One of Many is a project by Wesley Verhoeve, in which he captures creative communities across the United States in portrait and writing. For more about the creative community of Savannah, GA and 11 others, visit oneofmany.co and follow along on Instagram at @wesleyverhoeve.
Katherine Sandoz is a visual artist who lives and works in Vernonburg, just outside of Savannah, GA. She listens, in the broadest sense of the word. She creates, in the most intimate sense of the word. We met when I was in Savannah to capture the local creative community and I recently followed up with a few questions about her artistic process.
How would you describe your ideal balance between craft and raw talent in your process and work?
I believe that some creatives exist who find that the work arrives easily. They appear to draw, paint or build with great understanding. The images, words, music develops seemingly without misstep or effort. I have no idea what that is like. I continue to learn disciplines, techniques and understanding of materials and strategy only through a planned daily attack. I work, re-work, tear down and approach again. My unappeasable interest in the world and a persevering desire to make stands in as my raw talent. I doubt this is considered “finding a balance” but if one cares to explore the far reaches of their discipline, they don’t spend a lot of time away from it.
What has been a particularly impactful lesson you’ve learned from a mentor, with regards to the technical aspect of your work?
I hear the voices of former teachers, mentors, students and peers all day long. There have been so many gems and I reflect on them often. One comment I received early on centered on drawing and how to consider it. The instructor said something like, “Maybe you shouldn’t be drawing “it” but around it.” That tip changed my way of seeing what I draw, but also, year later, how I approach concepting and problem solving. So often the solution to a problem or the answer to question sits just outside of where we are looking.
Do you have a particular audience in mind when creating new work?
I am the audience at first. I make to create an object or space that satisfies a desire for exploring some constellation of content, form and process. After that, I’m returning from a far away place and asking if you might like to come see my slide show. Everyone is welcome. Some will appreciate the proof of the voyage and what has been collected and transformed in the process. Some will see and feel close to the work – as if they had a hand in the making. Others will see and experience moments – even monuments – that I missed altogether. If I’m working collaboratively, many eyes and hands travel and report as one. Other times I am asked to translate the client’s story using the language I have developed over so many treks. As with so many disciplines, we are the audience.