Amy visited me last month. I thought it would be good to try a different approach to the interview process rather than a Q&A via e-mail which is how I’d done all previous features. The problem with this plan is that the experience was so overwhelming and inspiring that I was finding it too difficult to keep my introduction succinct.
So I scrapped it.
I will say this, I knew Amy was a shoo-in to become a member of the Project when I first laid eyes on “Fashion Items” at Majority Rule two Novembers ago. Since that time, it feels like I want to buy almost everything she makes. It’s a problem.
So without further ado…
Amy Hughes Braden
What do you find to be most difficult/challenging about being an artist?
The most challenging thing for me about being an artist, is also the most challenging thing to me about being a human–discipline. I have a serious discipline deficit and I know that everything in my life, including my art, would grow exponentially in quality and quantity if I could make myself get off my ass more often than I do.
When did you start making art and what motivated you to make it?
I have a terrible memory which complicates (or simplifies) this question. I don’t remember ever not making art, and it was never a conscious decision. Until of course I grew up, then I had to choose to continue. But as a child my parents were supportive and noticed me always drawing and painting and encouraged it by letting me take art classes. I think I’m a case where my brain is just wired to create two dimensional things with my hands, and then at some point it became my identity.
During our pseudo interview (which is also the funniest recording I’ve ever made) we talked about color preferences (pink), new home ownership (hard labor and creative control), and growing up in the suburbs of W.D.C. (should have explored the city more in her youth), among many other things. We were all over the place and veered off into many rabbit holes.
In the end, I had to send her questions via e-mail. The recording was a chaotic, manic mess. It is not a strength of mine to organize messes into sense, but I’m sure she understands.
What are your thoughts on babies?
I actually feel pretty confident about having kids, the biggest thing that I’ll want to focus on is maintaining a good relationship with my sweet husband– I can be a real dick when I’m tired. Oh, and another concern about having a kid would be pushing it out of my vagina. Those are my two biggest concerns, because honestly if I don’t make art for a while, or if I temporarily become less ambitious, I’ll be happy because I’ll be playing with my baby instead.
Have you made any discoveries in your practice as a result of becoming a member of Project Dispatch and making work for subscriptions?
I’ve discovered that I don’t hold the things I create as loosely as I would like to, because when it comes time to send them off I have trouble. I aim to be as unattached to the finished piece as possible. An art teacher in high school told me that we mustn’t be too precious with our art and that still rings in my ears. Recently I think I’m worried that I won’t make something as good, or I’ll forget about the piece, and that makes me want to cling on to it. Probably need to do some introspection re: this.
If you could pick three artists from the Project to subscribe to, who would they be?
Easy: Stephanie Kwak, Deborah Anzinger, Becca Kallem