Interview with R.S. Connett
You have had an unusual career. Can you tell us about it? RSC: I worked many jobs as an adult, from selling fast food to selling insurance. I was an insurance broker for over 20 years. I was not happy in any of those jobs, and always creating art as a hobby, even as I worked doing other things for money. I always wanted to be a working artist, but could not see a way to do that and survive financially until the internet gave my work a broader audience. I started selling drawings and small paintings on Ebay and eventually was invited to show in established galleries. In time, I figured out how to make a living through my art and was able to drop the other occupations.
How would a life without creativity be like, for yourself and for mankind? RSC: I believe that art and self expression has driven the evolution of human culture and human invention from the very beginning. Our nature to do more, progress and attain loftier goals, has always found it’s inspiration in self expression. From the first rude sketches in soot on cave walls and percussive sounds on ancient drums was the great revelations of todays science and technology born. The more time people have to express their imaginations, the more our species will evolve in every other way. Art is the engine of human progress. Without it, we would still be in the trees. Can you tell us about the role colors play in your art? RSC: Honestly, I don’t consider color to be my strength. What I accomplish with color is instinctive. I think my colors play a secondary role to my imagination. Imagination is my strength. I sometimes struggle with color relationships in my work. I use acrylic paint because I like that it dries fast. I mix my colors with acrylic mediums to increase the glossy quality. I like my work to appear almost wet when finished. I enjoy controlling the opaque and transparent qualities of the paint by using mediums and glazing techniques. But really, my work is about my ideas.
The name of your website is www.grotesque.com. Do you see yourself as part of the grotesque art tradition? RSC: I used to. That domain name was given to me by a good friend. At the time, it did apply to my work. Not really any more in my opinion. (However, for now, I still use the domain name) My style and subject matter has evolved over time. It is still evolving. In earlier years my work was melodramatic and more about emotional catharsis. Back then, my art was a tool for getting my feelings out. My feelings were often grotesque. Now my work is more about illustrating ideas than emotions. My work is more objective. What is the most rewarding aspect of being an artist? RSC: I believe that the process of making art has transformed me into a person with more insight. Insights into the world and myself. Creating art allows me many hours of silence in which I spend time in self-examination. Many hours spent alone helps me to think clearly. People find my work interesting and thought- provoking. Making art has transformed me into a person who contributes ideas to the world. My artwork justifies my existence as no other thing I have ever done has.