For Kevin Womack, art isn’t a choice; it’s a necessity for his sanity. He approaches his work with flexibility, sometimes meticulously planning and dyeing fabrics, and at other times, throwing pieces onto the design wall, letting the creative journey unfold. Throughout his artistic journey, Kevin has discovered a common thread in his work, allowing it to evolve with greater clarity and purpose.
Are there recurring themes in your work? What is it about a subject that inspires you to continue exploring it?
I like to explore dirty/gritty subjects, the overlooked, the uncomfortable – searching for hidden beauty and balance. I visit the city of New Orleans often and find it a wealth of inspiration. To me, the city perfectly embodies that dichotomy.
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What motivates you artistically?
I’m at my happiest when I create. It almost feels like a physical need. Any amount of time I can dedicate to my creative process is necessary for my sanity, making keeps me motivated.
Do you plan your work out ahead of time, or do you just dive in with your materials and start playing?
I take both approaches and find value in working both ways. Some work is planned by starting with the idea and dyeing or creating fabrics for specific works and then assembling the pieces. Sometimes I start playing by throwing fabrics at the design wall and letting the design lead me on the journey.
Do you use a sketchbook or journal? How does that help your work develop?
No, but I’ve recently begun utilizing paper collage as a jumping off point. I can play and work out ideas on a smaller scale and I can use the photographic imagery of those collages in my photoshop experiments for possible future work.
What plays in the background while you work? Silence? Music, audiobooks, podcasts, movies? If so, what kind?
I always listen to music while working and most often, it’s dance remixes from 90s dance classics up through the present day – at a loud volume. I like to get the creative vibes moving!
How often do you start a new project? Do you work actively on more than one project at a time?
I absolutely work on more than one piece at a time and sometimes it can be years before the final product appears.
I start working on new projects as they come to me, so the new ideas can take the spotlight from things I have been working on. It’s all part of my process and I look at the downtime on some projects as a necessary pause.
I need to let them marinate and make sure they are saying what I want to communicate before they become fully realized.
How do you manage your creative time? Do you schedule start and stop times? Or work only when inspired?
Ugh! This is another contributor to projects getting put on the back burner. As a sole-proprietor who travels and teaches, dyes items for sale and has a part-time retail job at a quilt shop, there is never enough creative time. I think that is why I cherish what little creative time I do get. I’m constantly inspired and itching to work. Carving out the time to do so is a challenge for me.
Which part of the quilt design process is your favorite? Which part is a challenge for you?
Creating fabrics, whether it be by dyeing and surface design, or by Photoshop experiments excites me the most. The quilting is my least-favorite part as it is always the most difficult design decision for me.
How is your work different than it was in the beginning? How is it the same?
I can see a common thread throughout my work, from my early traditional quilts up through my current pieces. I can also see the differences in my work as I’ve gained more clarity over the years and have come to know what I want my work to convey.
Do you enter juried shows? Do you approach your work differently for these venues?
I do enter juried shows and do not work differently. I make work that I want to make. If it makes it into a show, awesome! If not, so be it. I’m still proud of the work.
Tell us about your blog and/or website. What do you hope people will gain by visiting?
I have no time to blog and can barely keep up posting sporadically on Instagram (@kwwomack), but I do try to keep my website (www.KevinWomackArt.com) up to date. It is my main source of relaying workshop and lecture information along with my current calendar and contact information. I have a very small webstore there as well.
Do you lecture or teach workshops? How can students/organizers get in touch with you to schedule an event?
I love to teach – especially in person – and that information can be found at www.KevinWomackArt.com/workshops. My contact information is [email protected] and I’m currently scheduling into 2025 and 2026, so email to schedule a workshop with me today!
Interview posted October 2023
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