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 email@example.com 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.
The Artist Within
To see a vision through is the best feeling in the world. Thanks to Heath, Molly, and Jay at Spratx for bringing me on board with Ignite Studios and for seeing my potential, making my dream a reality. Also a big thank you to everyone who attended the opening night, it really meant a lot to me.
Click photo to continue reading for full photo gallery from show…Read More
Join us Friday, Feb 23rd for a sneak peak at Kristin's new series - The Artist Within. Her new body of work, a series of portraits of Austin's very own creative painters, searches for a deeper understanding of what it really means to be an artist.
Click Photo to RSVPRead More
Look for Kristin Freeman Art (KristinXO) around town
Kristin Freeman’s beautiful, large-scale paintings of graceful, bold women caught my eye at once. She takes a woman in an everyday scenario, and is able to bring out her unique beauty and personality.
Austinot: How did you get started painting in such a large medium, and what is the advantage/reward of painting such large pieces?
Kristin: The first mural I painted was at Neon Desert Music Festival many years ago. I’ve been hooked ever since. Painting large scale requires an abundance of energy and movement unlike anything I’ve experienced; your whole body becomes one with the art. It’s a remarkable feeling to create a piece so much larger than yourself. It reminds both the artist and the viewer that anything is possible.
Austinot: Why do you believe Austin is a good/supportive city for street art/murals?
Kristin: Austin is a wonderful city for street art because it’s always seen the value in the weird and unconventional. This city was built on individuals who were brave enough to face their fears and follow the paths they were born to be on, for they trusted that their truest selves could only be found once living their passions…
The city has grown and changed, but I believe Austin has remained true to itself, ready to support its budding and professional artists. Austin has openly embraced the idea of using street art as a vehicle for unique self-expression by its own artists, which not only beautifies the city, but also keeps what is truly Austin alive.
Austinot: Could you describe one of your favorite experiences painting a piece?
Kristin: One…is painting a mural at H.O.P.E. Outdoor Gallery upon my return from a life-changing year of travel. My husband and I built a teardrop trailer and hit the open road. Eventually we made our way to the Pacific Northwest and south to San Diego, before heading overseas. Our trip ranged from camping in the woods with grizzlies, to sleeping in penthouses, to being completely and utterly broke, to housesitting in La Jolla, to getting interviewed by Drew Carey about our crazy adventure, to sleeping in a hostel in Kosovo. It was a wild year-and-a-half of travel and painting remotely…
I was so ready to return to Austin because my love for the city never waned and…I was ready to be in one place again. In Austin, I painted “Waves” at the graffiti park. I was back home again and felt more rejuvenated than ever.
Kristin Freeman’s “Waves” adorned a big wall at H.O.P.E. Outdoor Gallery (Credit: Kristin Freeman)
Austinot: What inspires you to paint?
Kristin: I’m deeply inspired by the positive relationships in my life and travel. I enjoy nurturing existing friendships, but also meeting new people and getting to know the deepest parts of them. I consider travel to be a necessary part of my life, in order to experience different ways of living and to gain new perspective. My twenties were spent traveling to Paris since I have family there and those years have especially impacted my life and work.
Austinot: What/who in Austin do you admire or gain inspiration from?
Kristin: I admire my artist friends who are not afraid to face their fears and pursue their dreams, those who get up everyday to live their passion. Just a few of these lovely souls here in Austin are Lucas Aoki, Monica Ceniceros, Kelly Bruemmer, Whitney Turetzky, Brooke Robinson, Flip Solomon, Mike Johnston, Miles Starkey, Zuzu, Heath Speakman, Matt Magill, Erik Ross, Liza Fishbone, Blvd, Jason Eatherly, ER., Goodfield.
Kristin Freeman has a solo show on Feb. 23, 2018.Read More
From 365things Austin:
This will be the first 2nd annual show for atxGALS. In 2017, they broke into the pop-up art party scene with the main goal of bringing more exposure and recognition for women in art, and to make art exhibits more accessible and fun for the general public, all while giving back to organizations that align with women empowerment and women’s rights.
Their first four shows: Galentine’s Show, Celebrate HER, DISCOVERY and Slay Soiree were a complete success, leaving artists and guests wanting more. atxGALS continues to support women artists and organizations that align with women’s issues in 2018 with Galentine’s Show.
Proceeds from the event ticket sales will benefit the Girl’s Empowerment Network and SAFE, a merger of SafePlace and the Austin Children’s Shelter.
Stay tuned and follow atxGALS on social media for more information.
Instagram: @atxGALS Facebook: @atxGALSRead More
Austin was cold and rainy the moment I stepped onto the plane headed to Miami, but I was grinning from ear to ear. Freedom to explore the possibilities. I made it to Miami in the afternoon. The air was warm, humid, and windy. I decided to rent a car and one of my favorite moments was driving by myself on the highway, taking in the views: palms, high rises, curved lines. I was meeting up with several friends, all artists.
First stop was E.R. and Kazilla’s event near Wynwood. Everyone had been working on their murals at the huge warehouse and it looked awesome. I met some new artists and had a badass vegan taco from a local food truck (watch out Austin). Every morning our group ate at the same Cuban grocery / cafe and gorged on plantains, yucca, chicken soup, and Cuban cafe con leche (which is the bomb). We’d take our time to enjoy a meal over conversation, mostly centered around Art.
Over the next few days our group explored Wynwood Arts District, which totally blew us away. I can’t even tell you how many murals there were by SO many artists from around the world. Pop up events were in abundance, making it difficult to choose from. We opted to check out Scope Art Show in Miami Beach, a paid event (many are free), but us gals lucked out when someone handed us a VIP pass as we walked in. Scope was super impressive and I left very inspired. Afterwards we explored a famous Cuban bar and dance club that looked like Christmas in Vegas on steroids. For dinner we walked to a local Miami Beach fave serving traditional Cuban. We sung happy birthday to Liza Fishbone and the whole restaurant chimed in. Pure bliss.
It was really wonderful to travel with other supportive artists. We often discussed our wants, needs and dreams in the art world. We’re ready to make shit happen. Thanks Art Basel for the inspiration and see you next year!
Artists: Nanu Berks, Jomau, Kristin Freeman XO, Jmuzacz, Liza Fishbone, Helena Martin, Chelsea Maria, Chalk Riot, KiptoeRead More
By Zuzu Perkal
Freeman is one of Austin’s leading female visual artists, spreading her messages of love, female empowerment, and inspiration with the world. Currently one of our resident artists in the SprATX Ignite Program, a newly created platform to equip selected artists with the support and tools necessary to kindle art career to new levels. It’s part of our mission to help sustain and evolve alongside the Austin art scene. She’s in the midst of creating an entirely new body of work that will be displayed in early 2018 in the SprATX Gallery.
SprATX: Share with us a little about your path as a visual artist. How did it all start and how has it evolved over time?
Freeman: Hi, my name is Kristin Freeman and I’m an artist based in Austin, Texas. I’ve been creating art since a small child. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mom drawing portraits. I would take my incredibly poor drawing to her and ask “how can I make this better?” and she would give me tips. As a pre-teen I loved drawing women out of my seventeen magazines, making up characters and stories in my worn-out sketch pad. It was purely for the joy of creating that got me hooked. Although I have consistently drawn women, my style has evolved over the years, but I would define it as Pop Art-meets-Street Art.
SprATX: What can people expect in the new body of work you’re creating?
Freeman: I’m currently working on a body of work that explores and celebrates the strength and power of women, especially women of our time. I’m inspired by women who posses a unique set of characteristics, a combination that I think is rare – kind, loving, fearless, passionate, confident, resilient, not afraid to express themselves fully and stay on the path they were born to be on.
SprATX: Where do you find your inspiration? Who are some of your favorite artists?
Freeman: I pull inspiration from travel, fashion, and ultimately positive relationships. I have family in France and spent my twenties visiting Paris every year on what little money I had, soaking in art and history. I love meeting new people and prefer to get past the small talk, diving into the deepest parts of who someone is to find the real them. Some of my favorite artists are painters Amylee, Carly Ealy, Ernesto Yerena, Exist1981, Eli Halpin, Emily Ding, and Helena Martin. I’m also inspired by people in my life of different art forms, such as actors Wallis Currie-Wood, Alex Sharp, and the band Good Field.
My artist friends’ happiness and successes is a great inspiration to me, it gives me joy and pushes me to keep creating, reinforcing that this idea of living a life as an artist IS in fact possible.
SprATX: Share why you love Austin, TX and how it’s influenced your art career. What do you think makes the Austin art scene so special?
Freeman: I always wanted to live in Austin. It’s completely and utterly different than any other city in Texas and is the ONLY place that I consistently feel like I can be myself 100%. Austin is open to the “weird,” creative, and no one cares about trying to conform, in fact it’s the opposite. Creatives are celebrated here, the art scene is blowing up and the city is openly embracing it’s own local artists. This supportive community enables artists to thrive. I also love nature and the outdoors, and Austin has so many options!
SprATX: Explain your experience in the SprATX Ignite Studio Program.
Freeman: I really love Spratx and all that they’ve done for the studio program. It’s really nice to come into my studio, which is currently next to Lucas Aoki, a good friend of mine and have a place to be creative outside of my house. The Spratx team is super encouraging, open to new ideas, and is always ready to help out when needed. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and support!
SprATX: If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Freeman: Live your dream! Don’t give up.