Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunset - Artist

Meet Sunset. He's the one under the chicken.

I have known Sunset as an painter, an illustrator, set designer and graphic designer. I was interested to find out the breadth of Sunset's creativity.

"I've done just about everything. I think of myself as an artist and I should be able to do just about anything in that 'arty' sphere. I've done little bits of sculpture - all sorts of things."

You can see more of what Sunset creates at

Wayne: Does creativity for you sit within the sphere of the arts or is it bigger?

Sunset: I think its much bigger. The thing that comes to mind is learning something like the computer. I remember at one time I didn't even know how to turn it on. I like working around things. Learning how things work and what I can do with them. I find that quite a creative pursuit. I'll tell you this thing that happened when I was a teenager at school. We were all making sculptures out of clay then turning them into concrete. I'd done a female torso - it was very nice - just slightly abstract. Then for no reason at all - as in no reason - I took a great big scoop out of the back and it looked good. It was very exciting to do it but I had no idea why I had done it. And the teacher came by and said 'Now you are thinking' and there was a click went off - I wasn't thinking. That's creating something new rather than thinking about where I'm going to go - just that BOOF and it was there. It felt wonderful but I also felt cheated. I didn't feel I'd been party to that process. Something had come form somewhere else. It wasn't me but it was me. I think I've tried to do that ever since - find that space where I'm not thinking. I think creativity can only come from being involved in doing something. Its almost like a safety net to being creative. If someone comes to me and says 'Can you do this?' - even though I've never done it before - I'll say Yes and I'll know I can do it. If I don't, as a last resort, I can just totally not even think about it and just do something and chances are that it will be fine.

Wayne: I get the sense that people who are creative can limit themselves by not being able to apply techniques and tools - I want to get this idea across but I don't have the ability to actually do it. You're saying that you've got the tools and techniques first - then the will to give it a go.

Sunset: Yea. There's also the understanding in myself that frustratingly it will never be as good as I want it to be - and accepting that. I might reach it for a moment. That's the other exciting thing about painting or anything creative - its not knowing when that moment is going to be. Even with my representational stuff if it doesn't feel right - even if it looks right - it's not right. I feel my way into what I'm doing. Sometimes its the merest brush stroke, or a tiny pencil mark, or moving my head and seeing it in a slightly different way and its like a key or a tiny opening - I can see how that could spread out into the work and it pulls me in.

Wayne: You have said previously that everyone is creative. Can you expand on that.

Sunset: I think all of us are creative every day -as in creating something that hasn't been before. That's just how life is.

Wayne: How, then, did we get to the point where we often put those who we regard as creative on a pedestal - somewhat removed from the 'ordinary' person?

Sunset: I used to think - maybe I still do - apart from feeding ourselves, clothing ourselves - that hierarchy of needs - the only thing we do really is to try and define ourselves. I think when we see art works we are responding to that. If somebody has created something that we respond to it strengthens our definition of ourselves. One way of defining ourselves is if you see other people doing something and you quite like that - if you can loin them that gives you some sort of credibility and you can stop thinking about that for a while. I think that's what artists do. But as I said previously for me creativity is creating something that has not been created before - by the person creating it!

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