Friday, December 28, 2012

Interview With Shark Hat Cafe

Today my interview is with Catherine from Shark Hat Cafe. I have to tell you I was so excited to do this interview because I find Catherine's pieces so unique and I wanted to find out how she found her inspiration. What makes her tick lol. Besides being a truly, in my opinion, unique and very talented artist, Catherine is by far one of the most beautiful souls I have had the pleasure of meeting. I am also proud to say that I own one of her amazing pieces and look forward to owning more. I truly hope you enjoy learning more about Catherine as I did. 

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Well, first and foremost, I’m mom to the best two kids in the world (in my opinion, of course) and wife to the best husband in the world (again, my own humble opinion).  I can be a joker at times- I love playing pranks on my kids.  I enjoy and appreciate satire in all forms, and absolutely hate doing what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is doing it. 
Catherine and her son 
Catherine and her daughter

What inspired you to become an artist?

While I've always been artistically inclined, I decided to produce items for sale in 2010.  My original intentions were to make money to help pay for my daughter’s college expenses, but I realized that art (for me, anyway) is incredibly healing.  It helped me to channel the mental chaos in my life into something productive. 

Who is another artist that you admire?

I admire so many!  Michelangelo wasn't just a painter and sculptor- he also made statements with his art. Leonardo was an inventor, as well as an artist.  Picasso helped start a movement that not only changed the art world, but also the way people view life.  In addition to the “traditional” masters, I also like artists who usually don’t come to mind when people think of art.  People like:  Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, and Don Martin (all writers and artists from Mad in the 70s and 80s),  Nobuhiro Watsuki, Yuu Watase, and Rumiko Takahashi (manga writers and artists), and finally, Todd MacFarlane (he took the American comic book industry to another level). 

What is your favorite piece from Michelangelo?? What speaks to you the most??

 The piece that speaks the most to me (and is my favorite) is “ The Last Judgement.”  The whole thing is a story unto itself- you really need to look at every single individual picture to understand and appreciate what’s going on.  I guess this just kind of puts how I feel inside most of the time into a visual.  Besides that, he depicts terror, bodily harm, and agony in a sacred place.  I respect that- a lot. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

Life!  Many of my design ideas, believe it or not, come from nature.  I have several calendars with nature photography- I derive (and then manipulate) patterns from butterfly wings, leaf veins, and even dog fur.  I even sometimes choose colors for my items based on what I look at that day.  Another source of inspiration for me is my trusty A & P (anatomy and physiology) book, “Maritini’s Atlas of the Human Body.”  Most people find the human body and its organs a little disgusting to use as art.  My view, however, is that it’s beautiful!  My interest right now lies in the organs and muscles because like gears in a clock, wires in a robot, and programming in a computer, that’s what makes us “work.”  Why not celebrate that?

What is your favorite book?

I have several: 

Workin’ It! by RuPaul (Sometimes a bit too much personal information, but overall, a must for anyone who needs a pick-me-up and common sense advice about self esteem!)
Disney’s Wonderful World of Knowledge books (I can’t remember what volume it was, but one of them had a section on mythical creatures, specifically, unicorns.  There was a picture of one that mesmerized me.  I drew that picture over and over and over until I got it right!  I must have been about 8, maybe 10 years old.  That was my first serious venture into freehand drawing.)
Aesop’s Fables (My grandma had a copy with beautiful pictures in it- I’d read it almost every month.)
Mad (I don’t remember the titles, but they were compilations.  I used to have frequent, horrible nightmares as a child.  The only thing that could get my mind off my terror was reading these books, even though I didn't get the humor since they were my father’s.)
Far Side Gallery (Same reason, only I read these as a teenager.  I still have these books!)
Rurouni Kenshin, Fushigi Yugi, Ceres, and InuYasha (These are mangas- Japanese comics translated into American.  The stories are adventure, romance, and comedy all wrapped up in drawings.  What more can you ask for?)

What is your favorite piece, and why?

My favorite piece, right now, anyway, is my Facehugger and Alien egg ornament (for those of you who may not be familiar with sci-fi movies, a Facehugger is an alien/monster from the Alien movie franchise). It took me quite a long time to complete, but I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have a few spare moments, you can find me:
gaming:  I’m a big geek and proud of it!  writing:  I've actually written (but not published) a few mangas, screenplays, and short stories.  and/or:  watching shows on the Science channel and coming up with my own theories about scientific principles and anomalies, questions concerning personality and psyche, and historical events (seriously!).

 Which Games are your favorites?

My number one favorite game of all time is Fable, but I also enjoy Pokemon Puzzle League, Bust a Move 2, Baldur’s Gate, Champions of Norath, Overlord, Naughty Bear, Diner Dash, and Cake Mania.  Most recently, my son got me into playing Halo.  I’m guessing that, much like for the guys on Big Bang Theory, Wednesday night will be Halo night! 

Where would you like to be in five years?

Like most people, I’d like to be a bazillionaire jet setting around the world in five years, but in case that’s not in the cards for me, I’d love to be a well-respected and renowned artist (who also brings in bucks!). 

Thanks so much for letting me share all this with you!

C. Evans