Meet the Artist
S: When did you start thinking of yourself as an artist?
HC: I began thinking of myself as an artist at a very young age. I was maybe 5 at the oldest. I started attending classes at the Toledo Museum of Art (in Toledo, Ohio) when i was still in preschool. I filled my childhood with Saturday and summer classes there.
I spent much of high school career entering art contests and even took phys. ed. in summer school so I could study more art during the school year. I had intended to study art in college, but when it came time to make the decision, art studies seemed way too expensive, and at the time it seemed that artists were all being pushed to work in advertising, which didn’t appeal to me at all. So I denied myself the opportunity and studied more pragmatic subjects. Not pursuing art haunted me from college onward, as it was all I really wanted to be doing with my time. It felt like everything I did was to try to distract myself from what I really wanted to be doing, because I didn’t know how to make an art-filled life a reality.
S: What inspires you and/or your work?
HC: I’m inspired by street art, outsider artists, and a lot of contemporary work. I love Expressionism and also, the Post-Impressionist painters of the late 1800s. I like my art to explore emotions, especially the darker side of things. I strive for lots of layers to show through in my work and painterly strokes combined with drawing. I like to use words in my paintings, usually Russian words, as I spent a lot of time in Russia and studying Russian in my teen years.
S: What does it mean to you to have a studio in Building 30?
HC: Having a studio in building 30 feels like a permission slip to finally follow my dreams. It’s nothing short of amazing to have this space for creating. It really makes me feel like anything is possible. It is also a safe, healing space where I can forgive myself for shutting out the loudest voice in my head that for so long, was screaming, “Go be an artist!” It feels like home.
S: What's the best way for someone to see your work in person?
HC: I have had a piece hanging in the Magnuson Park Gallery and I look forward to showing more work there. I’m still settling in as a working artist and learning the the business side of things, but I’m happy to show my work by appointment.