Mandatory Expression: Kate Oberreich

Talk Looking at a painting and feeling an uneasy deja vu sensation – as if you saw something you forgot and it awoke a long-lost memory. I swear that is what I felt once I saw Kate’s work: beautiful, intriguing, and crisp-fresh! Today I introduce you to Kate Oberreich and her work.

DBF: Kate, please tell us a little about yourself.

KO: I consider myself a mixed media painter. I use acrylic, watercolor, drawing mediums and collage mostly, but try out new things all the time. My work is mostly abstract with realistic elements – whatever imagery that will push the narrative.

I grew up in Indianapolis and am a second-generation artist (potter and photographer). Because of this upbringing, I’ve always been an artist. I was never told it couldn’t be a career. My “day job” is with the Arts Council of Indianapolis as the Cultural Concierge. I get to promote and advocate for the arts in Indianapolis for a living!

I’ve been lucky enough to have a great group of clients, both in fine art and illustration, including Indianapolis Monthly and Twentieth Century Fox.

StorytellerDBF: Kate, what is your “catalyst”, what guilty pleasure inspires you, what fuels your work?

KO: I love symbolism and stories. I love making work that has a meaning, even if I’m the only one who knows it. I love listening to people discuss my work when they don’t know I’m there or who I am. They invent their own stories and it shows how universal things are.

DBF: What piece of technology makes your creative life easier?

KO: I think my iPhone has made my creative life easier. I don’t use it to directly make art, but rather to document it, research new ideas and other artists. Just having a device that is always with me to access information has made creating so much easier. I know there are those who believe it to be a distraction, and it certainly can be, but having the ability to immediately share what I’m doing with others to either promote the work or get an instant critique is invaluable.

StarcatcherDBF: What frustrates you the most as a creative person?

KO: The most frustrating thing I’ve come across as an artist is to have an idea, a picture in mind, of a piece and be unable to make it happen the way I imagined. It sometimes makes me doubt my abilities, but thankfully, I’ve often ended up with something far better.

DBF: What is the last thing you splurged on to help boost your creative productivity?

KO: Good brushes are expensive, and if treated well, will last for years. I’ve slowly begun to splurge on nicer brushes – one or two a year – in an effort to replace what I have with better quality and longer lasting ones.

Putting Down RootsDBF: Please share a small tip or a word of wisdom with our artist-readers – something that you’ve learned through your experience as an artist.

KO: Just do the work. If you love being an artist, be an artist. If being an artist is all you feel driven to do, you can find a way to make it work, even if you have to also work a “day job”.

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Would like to see more of Kate’s work and get a glimpse inside her studio? Follow Kate on Facebook www.facebook.com/kateoart. Visit her site www.kateoberreich.com. Connect on Instagram: @seedandstar and Twitter: @kateoberreich.

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