Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Favorite Friend: Danielle Krysa aka The Jealous Curator

We have to admit that Danielle Krysa (aka The Jealous Curator) is not just one of our favorite friends--but one of our favorite people. We have gabbed about her in the past, both for her Girl Crush event that we helped host and her first art show in our gallery, alleglory. However, now she's throwing even more awesomeness our way, as her first book, Creative Block has hit shelves and she's packed her suitcase and headed for Seattle and Portland this week!

This coming Saturday, May 24th, Danielle will be speaking, fielding questions and having a book signing for Creative Block at Elliott Bay Book Company from 7-9pm. We'll be there--will you??

PLUS--If you're a Portland reader, your event is a bit earlier--with Danielle hitting Powell's Books on May 21st (that's tomorrow!) at 7pm. You won't want to miss her!

We were so excited to host Girl Crush: Seattle with you a while back--how did the series change you? Did you have a favorite moment throughout all of the events--other than hanging out with us, obviously!?
HA! Well, yes, clearly that was the best part! It really was an amazing experience. I met so many exceptional women who I can now happily call my friends. And yes, it did change me. I didn't realize how emotional those workshops would be. Amazing to find out that so many of us share so many experiences... self doubt being a really big one!

We're big fans of your series, "Real Art for a Fictitious World," on SF Girl By Bay --are there any lesser known characters that are special to you that you'd like to curate for that probably won't end up on the blog?  
Oh thanks! I absolutely love writing that series. I really want to hit all my teenage faves (Sixteen Candles, Dirty Dancing, Footloose) but I'm afraid it will date me, and also make me look like I don't have fancy taste in "films" ... because I don't!

When we first met, you were only just starting to delve deeper into your own art career--what have you learned about yourself as an artist?  
So much. Writing my blog, and then the book, was like art therapy for me! I actually allow myself to experiment now, and if something sucks, that's ok. I've realized that's just part of the process. I used to let that stop me, but now I just keep on going. I've also just had a major revelation... I was told a few weeks before I graduated with my BFA, by a horrible prof, that I should "never paint again." I was a painting major. And thinking about it, I literally have not painted since then (that was in 1995!!!). I do collage now (which I love), but I kinda wonder if I've been hiding out in collage so that I don't have to paint. So I'm buying new paint, and I'm going to do a bunch of the painting "unblocking projects" from the book and see how it goes...wish me luck!

When and where is the most inspiring time/place for you to create?  
I love my studio. It's in my house, for the first time in my life. It's messy and creative and lovely. I'm not very creative until about 4pm, but then I could go until about 4am!

Your book, Creative Block, has come out and is a smashing success! How did you feel when you received your first published copy? 
 I cried. And felt a tiny bit sick. It was insane to hold it, considering that for the past two years it was just a word doc and whole bunch of spreadsheets. Seeing "KRYSA" down the spine was a totally surreal moment that I will never have again.

What was your mission when writing Creative Block?  
I had a really hard time after my BFA (see previous answer re: jerky prof who kinda broke me), and then felt blocked and insecure for about 15 years. 15 YEARS?! What a huge waste of time. Anyway, I just thought if I could help one person not go through that, then the book would be a success. I had no idea how ridiculously open and honest all of the artists would be in their interviews. They truly made this book special by sharing their doubts, insecurities, and then amazingly helpful advice. I am totally grateful to all 50 of them.

Any inspiring or fun stories that have happened along the writing, publishing and touring path?  
Well this was kinda weird. One of the artists, Kristi Malakoff, is a paper artist based in Russia. I knew she was Canadian, but that was about it. Anyway, we went back and forth with the interview, getting her images etc.--probably about a 6 month process. Just before the book came out I sent an email to the artists to give them a status update and mentioned the name of my friend that took my bio photo for the inside cover... she knew him too. Long story short we ended up figuring out that we had grown up one town away from each other, and that we had actually been in a dance routine together when we were 12. She had the photo with her in Russia and was looking at us, in matching pink spandex, as she emailed me. Um, hello insanely small world!

If you were stranded on a magical, monotonous desert island and could have only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Do potato chips count as a meal? If I add dill pickle dip, then I'm pretty sure that counts.

If you could choose any celebrity to proudly display one of your art pieces in their home, who would it be?  
Oh boy. Hm. Probably Kristen Wiig or Tina Fey. I love both of them so much, and since my collages are kinda weird/funny, maybe they'd like 'em!

What is your favorite color? ...Why?
I love rosey/coral pink. It's adds joy to any piece you make. 

Images courtesy Danielle Krysa
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