We had the good fortune of connecting with Katy Hirschfeld and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katy, how do you think about risk?
One of the most meaningful aspects of art, becoming an artist, and evolving as an artist is taking that risk. Everything about art is risky. Since Art is a subjective science, I can’t guarantee who will appreciate it, that’s the risk I take, and I create anyway, which is really liberating, knowing that someone may hate it, but feeling confident enough to continue and lose myself in creating anyway. That takes confidence. Risk taking takes confidence. I think about risk as something you embrace to truly be yourself.
I also believe risk brings you closer to your dreams. I took a risk getting into art in the first place….I had a pretty conventional upbringing and had majored in sociology/politics in college. My first real job was for a law firm. During this job I found myself using their scanner and printer for things to use in my collages. While this was a great experience. I just wasn’t happy, I felt each day was just another day fading into another and nothing was very fulfilling to me. This led me to one of the biggest risks, I quit my job, made a website and started cold calling galleries. This risk required me to let go of everything comfortable and familiar to me. I had to move back home with my parents and basically start from scratch. Such a risk led me to so much unfamiliarity, such as moving to a new state completely alone, something I believe changed my life and art for the better. The upside of this risk has been exponentially positive. Each day, whether making money or not, I was fulfilled and felt that this was what it meant to be living life. I would never know when my next paycheck was coming, but this discomfort did not outweigh the genuine happiness and life I found myself living. Aside from the initial risks taken, everyday spent creating is a risk in and of itself. I never know what other people will say or feel about my art and being that each piece is a genuine extension of me this could lead to a lot of hurt. I’m okay risking this huge piece of myself to share something that may resonate with others and if it doesn’t, at least I cleared my side of the street so to speak. Lastly, the risk of art being all consuming has come into play. I’ve spent sleepless nights, ignoring my family, friends, and compulsively honing in on my craft. This is a risk that I’ve learned to appreciate and control. Art, like life, can be the greatest gift once letting go and accepting the risks that come with it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I basically “seek and gather” things that resonate with me for whatever reason; in magazines, books and whatever else I can get my hands on. I collect these clippings and then, ultimately, make a piece of art using all of them. Each piece is an expression of my personal outlook and true life experiences. I consider all of my creations to be puzzles, the only challenge is that i don’t know what the image of that puzzle is upon starting, so i organically see what unfolds as I piece things together and slowly, more clarity comes as I immerse into the flow of the piece, a theme immerses and more meaning become apparent even if just to me. Almost as if I make it up as I go until I see what the puzzle was meant to look like. However, the most difficult thing about this process is knowing when it’s finished. My most meaningful piece was about a year ago. One of my collectors wanted a piece that was 100% composed of his life. We spent an entire day in his childhood home and I photographed everything from his musical instruments to childhood art projects etc. that he had. I had over 3000 photos developed and was able to make a collage using all of them.. Not only was I a collage artist but I also got to be the photographer for this one.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami is the perfect city for me because it has a mind of its own. there’s nowhere else just like Miami and for that, I believe this is where I’m meant to be. Honing in on that further, it is so diverse, fun, beautiful, and artistic in and of itself from the art deco history to Wynwood’s walls. Therefore, I would take them to South Beach, Wynwood, Overtown, and Coconut Grove. All places laced with a meaningful history.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and friends deserve a lot of credit for the absolute endless support. I also owe a lot to the City of Austin, Tx. The culture and people enabled me to really come out of my shell as an artist and person on my own terms.
Oliver Gal artist Co, Rodrigo Gaya Villar