Currently on view in our main gallery (and for First Friday tonight from 6-10pm) is Electropop: new works by Kaitlin Ziesmer and Robin 1000. Robin, hailing from Texas, creates dreamlike, prismatic landscapes and designs, pairing up with Ziesmer’s ubiquitous pop-culture mashups to create an exhibition bursting with electric retro-contemporary energy. We had the chance to meet Robin when he was in town and ask him a few questions about his art and life; read his answers below.
1. Did you aspire to be an artist, or did you fall in love with making art?
Definitely fell in love with making it first and then figured out that it was something I could do as a career. I’m still working towards making it into a career but I’m having fun figuring it out as I go. I never went to school for it so I constantly feel like there is so much to learn, but I think that’s what makes it so exciting.
2. Do you have a “day job” outside of your art?
I work at Trust printshop in Fort Worth, Texas. I only just started there a few months ago but it’s a great place to work.
3. What does your perfect day look like?
I’m not quite sure, but it would probably start with some sort of adventure or a spontaneous idea in a beautiful place with people I care about.
4. What would you tell your younger self when you were first embarking on your artistic career?
Work harder, no one will do it for you. Follow through. Don’t get so caught up with what people expect from you as an artist. Tear down your expectations of what it will offer in return for your suffering. Experiment more. Don’t make things harder for yourself on purpose. Always remember why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing.
5. Who are some of your current influences or inspirations? Have they changed over time?
Jeez Louise. I flux between quite a few but the artists that inspire me at one time always stick with me. I’ll come back to their work at no particular rhythm. The ongoing list consists of friends and strangers. /// Tommy Tessier, Kaitlin Ziesmer, Mario Martinez, Jeremy Fish, Mike Giant, Michael Sieben, James Jean, Aaron Horkey, Scott Hansen, Nosego, ARYZ, Damon Soule, Don Pendleton, Bob Ross. Inspirations that are not people include electronic music, skateboarding, graffiti, the idea of “cool” and modern Americana.
6. What do you look for in the art of others? What would you hope people look for in your work?
I look for style mostly. Power and personality. Subtleties and simplicities. I like looking for their process in the work. I hope they find something that reminds them of something greater and I hope they look for some of the same things I do. The art reflects.
7. How long do you usually take to complete a piece? Do you work on multiple pieces simultaneously?
I don’t usually keep track. I usually work on more than one thing at the same time. I think it has to do with it always being easier to start something than to finish something.
8. Do you use any unusual or “non-traditional” media in your work?
No. There is a small “purist” side of me that likes to keep things all one medium, but I’ve been slowly stepping out of that.
9. What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
10. Do you listen to music/audio while you work or do you prefer to work in silence? Any bands or albums you’ve been enthralled by lately?
I’m definitely listening to music more often than not. Most likely random songs I come across on soundcloud but the guys I fall back on lately are Shigeto, Com Truise, Bibio, Tycho, Shadow Child.
11. Where do you currently live and how did you come to reside there?
I live in Mansfield, Texas now. It’s kind of hard to explain but it is where I started. I was living in the Portland, Oregon area for a while, and a few other places for a shorter while. Just moved back to the DFW a few months ago. I like it.
12. Outside of the craft you are known for, do you pursue any other artistic endeavors?
I’ve been so inspired by electronic music that I’ve started to get into that a very little bit. Music (guitar, bass, mandolin) has been a hobby of mine for years.
13. If you could travel to any place on earth tomorrow, where would you go?
Valley of Fire, Nevada or a cool island somewhere.
14. What are you currently working on and what projects do you have coming up?
I’m currently working on stuff for the Electropop show with Kaitlin Ziesmer. I tend to procrastinate. Down to the wire. It always happens for some reason. So far I don’t have any definite scheduled projects.
15. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I was named after Robin Lee Graham.
Thank you to Robin for participating in our interview. You can see more of his work in ‘Electropop,’ on view for First Friday tonight 6-10pm and through September 7, and online at www.robin1000.com.
For more information on Helikon Gallery and Studios, visit www.helikongallery.com.