Monday, November 16, 2009

15 Questions about Art :: Sean U'Ren

Sean U'Ren grew up in the town of Mineral Point, Wisconsin and has been variously employed by Pizza Hut, Hardees, a few coffeeshops, a watch sales company, a telemarketing company, a Mexican restaurant, a slew of post production houses and a large agricultural company that sends kids out into the cornfields for hours of torturous labor.

He likes writing, reading, making and eating pizza, walking around on cold floors in bare feet, drinking coffee, traveling and all the usual crap. He has some survival skills but whomever heads toward him in a time of emergency expecting to buddy up should probably think twice. Don't try and stop him when he climbs trees, just let him go to it - he'll eventually fall and then that will be that.


What is your earliest art-related memory?

Listening to De Doo Da Da with a babysitter. I may have been about seven or eight but I really liked dancing around to the music.

Who has had the greatest influence on your work?

Whoever invented trees and sunlight.

What are the main tools of your craft?

The words I have collected right up til this point in my life. Pictures that inspire me. Music that inspires me.

Walking around is a very important tool – if I can’t pace, I can’t write.

Is a formal education important?

Yes, absolutely. Later, though, you'll probably set it all on fire, at least for a while. Better save some water.

What is the biggest misconception about art?

That anything less than something that grabs you by the throat and brings you in close is acceptable as ‘art’.

Which is more important in art - concept or execution?

All art is execution. But concept makes for more interesting dinner talk. Who wants to hear about the five hours I spent in my studio today? Crickets…

What is the overall theme or aesthetic are you most drawn too?

In writing: Curiosity. A hero's quest for their parent's origins. Investigation. Lost pets. Found radiators. Vicissitudes.

What is your favorite piece of art in your home?

A pen and ink drawing of Sam Winchester from Supernatural with a smiling otter perched on his arm by Aiyana Udesen, a Bay area illustrator.

If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Bruno Shulz or Arvo Part.

Which emerging artist do you think more people should know about?

Aiyana Udesen

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Making a short film my father and mother really enjoyed.

What has been your biggest roadblock?

A need for acceptance and validation.

How do you define success?

Feeling happy at the end of the working day and having an ice cold beer or two waiting in the fridge.

What will be the name of your autobiography?

So Good

What is the best piece of art advice you’ve ever been given?

It doesn't matter how many steps it takes to finish what you've started, so long as you get there.


15 Questions about Art is an ongoing series in which we ask our collective favorite artists, writers, musicians, sleepy dreamers and object makers from across the creative spectrum to give us a glimpse into how they perceive art through a standard set of questions.

Please check back next week for a fresh perspective.

(Image by Jennifer L. Porter)

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