Lyric Kinard website. Lyric's blog.
JL:What’s your story? How did you go from English Literature major to musician to artist?
LK:Growing up I had big plans to be the first female French Horn player in the Berlin Philharmonic - no small potatoes for me! When I starte really looking into what it took to be a musician I changed my mind. The work hours were tough - days plus almost every evening and weekend. The course load in college left NO time for any other interests or part time jobs. I couldn't picture myself giving up all my other interests and being that single minded and driven in order to succeed. I ended up in English Lit. because that was the best scholarship I was offered. I was still able to spend most of my time in the music department but I did it on my own terms. I also studied and readied myself to go into graduate Architecture. I was definitely not single minded.
The artist part came after I gave up pretty much everything and chose to stay home to raise my children. It took a few years but I finally found a medium that I could do in the little fits and spurts of time the mother of young children finds for herself.
JL:How do you describe yourself as an artist?
LK: I'm an artist that works with textiles as a medium. I honor the traditional quilt tradition that I come from yet feel free to leave it behind. Spontaneous and yet meticulous at the same time. Scattered in the here and now but focused on the big picture.
JL:What inspires your art-making?
LK: An intense need to create beauty and joy in a world where there is far too much ugliness. I suppose that puts me right out of any hope for success in the Avant Garde or high end gallery scene. Ah well. I also feel the need to create something ordered while my life is so chaotic. The chaos is all good - but it is chaos nonetheless.
JL: What’s your favorite part of creating?
LK:I love the design and planning process - the idea mulling and experimenting and what-iffing. The smaller improvisational pieces are experimental and laying in stitches full of color and texture by hand is a joy. Sometimes the actual production of a larger planned piece can turn to slogging drudgery and I have trouble sticking with it to completion. But ya gotta do what you gotta do to get the work done. Usually that means forcing a deadline
JL: What do you listen to when you work in your studio?
LK: Often - nothing at all. My home is full of chaos and noise and sometimes silence is blessed. Sometimes I need a connection with the outside world and will listen to NPR talk shows or science podcasts. When I need to push
through for a deadline and boost my energy my playlist includes Salsa, Celtic, Bluegrass/Newgrass, Classical, Swing, A-Capella - anything unplugged and upbeat.
JL: Do you keep a sketchbook? What kind?
LK: Yes! Always! Any kind. My favorite is a small 4x6 hardcover with a good black india ink artists pen.
JL: I know you have a lot of children, (5 at last count?) yet you accomplish a great deal as a professional artist.
LK: It only seems like I accomplish a great deal because you can see all the results at once. In reality - the work trickles on, I teach a few times a year, and I write now and then. All of it - in between everything I do with and for my family.
|Lyric and her two youngest (of 5)|
L: I’ve read you often work on the go. How do you fit it in? Any tips for staying creative with such demands on your time from family?
|Lyric's art materials for on the go.|
LK: I am so glad you like it! It's an obsessive passion of mine to convince people that they CAN learn both to appreciate and to create art. There are those that are gifted from birth with artistic talent - but by and large the vast majority of us just plain have to work at it. It took every spare minute and then some for almost a full year and a half - I have absolutely no urge to write another any time soon. I feel
like I've used up every idea in my head. But truly, it was a wondrous bit of serendipity and being prepared when opportunity totally surprised me with a rap on the door. I knew I wanted to write this book but expected it to happen much further down the road. I want to just make art for the fun of it for a while now.
JL: What are your artistic goals for this year and what are you currently working on? The next 5 years? (Do you create an actual list of goals, or are they just in your head?)
LK: Yes, I do write out simple but concrete goals. I usually write out fourand am happy if I make two per year. This year I only have three. 1 -build my blog into something worth reading. 2 - create a body of wor cohesive enough to look great in a solo show. 3 - be ready to film a
"Bead It Like You Mean It" DVD workshop. My five year goals are 1 - keep enough family time, 2 - teach for a week in Italy (I'm so excited that you get to go!) 3 - make two major (large) works. Simple. Doable I think. I can't remember more than three things at a time so I have to keep it short. I write them on post it notes and stick them in a few different places to remind me. So many other opportunities come up that might be good but don't take me towards my goals that I have to be careful. It's a great problem to have.
JL: Lyric, I think you’re a fabulous teacher! I’ve seen you on Quilting Arts TV and of course I have your DVD Surface Design Sampler Platter and you are so clear, soprepared, so thorough. I’m looking forward to taking one of your classes in person, especially since you’ve written you play music and have the student practice yoga during your classes. Tell us about your approach to teaching and what you enjoy about it.
LK: I only play music during longer five day classes - and then only for specific exercises. I can't help but break out singing corny broadway tunes every once in a while though. The yoga is the best - chair yoga. When we get intense about our hand work too often we are hunched up and tight and I simply can't keep going without doing some simple stretches.
I love being with students. I love to see them play freely and to experiment and learn and grow. There is nothing better for me than to see someone overcome feelings of fear or inadequacy and accept and acknowledge and begin to nurture the creativity they already possess. I work like a dog ahead of time (I like to bring almost all of the supplies for the students so they don't have to worry about hard to find things and bringing the "wrong" stuff) so that we can relax and enjoy ourselves during class.
JL: What are you upcoming classes and workshops?
LK: The rest of this year is actually pretty light for my teaching schedule As much as I love teaching I enjoy stretches at home in the studio and with the family. I'll be teaching mostly in the NC/VA region in August and September.
GIVE-AWAY * GIVE-AWAY!I'll give you a copy of Lyric's fabulous book Art + Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises, if you leave a comment telling me what your three goals are for this next year. (Even if you're just thinking of them right now :-) I'll chose the winner, randomly, on Sunday, May 16. Be sure and check back to see if you're the winner!