Last week, we interviewed one of our fiber artists here at Artistic Portland. This week we're giving you the perspective of Jason Winslow of Cool to Me, who joined the Co-op in December 0f 2018. Jason is a local artist who creates imaginative sculptures out of various materials.
How long have you been a part of Artistic Portland, and what appealed to you about joining the Co-op?
I joined AP in December of last year. I am drawn to the idea of a group collaborating to make everyone's goals a reality. It follows that when I started looking for a way to market my sculptures, I specifically began looking for a Co-op. Artistic Portland was in particular appealing for the wide variety of artistic expression represented. I enjoy being influenced by the different styles and personalities that are represented. I also feel that the customers' experience is enhanced with that variety. Many members use the similar materials as I do- metal, glass, text, paper etc. - but we all produce wildly different results. The juxtaposition of those results enhances the appreciation for each artist's voice.
What is your background?
I have been a live entertainment technician since the mid -1980s. I predominately work in lighting and scenic construction for plays and dance. I began assembling sculptures in late 2017.
Where do you create?
I actually find this to be a complex question. The easy answer is in my home. I have creative assembly spaces in my basement and garage. The text is composed on my computer. But the inspiration/planning/creationeering happens inside my head wherever I am at the moment. Driving, showering, shopping, working, etc. Sometimes a creature will be inspired by a piece of junk I find in the corner of a deconstruction shop, or at IKEA. Sometimes I wake up with a solution to an assembly problem in my mind or see a piece of random Portland ingenuity that sparks new solutions. Other times a friend or colleague will make a suggestion that leads down a rabbit-hole of creation.
What motivates/inspires your work?
My creatures often spring out of my subconscious without my permission. Most of the time, I don't realize what emotional/intellectual nugget was inspiring the work until a fair bit into the process. Eventually, I realize "Oh! This was my back-brain gnawing on global warming or social policy or the phone bill."
What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have?
It depends on which part of the process I'm in. I'm fortunate to have a life partner who will give honest feedback while I'm writing/creating the text portion. I like to do the wiring and soldering while watching Netflix. While assembling, I try to incorporate materials in a way I haven't before to avoid overusing any one process or solution. Shopping for materials is a sort of creative routine because the new materials make me contemplate new solutions or new projects.
What is your favorite piece you have ever created?
In truth, I tend to be most excited by whatever sculpture I'm currently working on. The act of creating brings a level of stimulation and engagement that doesn't exist after the piece is finished.
What do you like to do when you are not creating?
I have another career that keeps me busy. Other than that I'm a home body. I love having dinner with my partner or watching Netflix together. Depending on my mood, computer games and/or social media can give the brain a rest.