’m very glad for it.

 

 

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Is there anything else you’d like to add?

KN

I want the people of Austin to know that I am sorry that we stole your cool slogan. I’ve never been there, but I bet it’s a whole different ball-game for keeping it weird. Also, shout-out to all of the weirdos and all of the freaks ;););)*~*~*~*~

 

Keep up with Newell’s work at: kaylanewell.tumblr.com/