INTERVIEW: THE AUSTINOT
Article by JOLEEN JERNIGAN
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.