Fun and Funky: Artist finds “Cattywampus” perspective

FAQ

Cattywampus Spring Bizarre

WHEN — Saturday 10am-4pm

WHERE – Dining Hall, Mount Sequoyah Center, 150 Skyline Drive in Fayettteville

For free

INFO — www.gocattywampus.com

There is no artwork by Chad Maupin to be confused with. Colourful, vibrant and dynamic, his designs – which often incorporate his love of old comics and classic horror films – leap off the page and engage your senses in the most delightful way. Maupin has run his own design studio, Big-Bot Design, for over a decade and specializes in “seamlessly integrating skilled illustrations into versatile graphic design.” But he’s been creating art for much longer, and is a co-founder of the funky and unique crafting collective CattyWampus Co-Op. Despite his busy schedule, Maupin took some time to answer a few questions about his craft ahead of Saturday’s Spring Bizarre, which brings together more than 100 artisans at Mount Sequoyah.

When did you start seeing yourself as an artist/creator/maker? What were some of the first things you remember?

I’ve always seen myself as an artist. One of my earliest memories was of being a 4 year old kid and telling my dad that when I grew up I would be a cartoonist and artist. I spent my entire childhood and adolescence creatively analyzing the things I was obsessed with and figuring out how to make that happen in a pre-internet era and with no support systems.

Do you know a “creator’s block” and if so, what inspires you to overcome it?

I’m struggling with it quite a bit, but also don’t worry about it that much anymore. I started my career almost 30 years ago as a very young man, forced to learn discipline and work ethic on the side in a fast-moving industry. There just wasn’t the luxury of getting the job done when the mood hit.

You must learn to overcome these blocks and develop rituals and methods to counteract creative blocks. For me, a big part of this process is changing my environment and working in my sketchbook as regularly as possible. Creating “holy time” to be an artist with no agenda keeps me hooked to my creative spirit and helps me switch off from the daily grind of getting work done.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I love being in touch with my intuition and creative subconscious. I had many ideas and concepts that came about simply by drawing and writing without an agenda and letting my thoughts speak to me. It feels magical.

How has your work changed or evolved over time?

I think I’ve gotten smarter over time and trust my instincts. In a way, the work itself isn’t all that different, but my perception of it is.

What tool in your studio can’t you do without?

My pens and paper. I have an ever-evolving toolbox of pens and brushes that I use for my line art, as well as good quality Bristol cardstock and my sketchbooks. All of my digital work is done on a Mac. I don’t do digital illustration and don’t know if I ever will. I speak about it from time to time, but I love the limitations of physical media and the choices they force you to make. Having physical artifacts of my work is also something that is valuable to me. If one day I’m the last one to draw on paper, that’s fine with me.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Alan Moore once said, “It is not the artist’s job to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what it needed, they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It’s the artist’s job to give the audience what it needs.”

If you could change one aspect of society through your work, what would it be?

I think emotional intelligence, introspection and empathy are incredibly important and character traits that are sorely lacking in our society. I love creating work that encourages people to have a healthier relationship with themselves.

Do you have any advice for a creative just starting out?

Learn to listen to yourself, develop your skills, find your people and persevere.

Lara Hightower can be reached at [email protected]

“At the beginning of my career, I was absolutely terrified of dealing with customers or of criticism,” says Chad Maupin. “I had to accept that my fear of failure was holding me back and let it go. As you become more confident in your work and who you are as an artist, your relationship to criticism and ‘failure’ changes radically, and real growth is possible.” (Courtesy of Images/Chad Maupin)
photo “At the beginning of my career, I was absolutely terrified of dealing with customers or of criticism,” says Chad Maupin. “I had to accept that my fear of failure was holding me back and let it go. As you become more confident in your work and who you are as an artist, your relationship to criticism and ‘failure’ changes radically, and real growth is possible.” (Courtesy of Images/Chad Maupin)
photo “At the beginning of my career, I was absolutely terrified of dealing with customers or of criticism,” says Chad Maupin. “I had to accept that my fear of failure was holding me back and let it go. As you become more confident in your work and who you are as an artist, your relationship to criticism and ‘failure’ changes radically, and real growth is possible.” (Courtesy of Images/Chad Maupin)
photo “At the beginning of my career, I was absolutely terrified of dealing with customers or of criticism,” says Chad Maupin. “I had to accept that my fear of failure was holding me back and let it go. As you become more confident in your work and who you are as an artist, your relationship to criticism and ‘failure’ changes radically, and real growth is possible.” (Courtesy of Images/Chad Maupin)

Leave a Comment