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YBMW Interview: The Ceramic Taxidermy Of Snew

Posted by YBMW Staff on April 30th, 2012
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0412_snew_6.JPGThe Following interview was conducted by toy industry insider and all around lover of the weird, Mike Drake.

It was during one of my recent online searches for two headed animals and other Oddities when I discovered the artwork of Snew. After purchasing some of Snew’s art, I felt compelled to do an interview.

Mike Drake (MD): What is your favorite medium to work in?
Snew (SN): My favorite medium right now is clay. I like working with my hands and really like materials that are forgiving.

MD: Did you attend art school, and if so which one?
SN: Yes, a really expensive one that took all of my money

MD: When did you become interested in art?

I have been wanting to be an artist since I was 2. I don’t think I have ever wanted to be anything else, well I guess I have always wanted to be a mermaid also.

MD: When did you sell your first creation?
SN: I used to make paper purses and paper machine guns at school in the 2nd grade and sell them for quarters at recess does that count? I participated in my first art show when i was a senior in high school and sold some things but nothing huge. My first real profit was in 2001 when i participated in my college’s annual student art sale.

MD: From where do you draw inspiration?
SN: This has always been a hard question to answer without sounding cheesy. I really do find inspiration in almost everything I love everything vintage,sparkly, dark, garish and obnoxious it makes my brain smile and start working out the plans to make things

MD: What inspires you to paint (much of) your art a single solid color?
SN: I think it is easier to decorate with sold color, you can group more items together when they are solid color and it just looks cool and modern to me

MD: When did you first get the idea to take an existing molded item (like your 2 headed bird) and alter it?
SN: When I was younger I made a 2 headed snake in home economics I guess I just continued my love for the bizarre and just switched mediums for now.

MD: You have done some great “mutant” animals with baby heads, what was the inspiration behind this?
SN: I have a huge fascination for sideshow freaks and I applied that to that to my work which I call ceramic taxidermy.

MD: What is your favorite piece?
SN: My favorite piece is called “ferocious phallus” and it is a foot tall and made of solid bronze. It was one of my college creations and the most fun thing I have ever made.
0412_snew_13.JPG

MD: Some of your work is very realistic and natural while others are clearly fantasy, is there a different sensibility behind each one?
SN: I really like making things that I like to make. I REALLY like making things that make me giggle like a mad scientist while I am creating them. I don’t know if there is a reason I guess I like a wide variety and like to have a variety in my shop

MD: What advice do you have for a young person thinking of becoming an artist?
SN: My first instinct is to scream “DON’T GO TO ART SCHOOL!!!” but then again, those were some of the best times I have ever had. I would just say to try to not take yourself too seriously and do what makes you happy

MD: How often do you create a new piece?
SN: I try to make something every single day.

MD: How do you balance the creation of art with the commerce of selling art?
SN: It is crazy and it gets all intertwined and stressful sometimes and that’s when I try to remember to not take myself so seriously and to just create and have fun creating it. But if I didn’t sell the things I make I would not have a space to live.

You can see, and purchase, the art of Snew HERE

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