Name: Ellie Kingsbury
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
MNartist.org profile: http://mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=225477
Facebook page: KingsburyPictures
Twitter: @ lelebobellie
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I have a few projects going right now. For a few years I’ve been photographing winter bikers - sometimes a running shot, but usually more portrait style. I’m a winter biker myself, and though I knew there’s no one type that continues their riding throughout the bad months, I never saw any documentation of it. I thought it was important for people to see the faces of the winter biking population. Aside from that, I’m working on a project where I’m studying a shared experience between ordinary garden produce that’s irregularly formed or blemished or past its peak freshness, and middle-aged people. The hope is that in our media-driven culture that idolizes a blemish-free youth, we find beauty and a strong life force in things that don’t fit within that predescribed archetype. Lastly, I’m working on a series of photos of nature-made mandalas.
How did you decide to become an artist?
I got to take a photo class in 8th grade, and in it we shadowed a fine art photographer. It became the spark for a life-long desire to question and create . Working with my hands and being a free thinker doesn’t bode well for your average desk job, so here I am.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I used to feel bad if I set about making images without a clear idea of why I was doing it or where it was going. Then someone gave me the quote “I work-but after the work, I discover the language“ (Kinji Akagawa). This speaks to the intuitive process that artists need to honor. Why you’re working on something is inside you, and after the images have spawned a bit you’ll find the language. I’ve also found that writing your artist statement really helps you gain a deeper understanding of your work. Sucks having to do it, but it’s worth it in the end.
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself?
Somewhere I heard you should spend 25% of your time marketing. Not fun, but you can’t expect people to come find you. Spend 30 minutes a day researching calls for art, contact information for galleries, putting together your next email newsletter, etc. Also, keep a list of people who have expressed an interest in your work, and keep them up to date with current events.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Rebecca Pavlenko www.rebeccapavlenko.com
Laura Hallen www.laurahallen.com
Beth Andrews www.beth-andrews.com
Allen Brewer www.allenbrewer.com
Scott Stulen www.scottstulen.com
Jim Dryden www.jimdryden.com
Caitlin Karolczak www.studiosilenti.com
Keith Taylor www.keithtaylorphoto.com
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Anywhere people have access to an amount of raw material and can put away self-criticism. Watch what the Black Label folks do to make their tall bikes (or other huge units on wheels). Today I saw a guy with a handmade front rack on his bike that held about 8 pizza boxes. I didn’t know Pizza Luce delivered.....but he lifted the top flap and pulled out a beer. Homemade beer cooler disguised as pizza boxes! I also love what the May Day Parade or the Art Sled Rally participants think up. Give a person a little fabric, cardboard, and paint and they just magically come up with something great.
In addition to www.Local-Artist-Interviews.com, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I’m part of a duo show opening on May 10th at Gallery 122. I have some of my mandalas hanging at the Owatonna Hospital right now, and was asked if I could come back in January for a show of my garden produce still lifes. And some of my winter biker photos will be at Altered Esthetics in June (June 6th - June 27th) The opening reception is Friday 6/7/13 7-10pm). I’m also going to be a part of the Midtown Greenway’s art/fundraiser event “Greenway Glow”, still in concept stage.
Altered Esthetics LAI Profile