These People Are A-OK: Kate Csak

Meet Habitat‘s fourth artist in residence, Kate Csak, a full time artist/illustrator who specializes in photo-realistic work in a range of subjects and mediums. Born in Calgary, Alberta, she lived and grew up always creating images, drawing her surroundings- people, animals, and still life. She is self taught, always experimenting with different mediums and techniques to achieve different results. Much of her inspiration comes from simple objects and things in nature.

Gorilla

One of the pieces Csak has created for Habitat

“Art is my therapy. The drawing process and practice is a constant discovery, providing a place to explore and process my emotions and thoughts that arise from past, and present experiences. I choose to draw mostly people and animals because I experience life as one and can therefore connect intimately to my work. Their physical beauty symbolises the beauty and depth of emotion the souls on earth are capable of. After 10 years of part time practice, I now made the move to full time art making starting my artist career in 2013.”

I had a moment to chat with Kate about her inspirations and experiences:

What drew you to start creating art?
The enthusiasm started when my Mom first gave me a crayon. Drawing my favourite Disney characters was more important than math homework. My passion for visual exploration has motivated me to nurture my skills through consistent practice. I create art because…It feels good!

Did you grow up around Artists?
My Dad was creative, but my Mom wasn’t  No one ever taught me to draw and it was never encouraged, so when I drew, it just sorta happened. My parents deserve credit for where I am now, but I believe the inherent creative right brain is only part of it. It was my obsession with drawing and drive to practice that led me to improve over time.

Which artists have inspired you or which would you say are your personal favourite?
Surrealist artist Vladimir Kush
Fantasy artists Jim Warren and Josephine Wall
Realism artist Robert bateman

Why did you move to Kelowna?
I felt an intuitive nudge to step out of comfort zone and explore a new place and new people.
Mountains, lake, vegetables, fruit, sun, wine, art… I find Kelowna inspiring! So I moved here :)

What is your favourite drink?
Vanilla stoli and water splash of ginger ale
Grey goose and coconut water
Summerhill Boch

You work with a variety of mediums — which are the hardest to work with and why?
They all have their challenges, but since oil paintings requires very specific techniques, preparation process, and has an extremely slow drying time, there is no way to get a painting done in  few days, making this medium quite challenging. Also,  it’s very smelly, messy, stains and is hard to clean up…but with its flexibility, texture, and prestige value, is well work it!

How does your artwork make you feel?
Doing art rejuvenates and energizes my system as a whole, bringing me total satisfaction. incorporating my emotions into my drawings and paintings allows me to express what’s true. Creating art work from photographs brings a new degree of life to the subject, through richness and depth of colour overlooked by our minds eye. I feel like I’m attending to people and animals when I draw them, understanding them deeply more and more as I continue to draw them so up close and detailed.

What do you want others to feel when they view your artwork?
Since I like expressing emotions, I want others to feel what it is I’m feeling- appreciation, admiration and curiosity for all living walks of life. Combining realism with dynamic uses of colour I want to convey deeper emotions but in a way that resonates with the audience as being imaginative and truthful at the same time.


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