Keith Carter - http://kcarterart.com/
1. What do you love most about the place you live? How does it influence your work?
I love that Portland is such a creative environment to live in, there's no shortage of inspiration here. I think growing up in the Pacific Northwest has definitely influenced my work in terms of how much nature plays a part in it. There's such a huge range of beauty to the environment here.
It’s clear that Carter’s is a soul filled with respect and awe for the natural world. This unmistakable passion, as well as his instantly recognizable illustrative style have helped make him a prominent thread in the artistic tapestry of Portland.
We caught up with Keith at his studio in the North Coast Seed Building, ahead of his upcoming show which opens at Antler Gallery on April 30th.
2. What inspires you to make art?
I like the process of coming up with an idea and then seeing it to a finished product. Whether it's visual art or something else, I hope to always have that creative spirit because it enhances how we see the world around us.
I'd say rather than a specific message, I hope that my artwork conveys a mood to the viewer. Whether it's calming or disturbing, I think the sense of atmosphere really makes a painting. That's not to say that I don't have clear messages in some of my art, but I don't think it's a necessity to create an interesting image.
4. If you weren’t an artist, what would you do with your life?
Probably a teacher of some kind.
5. Do you listen to/watch any form of media while working? If so, what is it and how does it influence your process?
When I'm listening to music it can vary in styles: Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, The Beatles, Fats Domino, Built to Spill and Hans Zimmer are some that have been on heavy rotation lately. I also tend to have some kind of TV Show on in the background: I've gone through every single Ken Burns documentary I can find, also Louie, Mad Men, Bob's Burgers... the list could go on forever. I don't know how any of this influences my process, but I usually work better with something on in the background.
Backwards for sure. History is far more interesting to me, and I would love to be able to see what it was like to really be in different time-periods.
7. Extrovert or Introvert?
Introvert I guess. Sometimes my shyness and insecurity can be an obstacle, but I also would never feel comfortable being the person who is in the spotlight all the time.
8. Outer space or deep sea?
Outer space, hands down. It's so incomprehensibly big, it's like a never-ending source for your imagination.