Source Article: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/check-kristin-freemans-artwork/
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Freeman.
Kristin, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in Houston where my mom introduced me to Art as a child and her father, Papa, gave me my first set of paint brushes when I was 10. Papa was very creative and worked as an apprentice to Frank Loyd Wright in the late forties. I Loved hearing stories of his past adventures, including when Mr. Wright took Papa’s hands in his and after analyzing them said, “Yes, I can tell you’re an artist.” Those words always stuck with me. My academic studies took priority growing up and I didn’t have time to take art classes. I majored in graphic design, knew it wasn’t the perfect path for me, but I felt confused and afraid of how to make a living as a fine artist at a time when painting jobs were scarce. Meanwhile my big brother fell in love with a lovely Parisian woman and was visiting France twice a year. When I was 21, he convinced me to travel with him to celebrate New Year’s in Ile De Re and Paris for the first time. I was introduced to a beautiful language, foie gras, kisses, wine, and the very original paintings of the artists I’d studied in school. As soon as I stepped onto the cobble stone streets of Paris I knew I was home. My twenties would be filled with visits to Paris, connecting with the artists of our past in the most romantic city.
Back home in Austin I felt as if I were dying in my day job and was practically painting full time on the side. At that time my cousin and her friend graduated from Juilliard in NYC and were really making it big in acting. They inspired me greatly, reigniting the idea that it was possible to be a full-time artist. I knew it was time for a major change and that I needed to break myself free from the life I had in order to reconnect with nature, my most authentic self, and to paint. My husband and I decided to leave everything behind and travel the open road for a year. It was the hardest and scariest thing I’ve ever done; I’ve never struggled more in my life, mostly due to finances.
We built a small tear drop trailer and traveled the U.S., watching the morning buffalo in Wyoming, hiking the glacier-covered mountains of Montana, camping on Orcas Island. It was a chance to reconnect with myself in quiet isolation and paint in nature. I learned to be alone for long periods of time and began to really dive deep within myself and others, forming new ideas; asking new questions. I began to really think about everyone’s inner struggles and connected outward behavior. We eventually moved into a tiny cabin near Big Bear, CA and because we were snowed in for a month I created Thoughtsproject.org, a secret handwritten letter project in which a person expresses their innermost thoughts to another anonymously and I share them with the world on the website (please participate or read letters if you wish).
I realized how much people need help from others and that it’s okay to ask for help, something that was difficult for me before. We had a lot of friends and family help us along the way which we’re forever thankful for. While living temporarily in Southern California, I painted in a backyard studio in La Jolla provided by a patron, attended piano concerts, operas, and participated in deep discussions about life with creative individuals. Despite the help from others that was so very much appreciated, I still felt what it was to TRULY struggle, and being penniless with debt is the deepest darkest struggle of all, it makes all your other problems seems petty. I think I needed to feel that, in fact I ached to feel that struggle.
Without realizing it, I was forming the very ideas and concepts of my art today because I was exposed to so many different lifestyles and experiences. I received an invitation to visit Kosovo where I painted a mural in a war-torn country and attended a wedding in Athens before returning home to paint full time where things really took off in a huge way. The rest is history. It’s a struggle, but it’s all worth it. Life to me is about adventure, passion, love, connection, gratitude, and staying on your path. What I learned the most is that sometimes life is really hard but you’re never stuck. Sometimes you get off your path, just pick your head up and make a change. TRUST yourself. Everyone has fears, it’s how you face them that matters the most.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art is a study of what it is to be human. I feel a strong connection to people and enjoy painting those who face their fears with love and kindness, encouraging others with their voice. I have a need to document these souls, only with paint on canvas rather than pen on paper. I’m quite intrigued by the multiple selves we all possess – the inner selves we hide and the outer selves we share with the world. How does one truly know another’s most authentic self? This is my obsession, what I need to know. I work in various media: acrylic, spray paint, mixed media, design, photography, video, and writing. Thoughts Project asks the same questions about humanity. My wish is for the viewer to really “see” the subject in the artwork. To think deeply about who the subject is, what their fears are, their struggles, strengths and weaknesses. To see without judgement into their very soul. I have an intense never-ending passion and need to create, in any form. Aside from my canvas work, I also paint large-scale murals for businesses and residential spaces.
How can artists connect with other artists?
Being an artist can be lonely at times but it doesn’t have to be. I think most artists create to connect with others. Reaching out to other artists is a wonderful way to expand you mind, learn new skills and have new opportunities come your way. Instagram is actually a pretty amazing way to reach out to artists across the country, but it’s also extremely important to get involved with your community and give back. I also enjoy engaging with the viewer and seeing what it is they see in a particular piece of art and hearing their personal story.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You will find more of my work at kristinfreemanart.com or Instagram: @kristinfreemanart. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in any of my work / commissions or would like to arrange a studio visit. I also invite you to join the newsletter on my website to stay in the loop!
There are so many ways to support my work and I’m incredibly thankful for those who do, for they’ve made a huge difference in my life and I wouldn’t be where I’m at now without them. I’m so incredibly thankful for the many collectors who believed in my work and helped me along the way by purchasing my art and connecting me with opportunities. There is always a need for these kinds of relationships. We’re all in this together and that special relationship between artist and patron is a wonderful, beautiful bond.
After all an artist doesn’t create art only for themselves, they create for the world and generations to come. The special people who appreciate our creations and want to genuinely help out of love are an essential part of Art itself. Right now, my financial challenge is finding help to afford a large solo studio so that I may paint large scale paintings of the people in my life, write in heavenly quiet, nurture the Thoughts Project for the community and create to my heart’s extent. I know that I’m my most authentic self in my studio. This is a place where I need support. My purpose is absolutely to create and give others a voice. If given the opportunity to have my own studio I will without a doubt create beyond anything I’ve ever created before, free of the limitations of a crowded space accompanied by so many distractions. These large visions are in my head, ready to be put onto canvas, aching to be set free.