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Cynthia Gaub

Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
Although it seems so cliché to say that I have been creating all my life, I do feel that it is true. I was drawing, making puppets and sculptures and writing stories as early as kindergarten. I would entertain my younger brothers as often as possible. But as early as second grade I also wanted to be a teacher, playing "School" as often as my other friends wanted to play house.
What is your medium of choice?
Collage has always been my passion. Whether it is magazines, handmade papers, or recently more fabric and 3-D objects, it has always been collage. Even when I use the computer, it is still collage. I did try my hand at photography, film and video as well as theater in college and I still have a passion for those arts as well. But when I am really expressing myself it is always in the collage form. One of the things I love most about being a teacher is my ability, and actually my need, to dabble and experiment in a variety of mediums. I have really enjoyed clay, printmaking and my biggest passion to share with my students is my digital art. I never stop learning and playing in my job.
What are your motivations for creating?
Currently, I am so lucky to be teaching art, so my motivation is, more often than not, to create samples for projects I will do with the kids. However, at different points in my work my motivation has been more therapeutic and cathartic. I have processed many a relationship in my art. It has also been spiritual. Finding my place in this world sums up most of my larger work.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
I love pop art especially Andy Warhol; Earth Art like Andy Goldsworthy; Photography and self-portrait ala Cindy Sherman. There is more... I don't know really how they influence my work. Although my work is mostly about color and texture, so artwork strong in those elements usually fire me up to make my own.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
I am really into digital photography right now. I like to take photo walks, where the purpose is to find interesting things to take pictures of and always at unique angles. Again, I am always looking for unusual textures and colors. Not sure what will happen with these photos but the exercise in looking and seeing the world around me differently helps me in my life and my art.
Read anything good lately?
I read all the time, most of it I get to label as "professional development" browsing through many great art magazines, since I became an art teacher I quadrupled my subscriptions, it IS research after all. I also like to keep in touch with my middle school students by reading fiction from our school library. I prefer science fiction and fantasy type novels. I choose plenty of medieval historical books and it doesn't matter to ME how accurate they are. I also like thriller type books with girl heroes. Right now I am reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It is a futuristic utopia gone wrong kind of story, with a girl hero! I can't remember the last adult fiction I read. It is either non-fiction art books or teen fiction.
You wear a lot of hats: artist, educator, zine editor, organizer; is there one that fits you best?
Don't forget web designer, educator of other art educators, group facilitator, project coordinator, grant writer and devoted dog mommy. I have also been the President and treasure of an artist's co-op gallery, curator of art shows, manager of a retail art gallery and did I mention obsessive dog lover? I am also a proud single woman home owner, a gardener and garlic lover, an obsessive recycler and collector (some may call me a pack rat...I blame my parents.) "don't throw THAT away." is my well known school quote. There is no ONE that fits me best, I am all these things. As I grow older, I have become more complex and at the same time so much simpler. I don't go out much anymore, I am more of a homebody, and that is OK for me. If I spend three hours straight just cuddling with my dog, I haven't missed anything. But if I can share any little piece of my rich experiences I feel privileged. I have worked hard, very hard, to be where I am now in my life mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially. I am proud, but not so full of myself that I can't remember how I got here.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
I really love this community of artists. I love having other artists with whom to share and be inspired. My work is always being challenged by the monthly shows. I always try to do at least one every month. I forces me to think outside my box and to stretch my creative wings, be it different subject matter or even a new medium. I encourage all other members to try the same. It gives you some respect for other artists too. I tried the Abstract show and WOW! that was hard. I always think abstract looks so easy, but it is not, if you want to do it well. For collectors I would share that my work is always evolving but the core style will always be the same. My work is always going to have an underlying theme of discovering the self, with strong hints of feminism. Texture and color will always be dominant themes. But variety is the spice of life! Live with passion and color!

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