Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Interview with Artist Kristin Torres Gurule by Parker Kaufman


Hello Vision and Verse fans. Parker here! Carol has graciously invited me to be a guest contributor here today. I’m very excited to bring you an interview I had with the young, talented artist, sculptor, and jewelry maker, Kristin Torres Gurule. 

I became acquainted with Kristin’s work while in Albuquerque, NM. One of her sculptures was on display in a small shop in Old Town. 

The surrealist piece was stunning and I eventually purchased it. It is pictured here, titled SUBMISSION.


Kristin is the only child of a working mom, born in Albuquerque, NM, who was raised with the help of her grandparents. She credits her grandparents with being very supportive and teaching her about the world, and her mom for teaching her to be smart, independent, and to depend on herself to accomplish things Kristin still lives in Albuquerque, where she is studying for an Associates degree in Studio Arts, and also working on a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education.

When asked how she got into art, Kristin explained that since as a child she has always enjoyed creating things. In high school she made her own band shirts and would rather make her own things than buy them. She told me that she discovered polymer clay about 7 - 8 years ago and immediately fell in love with the medium. With regard to the clay she says, "It bakes right in the oven, it’s inexpensive, you can use it for anything, jewelry, home decor, sculpture, and so much more. It’s a very versatile medium that anyone can work with."

So, Kristin, welcome to Vision & Verse and thank you so much for agreeing to share with our readers.

V&V: "Kristin, where do you get inspiration for your sculptures?"

Krisitin: "Sculptures were a bit of a different path for me because I usually make jewelry. I get inspiration from styles that I like. There are so many. I had an art class where we were required to create 8 pieces that would make a series. Because painting and drawing aren’t my passions, my professor suggest I try using clay, which is my passion. It totally challenged me to make something that I would NEVER have done.

V&V: "Are social issues reflected in your work? Is there something that you want to say through your art?

Kristin: "The female figure sculptures I started with were going to be a commentary on issues with women; rape, abortion, etc. But I felt I wasn’t as passionate to finish them that way as I was to make them more in the surrealist style. I wanted to get very creative with them and attract people with bright colors and whimsy. These weren’t the pieces to make people think about terrible real life issues, so I decided to make them a relief from lifes problems."

V&V: "What is your favorite medium to work with?"

Kristin: "Hands down, no question, polymer clay."

                       CLOCKWORKS MAIDEN

V&V: "What are you currently working on?"

Kristin: "I’m currently working on some orders for etsy and making a miniature shadow box display. Each scene will be different and done like a dollhouse. One area will be a sewing room, another a candy shop, and another a woman’s dressing area. It will take a lot of time to hand make each little object, but I love working in small scale.

V&V: "What was the first piece you ever made?"

Kristin: "I remember making sand cakes in the playground in kindergarten. I would make triangles that were supposed to be cakes and try to decorate them. My grandmother was also very creative and when growing up I would make things with her supplies (glue gun, foam, etc) and I loved it. I knew I would always be creating after that.      

V&V: "Who or what has been the biggest influence on your art?" "Any artists that you admire?"

Kristin: "I don’t really follow any big time artists. I guess I would have to say that teachers have been my influence. I had an art teacher named Ms Sturm at Sandia High School. She inspired us to do so much and is really why I decided to get more into art. Recently I had a teacher at CNM Community College in Albuquerque, Danielle Miller, who was my teacher for a few classes. She had a gallery opening for the class and the smile and happiness on her face for our opening showed how much passion she had for art. She is the one who gave me instruction to make the clay pieces for the series. She is a very unique individual and I hope to be like her someday, inspiring others like she has inspired me."

                                                                                                              CTHULHU'S DAME

V&V: "Describe a typical day for you?"
Kristin: "8 AM, get up and get on the computer and check etsy, and play Farmville. 9 to 11 AM, work on artwork. 12 to 4 PM, school & craft shopping. 6 to 10 PM, work on artwork again till I go to sleep."

V&V: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

Kristin: "In five years I hope to have my art business fully grown. I hope to have etsy as a full time career, and also have finished my bachelors degree and be teaching art somewhere."

V&V: "Ok, now I’m going to switch gears here and ask some general fun questions, things to give our readers a peak at another side of you."

V&V: "What is your favorite color?

Kristin: "This is a terrible question for an artist! I honestly love bright colors, but my all time favorite is yellow and then probably black and white together."

V&V: "What is your favorite binge food?"

Kristin: "COOKIES!! I am going through phases on favorite foods. Right now I’m ADDICTED to cookies from ABC bakery. Mmmm."

V&V: "What is your favorite place to eat
Kristin: "Japanese Kitchen, a sushi place. I love sushi!!

V&V: "What do you enjoy doing for fun?"
Kristin: "Hanging out with my boyfriend and watching the Simpson’s, traveling, and hanging with my two cats."

V&V: "What excites you?"

Kristin: "Shopping for craft supplies, making awesome finds at thrift stores, making an art piece that I love, being with my boyfriend, and making jewelry."

V&V: "What turns you off?"
Kristin: "Hmmm, I guess I would have to say that ignorance turns me off. My grandpa always says, ‘I don’t know everything, and at least I know. Some people don’t even know that’. People who think they know everything or are smarter than everyone else, are the most ignorant people in my opinion. I don’t get along with them well."

V&V: "What makes you laugh?"

Kristin: "My new little kitten. He is so young and awkward and he tries to be a cold, calculating cat, but he is still wobbly and silly. My boyfriend and I watch him and my other cat and can spend forever laughing at how silly they are."

V&V: "What’s your favorite TV show?"

Kristin: "I LOVE horror TV shows and movies and cartoons. My all time horror favorite is ‘SUPERNATURAL’. I love The Simpson’s and also Sleepy Hollow, Game of Thrones, and CSI.

V&V: "What do you do to relax?"

Kristin: "Nap, eat sweets, snuggle with my cats, and watch TV in bed with my boyfriend."
                          SECRET GARDEN

V&V: "What is the name and author of the last book you read?"
Kristin: "I’m not really an English person, I prefer math. In my experience a person is either one or the other. My boyfriend loves to read and write while math problems scare him. I am the opposite. I love a good math equation, but when I see a big book I feel intimidated. I have read a few though....I liked THE SHINING by Stephen King."

V&V: "What words do you live by, your philosophy on life?"

Kristin: "That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger."

V&V: "What is your favorite beverage?"

Kristin: "Tea. Someone told me I was a Victorian woman in a past life, so it makes sense."

V&V: "Do you have any pets?"

Kristin: "Two cats. I love all animals but I love that cats are independent. I don’t want to walk a dog or go outside and play with them. I want a cat to sit on my lap while I fill etsy orders."

V&V: "What foreign country would you like to visit?"

Kristin: "Japan."

V&V: "What famous person, dead or alive, would you most like to meet?"

Kristin: "My hero in high school was Sid Vicious, ha ha ha. But now I would like to meet Marilyn Manson. I think he is a brilliant person with deep and interesting beliefs that the world could be better for hearing. He encourages people to question authority, whether it’s the church or government, and to think for themselves."

V&V: "What one thought would you like to leave our readers with?"

Kristin: "I am living proof that when you work at something you love, it’s never work. I work on art more than 40 hours per week and I love it. Follow your dreams and your passions."

V&V: "Kristin, we wish you the very best, much success in the future endeavors, and we expect to see many great things from you. We truly loved having you here with us on Vision and Verse. Thank you for sharing with our readers. We hope that you will come back with us in the near future and tell us more about your jewelry making."

For more information about Kristin and her art, check out the following.

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