One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to promote local culture & events - St. Louis has so much to offer, and the internet is an awesome place to show all that awesome to the world. I was thrilled when the Contemporary Art Museum + Alive Magazine asked me to collaborate on promoting their upcoming event Art: 314, ESPECIALLY because one of the featured artists is someone I've known for a long time! Hunter Creel, from Mt. Vernon, IL (my hometown) will be showing at Art 314, and he was kind enough to answer some questions about his work for my readers. We went to high school together, and he's always been exceptionally talented & kind.
Coming from a small town, a lot people probably weren't encouraged to head straight for the career path of "artist." What inspired you to take this path in life?
There was a point in time during college where I started to focus on myself, my art and work in a way I hadn't seen before. I committed in school and I told myself when I got out that I had to keep making. That was relativity easy for me because I was focused on making art, building a studio space, and collecting tools. I did put quite a few things on the back burner that I'm constantly catching up with. So I guess what I am getting at is that making is one of the few things I can truly commit to. I don't think I chose the career path of an artist but I decided that that I had something to make and say that people needed to see and hear.
Where do you find support for your creativity and work? Anyone in particular locally?
Support from the hometown comes by way of my family, and I don't think I would be in my position if it wasn't without them. In saying that I am lucky because most people don’t ever get that. One of the comments that has always stuck with me is something I always heard my dad say at basketball camp. It went something like this, “You might not be the most talented or naturally gifted person, but you can try to work harder than everyone else. If you want to be great you have to practice everyday, because hard work pays off.” I don't know if that is the exact quote, but I always considered that comment daily. I do believe that hard work pays off and at that same time you have to be patient as well, because success isn't instant, it is something you have to work towards.
What's your creative process like?
My creative process; that is a good one. I don't think I could possibly describe this a linear fashion, but lets see how I do: I tend to always be thinking about quite a bit, for example. What I could make, I make in the studio, what colors I enjoy, the most popular event of the day, how I could improve my studio, which episode of Futurama I enjoy the most, or what kind of sandwich I should pick up. I focus my work on speaking about what is going on around me and I interrupt it, and what effect it has on me. By considering these things daily I formulate what I could make that will have this same effect on others. I use references to pop culture and daily events as a tool for communication.
What has been the best feedback you've ever received, and the worst?
Feedback comes in a couple of shapes and colors, and as a maker you always enjoy when people like your work. I think everyone wants that, but at the same time I most enjoy when someone challenges the work in a critical sense. It can be difficult at the time of the interaction but I feel that I get more from that type of feedback than any other.
What are you most excited about as part of your collaboration with CAM and Art 314?
As a part of CAM and ART:314, I am most excited about being in this presentation and this grouping of artists. CAM has set up a way to support and promote Saint Louis Artists and Open Studios STL within the same night, which extends to the promotion of makers in Saint Louis. Not least of this, selling work is what allows me to keep producing, so having the potential to sell work is also very beneficial of course.
Thanks so much Hunter, for sharing with my readers a little bit about your work!
I also encourage you to check out Hunter's website, along with more of his work here, and you can keep up with what he's working on through his Instagram here!
Now for the most fun part - I know you want to come to an awesome party, right?
Readers of Light Sleeper, Heavy Dreamer can get a discount on tickets using code LSHD2374 and they can be purchased here! I hope to see you there!