The MINI Interview with BIG Exclusive Artist: Matthew Korbel-Bowers

Matthew Korbel-Bowers Desk

Workspace/Headspace/Tools. These three things are crucial for artists. Our environment has to be perfect for making work. The word perfect is subjective and means something entirely different to each person and is extremely personal. I know that I need a clean and organized house and studio for my mind to be open with starting a new project. Tell us a little bit about your workspace, headspace and tools.

Name: Matthew Korbel-Bowers
Location: San Francisco

Creative space? Excellent question. Really, it could be a thesis topic. I daydream about my ideal studio—a modernist cabin on a sea cliff stocked with all the fancy digital and analog goodies imaginable—like large format scanners, printers, photo set-ups, screenprinting gear, flat-files, canvases, a library, power-tools, coffee and really loud music. But yeah, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It is more like a laptop, a mouse and my trusty Heath mug. When I was in grad school at CCA, taking Martin Venezky’s infamous Form Studio class, I took over my apartment for a semester to conduct all these experiments that had me dangling lights, styrofoam balls, poster board and annoying wire from the ceiling in key living spaces. My wife loved that. But hey, it is all about making do.

My creative process lives a double life. I work at a design agency—where like all agencies—the goal is to crank out work for clients. It isn’t a scene for luxuriating. The time crunch limitation makes creating like a sport—like not using your hands in soccer. So, when I do my personal stuff I take my time. I start with a vague idea and I let it marinate. I allow it to quietly take form. I work on it in my head. It gives me something to do when I am on the muni, pumping gas, watching tv, walking the dog, and so on. When the time is right, and I have a clear vision of the piece, I just sit down and do it.

Matthew Bowers Print 1

Matthew Bowers Print 2

Thanks Matthew for sharing! – Kelly Lynn Jones


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