In the Studio with Karen Hochman Brown
Please join us for a conversation between Karen Hochman Brown and Genie Davis as part of Karen’s solo show “Unspoken Word: BEYOND” Wednesday November 18, 3pm on zoom
What does a day in your art practice look like?
My studio is a room in my house, so my art practice flows into my daily life. I have my computer setup, a large format printer, worktable, laser and sewing machine in the studio. In my garage, I have some basic power and hand tools. So if I’m making multi media pieces, I can work all over the house, but mainly, I sit at my desk and work on the computer.
I am very project oriented, so my activities flow around specific outcomes. Right now, I am preparing for a solo exhibition at TAG Gallery and I am still working on a prototype for some small works on panels that will be displayed with another artist’s panels. So this week, I am at the computer tweaking designs. I have been printing out on different papers stocks and covering the panels, finding the best combination of elements. I’m testing varnishes and resin applications. Once I am fully satisfied, I will start production.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
I am a digital artist I work with my own photographs and assorted digital processes. I like digital work for its flexibility and precision. I am also totally in love with the undo function. There are two pieces of specialized software I use to manipulate my photographs. If I’m working in the kaleidoscopic realm, I use ArtMatic Designer by U&I Software. For the digital painting and animations, I use Synthetik Studio Artist. After that, it’s into Photoshop or AfterEffects to put things together.
Why is art important to you?
What else would I do? Art grounds me. It gives my mind something to work on. I am able to create worlds of wonder. Experiencing other’s art expands how I see the world. Being an artist has also brought me wonderful relationships.
What influences your work?
I’m drawn to the really cool things that nature has to offer. I was influenced by my mother who collected succulents and other interesting plants, by my grandmother who loved the strange green and brown flowers, and by my father who always had a camera and rejoiced in taking pictures of Santa Barbara sunsets and their gardens. My grandmother also took me to museums and art classes and taught me to sew.
The computer work I do is very playful. Sometimes hitting the random key can send me on a journey that ends up as a new body of work. Software updates can provide new tools to explore that have great impact on my art.
Recently, I have been collaborating with other artists and find that to be a very refreshing form of inspiration. I have always thought of computer work as collaboration between a software programmer and me.
Indigo Circle of Sun by Karen Hochman Brown and Ann Marie Rousseau
What is the most challenging part about being an artist?
Making the business side work. There is so much detail that goes into promoting the finished product. That fills more hours in my week than making work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Move forward with confidence. Trust that you will make good choices.
Anonymous at the Beach at TAG Gallery
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
Well, there’s always marijuana, that’s good for a deep dive into the world of computer art. But really, sometimes I just have to stop doing art so I can come back refreshed. And sometimes, getting involved in collaboration is just the kick I need to come at my work from a different angle. I also find that having a specific project or show to work on keeps me focused and on task.
What’s next for you in the future?
I have a solo show “Unspoken Word: BEYOND” at TAG Gallery all November. I’ll be in the gallery on Thursday and Saturday afternoons and will have an artist talk on November 18. Concurrently, I will have two videos at Gallery 825 in their Multiple Feeds show. In January, Shoebox Projects will be featuring my digital video explorations and will include an artist talk.
Brisk Morning in Patigonia with Bearded Iris
Portrait of Neil Brown at Start up art fair
Metro-LA County Arboretum Project
Video created for “Perceive Me”