So Kuse makes some ridiculously vivid work. That would be an understatement. What Stephanie Kuse does, is heavily manipulates photographs and creates eyegasm artwork. With a palette that would make a psychedelic proud, she packs bright colours that are pleasing to the eyes twice-over. It's the kind of work that you can get lost in and have no intention of finding a way out. Looking at her work, one could be looking at something the size of a mass landscape or something tiny under a microscope. Either way, her approach to the abstract is what makes Kuse's art and design style so incredibly appealing to the visual mind.
What kind of person do you have to be to pursue an artistic driven profession?
I think that in order to have a career in a creative field an individual needs to be flexible, thick-skinned, and self-disciplined. I often feel like I wake up and go to sleep working which can make me feel like my days are on loop, but there are also days where the creativity just isn’t happening so I’ve learned when to pull the plug and go do something fun for a bit. In my opinion, knowing yourself and your work habits is important for people who are in a creative field. It is also good to be self-critical, but not so self-critical that you never show any work and beat yourself up over imperfections.
Is the artistic life lonely?
It can be. My social life has taken a pretty big hit since I began depending on my creative output for my living (though it wasn’t great to start with…). For me, making things on a regular basis takes a lot of mental energy so I can’t really afford to be spending that energy on things that make me feel drained. When I have projects on the go they usually take up quite a bit of my brain space so that can make me feel disconnected and distracted. On top of all that, stewing up ideas usually takes longer than actually making the thing, so I have to make sure that I have time to think even if I’m not “working”. On the flip side of all that, I am grateful for the connections I have made in the art and music communities in Saskatoon. When I do go to a show or reception I often leave feeling refreshed and excited after talking to friends who are also pursuing careers in art or music.
What's integral to the work you produce?
Time spent outside and a circle template.
Do artists need dystopia in the world to make valuable "art"?
No, I don’t think they do. Many things contribute to the creation of valuable art. Even the act of making art is valuable. For awhile I was convinced that I shouldn’t be an artist because my work has never been conceptual or held a lot of meaning (thanks art school). Once I detached myself from the idea that valuable art has to be meaningful or conceptually deep, I found it a lot easier to make art that I enjoy and find beautiful. And of course, art is highly subjective so who’s to say what valuable art actually is.
To see more of Kuse's work, check out sckuse.net.
Follow Kuse on Instagram @sckuse