Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudia King.
Hi Claudia, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia most of my life and moved to Nashville about four years ago to attend university. Growing up, I was always making something. Whether that’d be a painting of a turkey that I begged my mom to put on the fridge in the fourth grade or some odd sculpture made from Tupperware and barbie dolls.
The interesting thing is- I never thought about pursuing art throughout most of my adolescence. I wanted to go to culinary school after high school because I was fascinated by my mom’s cooking skills and my obsession with the Food Network.
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I began to immerse myself more in the arts. I took an AP 3D studio class for fun and instantly fell in love with sculpture. I realized how much fun the class was, and decided I wanted to continue to explore my creativity at a four-year university.
I recently (as of May) graduated from Belmont University with a BFA in Studio Art.
During my time there, I got to explore many different mediums and really challenge myself with my creativity. Along with my love for sculpture, I have recently been diving into collage art and freelance photography- and am in the process of creating my home studio for photoshoots.
I still cook a lot during my free time, and I’ve learned to view that as another art form.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I would say it has been a smooth road, for the most part. Growing up I had parents who were very supportive of me and were happy that I wanted to pursue the arts as a career.
You know I’d like to believe that every artist struggles with something. When I first began to seriously create art, I tended to make it for how others wanted to see it and not for myself.
There is a time and a place to create a work of art that is solely for the public interpretation- however, all of my work was turned into projects to please others and not myself. It took me a while to realize that I have power over my art, and I can make anything I want to make.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
This is a hard question to answer because I create a lot of different kinds of art. During my senior year of college, I took an introductory level darkroom photography course, and that jumpstarted my pursuit of photography outside of the classroom.
It’s the medium I would like to be known for one day, so I’m just taking it one day at a time- getting the basics under my belt. I’ve always been attracted to weird art, and by weird I mean art by Francis Bacon, Salvador Dalí, and Patricia Piccinini. I enjoy creating art that makes people feel uncomfortable- allowing them to reflect on themselves and the world around them.
I think I’m most proud of my ability to practice many art forms. Entering my studio art degree I already had experience using sculptural materials: wire, plaster, and balsa wood. I wanted to have my mind open to more “inexperienced” art forms such as learning how to paint and draw- two mediums that have been a constant struggle for me since high school.
It was always important for me to learn everything about art because I wanted to be an artist that could create in different ways. I have heard from many people that artists should be good at one medium, and one medium only. I would like to challenge that- and create a space for myself that allows me to explore my ideas in different ways.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I have seen a lot of interesting art that has been created during Covid.
I think the important key is to stay motivated! I lost a lot of motivation towards the end of 2020, and it was hard for me to continue my classes and my own art projects.
I had to remind myself that the pandemic was only going to be temporary, and the best supporter in my life had to be myself.
Claudia King and Brielle Stein