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The Q&A: Kate Lacour

By Peggy Roalf   Monday November 14, 2016

Q: Originally from New York, what are some of your favorite things about living and working in New Orleans?

A: New Orleans is such strange and interesting place. There’s a lot of heat and violence but also a lot of festivity and piety. It’s very old, and eccentric, and it looks like you’re in Europe, but also Haiti and Alabama at the same time.

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between art you create on paper [or other analog medium] versus in the computer?

A: I keep a sketchbook filled with words and images.  I try to dump ideas there as they arrive while they are fresh, and I go back and develop them when I have time.  I exercise my drawing muscles by sketching the figure on index cards, which I toss out.  The sketchbooks function more like idea repositories.

I use the computer more like white-out than a real drawing tool.  I will sometimes use Photoshop to make some corrections to the finished art, but otherwise I work entirely by hand.

 


Q: What is the most important item in your studio?

A: Reference books, mostly anatomical, and medical ones.  Some vintage children’s science textbooks. 

Q: How do you know when the art is finished?

A: I paint like I’m making and then completing a coloring book page.  It’s really simple and it's clearly finished when the forms are filled in with color.

Q: When did you know that you had a unique view of the human body?

A: I don’t know if it’s unique, but I’ve always been curious about secret places and systems, and finding those within the body makes it very personal. It’s kind of familiar and dull but also this powerful mystery. It has the potential to be very stimulating or very repellant.

As a kid, maybe starting at age 12, I’d draw disarticulated and mutilated bodies, and that eventually developed into showing the human form from the inside, and in states of transformation.

 

Q: What elements of daily life exert the most influence on your work practice?

A: Meditation, hands down. The bulk of daily life, the work, the chores, seems to conspire against artistic creation. Meditation and worship supports it.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: D'aulaires' Book of Greek Myths,by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire.  Also the Golden Book Encyclopedia.

Q: What is the best book you’ve recently read?

A: Wise Blood, by Flannery O’Conner, which I guess is a novella.

Q: If you had to choose one medium to work in for an entire year, eliminating all others, what medium would you choose?

A: Colored ink.

 

Q: If you could spend an entire day away from work and deadlines, what would you do and where?

A: Meditate, draw in my study until I felt cooped up, then go hiking or running outside, have a campfire.

Q: What was the [Thunderbolt] painting or drawing or film or otherwise that most affected your approach to art?

A:I’ve never had an “aha” moment like that. But there was a 300 plus page antique medical supply catalog that I stole from my university’s research library when I was a freshman.  Something about those images made me shiver all over, they were very cold and powerful.  When I look at it now, it doesn’t have the same effect, but at the time, and for years afterwards, they had this electric charge.  I copied them over and over.

Q: What would be your last supper?

A: Homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Kate Lacour is the winner of the 2016 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Award of Excellence.  Her webcomics, Vivisectionary and The Disciple appear weekly on the Study Group Comics website (www.studygroupcomics.com). Her paintings have been exhibited at galleries in New York and New Orleans, including Press Street Antenna and the Society of Illustrators. 

Kate will be tabling at the Short Run expo in Seattle on November 5th. View her work at www.sharkbrains.com and katelacourart.tumblr.com.

 

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