Otters: Hi, Keith. Thanks for letting us interview you! First we’d like to ask, how important is creativity in your life and how do you incorporate it into your daily life?
Creativity means pretty much everything in my life. I’m not necessarily against the norm or the status quo, but I tend to have my own way of doing things. Whether I’m preparing a meal or physically training, I like incorporating some twist or variation to keep things from feeling too mundane.
Otters: Can you tell us a little bit about where you live and what you do when you’re not creating art work?
I am currently in a transition phase with where I live and what I do, but for years I have lived mostly in San Diego, CA, and partly in the Houston, Texas area, working as a pedicab (three wheel cycle taxi) driver.
Otters: What medium do you typically work in (i.e. watercolor, pastel, oil, etc?)
I work predominately in acrylic and watercolor, and sometimes pen. I have worked with pastel and oils before and might like to focus a bit more on oils in the future.
Otters: How do you share your art with others?
I share my art by showing, giving, or selling originals and prints.
Otters: How has an increasingly technological world changed creativity? Has technology made it easier to be creative; what are the pros and cons?
I think technology has played a big part in changing creativity. It’s scary to conceive how much meticulous labor used to be required to create a “simple” animation project such as the “Charlie Brown Christmas” special, or the claymation classic “Rudolph.” Without having worked on those sorts of projects, I’m certain that today’s technology makes creating them easier than back in the old hand-made days. I think technology increases ease and precision, which should be a good thing, especially for the creators. Yet, a bad aspect of this is that work can come out too polished, sterile and “perfect”, while lacking a “wabi-sabi,” imperfect human warmth quality. So I think technology is somewhere between good and bad, depending on how it’s used.
Otters: Where do you draw inspiration for your works?
I draw inspiration from nature. Forests, deserts, seashores mountains, and such are not only beautiful, but also ideal for solitude, recreation, personal reflection, and appreciation. Certain architecture (invariably old), also inspires me, especially if it complements, not dominates, the nature around it. Favorite people and animals are less frequent, though no less significant, sources of inspiration.
Otters: What creative people and artists inspire you? Who do you look up to?
I’m inspired by (though I don’t necessarily try to emulate the styles of) Manet, Van Gogh, Picasso, El Greco, James Coleman (especially his Hawaii and Disney paintings) and too many others to name here. I look up to my uncle Robert Cargill of Atlanta, who has worked as an artist all his life. Now in his 90’s, he still produces quality watercolor landscapes while maintaining a lively positive attitude.
Thank you, Keith!