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reflection

Artist Spotlight: Kate Logan aka Artetak

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Kate Logan also known as Artetak, describes herself as a cat enthusiast living in Atlanta, GA who occasionally moonlights as an illustrator. (Literally in that order). We had the chance to chat recently about some of her process and style.

CXC: When did you first start drawing? Kate: I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged it.

What are your primary tools that you work with? Right now I primarily work digitally with an old Wacom Intuos 2 and paint tool Sai. I used to use mostly colored pencils and copics, but it was extremely expensive to do when you’re young and broke. Not proud to say that most of my markers were stolen. I would scrape together enough money to take the train and have to walk a mile to get to the art supply store. It was awful but I had no other means of buying supplies when 100% of my paychecks from work were going toward surviving. It’s funny looking at my old art and seeing how colorful and bright it was when I was living in such a dark time.

What are your biggest influences or inspirations for your work? I’m absolutely obsessed with innocent imagery with darker undertones. Artist wise, I look to people like Mark Ryden and Trevor Brown as a model source of what I want to do artistically. Older kitschy things also are a huge fountain of inspiration. Pop culture, the occult, serial killers….you know, the usual.

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Your cosplay of Cindy from FFXV was one of my favorites since it came out even before all of the video game hype. Cosplay is a big part of your life. What’s your personal favorite if you had to pick one that you’ve done? Thank you!! I was super bummed that nobody knew who I was when I wore Cindy to Dragoncon 2016 because they pushed the game release back. Ah well, I’ll probably wear her again this year. But if I had to pick a favorite, I always have the most fun when I cosplay Baby Firefly from House of 1000 Corpses. It’s not a complicated cosplay by any means, but I get to run around with my ass literally out and portray my favorite horror movie character.

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Does one creative outlet influence the other and if so, how?  (cosplay vs gaming vs drawing, etc) Yes yes yes!!! I’ve been gaming since I was a small kid, and I used to trace the art in the art books and tell everyone at school that I drew them. Gaming is kind of a foundation for just about everything I do. I cosplay the characters from games I love (I’ve cosplayed from Assassin’s Creed, Dishonored, and Space Channel 5), I draw the characters I love. Basically, without video games I don’t think I’d be quite so artistic.

What have you been listening to lately? What about film or animation? I’m really into Run The Jewels lately. But my music taste is all over the place so I’ll go from hip hop to electronic to like….Lana Del Ray. As for films, last year I fell utterly in love with The VVitch. Folk horror is one of my favorite genres of film and the movie captured it perfectly. Also I went through a 70’s satanic sexploitation film phase for a minute there, thanks to a section dedicated to that particular genre in Videodrome. They’re so weird.

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What is your biggest hurdle that you run in to when creating? I get bored really easily. I’ll be into a piece, working my ass off, and get bored with inking or coloring so I start to get sloppy. I have to train myself to stop.

Any specific designs have a significant meaning to you personally? I have a piece called Old Wive’s Tale that I’m obsessed with. It’s a dark mermaid in a swamp with the water full of fish and creatures swarming around her. I spent a lot of time working on it and it embodies one of my biggest fears. Dark water where you can’t see what is below the surface.

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Have any favorite projects or breakthrough moments? I recently got to work with Deadmau5 and his team at Mau5trap records on some rad projects. It was a dream come true experience and they were the most pleasant people to work with. But hot damn did it stress me the fuck out.

Soo.. social media and the internet. I know you’ve had your run in with a handful of people stealing your work. Let’s talk about that for a second. Ooooh yeah, unfortunately it’s one of those things that happens when you put your art out there. I mean, look at poor Yoshita Amano whose Final Fantasy art I told everyone was my own in the second grade. But I’ve had this happen to me several times over the years since I was a young teenager running a website back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, and you can’t really do much about it.

Has that influenced you creatively? I’ve created a few pieces out of anger as a response.

Where are you showcasing your art for people to check out? The easiest way for people to find me is on facebook at facebook.com/kateloganart or instagram at @artetak

What’s next? My lawyer has advised me not to answer this question.

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All That We Share

Hibernation

(Currently listening to the album Threads by Now, Now.)

 

The cold months excite some to no end, but not all. The holidays, the chill in the air, the possibility of snow and the fresh start of the new year. While I love the symbolic fresh start of the new year, my excitement wears off fairly quickly as I prepare to face seasonal affective disorder head on like clockwork. It’s about as exciting as knowing you’re in for a physical by a new doctor and bracing yourself for a complete strangers finger up your butt (and yes girls that’s actually a thing that happens when you’re a male my age). I’ve gotten better at understanding, acknowledging and preparing for seasonal depression over the years, but it’s still a tricky bitch to contend with. Not to mention that beyond a slight dip in temperature that let’s me wear my year-round wardrobe of all black jeans-boots-shirt-hoodie-jacket-hat combo, I actually hate it being cold. I used to think I just hated this time of year because I was skinny and had no insulation, but no matter how many layers I put on to go outside, it’s still mildly uncomfortable at best. I’ll take a heater, my Carhartt jammies and a warm blanket at home any day.

Then I wondered if it was just my location… Living in Atlanta, Georgia it’s an annual joke how little (if any) snow that we get. It’s usually always a plain uninteresting sort of cold here during the winter months, with just enough warm days mixed in to make sure you stay perfectly on the edge of a runny nose. Disappointment over snow days linger, tempt and then slap you in the face with a full on ice storm. Strange how I actually really appreciate those days, although I suspect it’s because I don’t have to make an excuse to my social circle as to why I’m not to leaving the house.

It was my Senior year of college in 2006 that I actually realized I had seasonal affective disorder. I was surrounded by a multitude of great friends nearing my last 6 months of schooling ever yet I felt like I was totally alone. After a some counseling help to get my sleep schedule and eating back on schedule, I pulled through right as spring was near. It scared the hell out of me though because for the first time in my life I had hit what I unquestionably knew was not just a sadness or laziness, but depression.

Trial and error and knowing the patterns to look for have helped me quite a lot over the years but this year hasn’t been easy. I was prepared for the frigid air, the lack of color on the trees, the inability to hang out on my deck or open windows… I have a stack of amazing video games to play, blu-rays to watch and a folder full of music projects that I’m excited for, but this year… it’s just different. This is not the seasonal affective I am used to. In fact it’s something all together different and it hit me like a ton of bricks this past week. That’s when I realized what it was. It was the culmination of fears becoming reality with the power change of our American presidents. I won’t go in to my level of disappointment for this country right now but it doesn’t feel like home. It almost looks like home, but it’s disgusting, cruel and void of reason.

I got black out drunk two nights in a row this past weekend and sat in my studio weeping while watching the UK Parliament discuss our president’s decision to ban Muslims from entering or re-entering the United States. As British citizens were protesting in their own streets, they spent hours discussing the ideology that America was built on, what that stands for and it resonated across the entire house. They questioned what sort of relationship to continue having with the United States like a boy that just found out his wealthy girlfriend was actually a hooker. All the while they quoted the words on our great Statue of Liberty that welcomes immigrants in with open arms to live a life of freedom. It started slow but then uncontrollably, I sobbed.

My American blood wept. My British blood wept. My human blood wept.

So much for avoiding seasonal depression. While I was worried about the doctor with the stranger finger, another one entered the room with a stranger fist.

I’m fairly good at hibernating by now, but I’m desperately ready for spring.

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