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April Show Preview: Interview with Artist Molly Brown

March 28, 2011

April Artist Molly Brown!

REVEL: What inspires your art?

Molly Brown: My mom is a really great artist with water colors, and drawing, painting so I think just learning from her and doing crafts as a kid just seemed to…

What kind of crafts would you do together?

Everything from your standard…crayons, I remember always wanting to make books, create like little books and tell little stories and I think that developed into me becoming a graphic designer, any type of creation. From a young age with a friend I would make jewelry, hand-made jewelry and we would try to sell it to the neighbors. We would make Christmas ornaments and try to sell it to the neighbors for cash, you know, when you’re in elementary school for a couple of dollars. I would decorate pencils, with [shredded ribbons] and it would look like a Christmas tree on a pencil anything crafty

When I started high school, I definitely tried to make clothes without patterns, playing around with anything I could get my hand on. Painting the walls of my bedroom, hand-making jewelry some more. And then college, I decided to do graphic design.

What brought you to graphic design? It seems in the same realm, but it’s a bit less hands-on I suppose?

It totally is. I think I figured it was a good way to get a degree and to make income, that was the beginning of the internet really exploding I guess. I love to create and with [graphic design] I could make a steady income whereas art is super sporadic. And so did that, go the associates, still painting a lot on the side. I went to Burning Man…probably seven times now, and saw a lot of amazing art, a lot of it happened to be metal. And so I was like, “I would love to do something like that.” It’s a lot more solid then a paint on canvas canvas, you can throw it outside and it can last forever.

What about that attracts you?

I like that it can’t be easily be broken, burned or taken apart. It’s just super solid and beautiful. A lot of pieces incorporate fire that’s always an interest but but I hadn’t gone in that direction before. Decided to take some welding classes at Sierra college and fell in love with it. Started designing wall sculptures and incoporating a little bit of LED lighting.

Any of your pieces that you’re showing have LED lighting?

I’m…working on it, but all the pieces are plumbed in the back to hold LED lighting. I definitely want it.

It seems like you’ve worked with a lot of different mediums before,  do you find yourself jumping from medium to medium, is there one you have always stuck with?

Definitely jumping from medium to medium. I started with painting because it’s easy access and cheap you can throw it down wherever. I moved unto Clay and metal around the same time. Little more expensive for both of those, for metal you need to have a studio, lot of tools, its a lot of heavy lifting, it’s a lot more strenuous…on the back [laughs].

Now I’m learning how to blow glass.

So that may be on the horizon?

I’m finding that knowing a lot about a lot of different mediums, it comes into play, so I can create multi-media sculptures. Currently I’m working on a piece that has metal, wood, and glass, although I’m not a woodworker, definitely could use some classes on that [laughs].

Is there a medium you fell more of an affinity towards?

Right now it’s metal because I’m a co-founder of the Sacramento Metal Arts Guild. There’s a huge metal art movement that we’re helping to create, or be involved in, support. A lot of female welders are kind of popping up, same with the glass, but not a ton of female glass blowers, so it’s a bit of a niche. Kind of wanting to get into those niches where it’s not so flooded and a little bit more exciting than your standard…Not that I’m discounting any type of art. For me it’s more exciting to create something with metal or hot glass at this point since I can physically.

You just moved to Sac, do you find there is a different vibe than where you were living before? Do you see yourself staying in Sacramento or traveling elsewhere?

I grew up in Reno, so at the time the art scene was not very big and that was about eight years ago. Moved to Chico then Lincoln, it was really hard to commute. I needed to move down here because I wanted to be fully involved, I wanted to be an art advocate. I want to support the arts, help create a really strong art atmosphere in Sacramento and branch out from there. With all of the funding being cut in schools a lot of private art schools will be popping up, I want to be involved with a lot of these studios from the ground up.

You work with so many different mediums, is there a connective thread, an inspiration that you draw from, what generally generates your ideas?

I love to collage, I consider myself kind of a collage artist in a way . I like to pull different mediums, like for instance with the metal table [in her piece “Avian Oasis”] collageing shapes that have no real meaning and giving them meaning in a single form. I like looking at different artists, looking at their technique, the technical aspect of their art. Why is their art working in a museum, how can I improve myself. The biggest question that comes up between all the artists is, “What exactly is art? What is better or worse?”

What is better or worse to you, or is it important?

To me it really is not. People need to be creating soemething no matter what someone else thinks their art is good or not is irrevelant, to creating something that has meaning to you or for someone else [is imporant]. Everything is art, a lightbulb is a piece of art, a chair. Fine art. Crafts. What’s the difference between fine art and a craft? Just go out there and create something, do something, make a difference.

Do you have any  special hopes or goals for your own future?

I want to make sure that art doesn’t get lost by all the funding being cut, because it helps people process emotions and express things a in a way that that can help better someone’s life or make them healthier. Art is so important. Especially with children, we get so focused on all the technology. [Their] eyes are glued to the video games and the tv, the computer, even myself, I have a bit of a computer addiction. It’s better to work with your hands to create something, something 3D. It also builds community, a social aspect for kids and team building and sharing and learning how to work with other people.

Outside of the art realm, we’re doing second saturday, what’s your ideal Saturday, how would you like to spend your time?

My ideal Saturday would be riding my bike Downtown, stop at a bar, have a drink, and probavly go to the garage and work on a project, traveling. We do a lot of partying with friends [laughs].

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