In these difficult times, we have decided to ask our artists how they have been personally affected by the pandemic.
Here's what Kathy Ager, our newest addition to the Station 16 family, had to say about it.
Station 16: How has isolation affected your work?
Kathy Ager: I can’t say isolation has affected my work too much! My daily routine was already quite isolated between working alone in my studio and living alone. I was supposed to be in Amsterdam all of April and May, so the ban on travel has given me unexpected extra time on my hands. I didn’t realize just how over worked I was, doing too many things at once. So it’s been great to be able to slow down and have time to think. Maybe that's how my work is affected – I have the space to think again, which I’ve lacked for quite a long time.
Station 16: Do you have a new routine related to our current situation?
Kathy Ager: Mainly the difference is that I’ve been working from home instead of at my studio. This is also not so unusual for me, as I’ve painted and designed from home for a large part of my working life. It’s been a rare thing for me to have a studio. Also, it’s been a stressful few years and I’m learning to schedule my time better. I have a few different types of projects on the go and instead of running around like a headless chicken, it’s helped to organize my day and week and not feel like I have to do everything at the same time.
Station 16: Where do you take inspiration from at the moment?
Kathy Ager: Most of my inspiration comes from a combination of my own experiences and listening to the world around me for things that match those experiences and feelings. Now I’m getting to use my bank of past experiences that I haven’t had the time to work with. I’m able to sit and listen to music, watch movies, read books. I also look at instagram for visual inspiration from certain music artists and clothing brands.
Station 16: What are you currently working on?
Kathy Ager: I’m about to start a large painting I’ve been thinking about for a while. Last summer, my family found a coyote that had been killed by a car in front of their property. Sadly this is a pretty common thing now that there’s so much more development happening in their area. Knowing how much I love animals and how I might want to use him in a painting, they saved him for me and I came out that afternoon to photograph him. I felt so privileged to see him up close. We handled him gently and then gave him a burial. I’ve had these images of him for a year now and I’m finally able to create something with them. For me, animals in my paintings symbolize people and the pain we go through.
Station 16: Do you have any tips for new artists?
Kathy Ager: Make work for yourself, not what you think others want to see. And just keep going. A lot of the work artists do is done in isolation, so it can be hard sometimes to feel like you’re doing anything worthwhile. But you just have to do the work, put in the time, there’s no way around it. Also there’s no timeline or deadline for success. You’re never too old to start making stuff. I didn’t start painting until my mid-30s. In the scheme of things, that’s still young. Still, it’s easy to think I should have started earlier, but I don’t think I’d have had anything to say until I’d lived a little.