Patricia Krebs grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she received her degrees as Professor of Fine Arts and in Contemporary Visual Arts. She moved to Southern California in 2001 and works full-time as a freelance multimedia artist.
Patricia has illustrated and designed over a dozen children’s picture books, builds puppets and objects for theater and video, and recently debuted as art director and production designer for stop-motion animation. She is also a singer-songwriter, and she has recorded Spanish voice-overs for films such as Corpse Bride, Harry Potter, Happy Feet, and Beowulf.
HP: Are the pieces in your upcoming solo show through Cactus Gallery complimentary to each other in theme, idea, or something other than? Were they created for this show? What is the concept behind this exhibit?
PK: The twelve new paintings I created specially for this show talk about what we experience through our senses in contrast with our need to dictate or control such experiences and “make sense of things” in a logical way.
In other words, how we struggle to keep emotions and instincts under control in order to make things function, and how that order can be easily shaken. There’s a story behind the pieces, and behind that story there’s obviously how I feel and what I think about the world.
HP: You paint, you mold, you assemble, you illustrate books. Would you give our readers a rundown of a typical Patricia Krebs day? Are you very structured and disciplined with all that you have on your plate?
PK: The very first thing I do every single day after waking up is drink maté (yerba-mate, a South American native infusion), without which I cannot start my engines. Then, I can think about what I would have to accomplish that day. “Disciplined” is not a word that I particularly like, but I am very responsible about my work, even though my schedule is never organized in a structured way.
I hate routine, and the good thing about working independently full-time is that I can create my own schedule every day, but at the same time I have to be consistent and keep track of each project’s needs so that I can have a good use of my time and energy. I make an effort to keep a balance between paid work and my own personal projects.
Deadlines are good for me because they set a clear goal and help me focus creative energy and finish projects. A lot of times I have deadlines imposed by clients, but if not, then I create my own deadline. I do not have a typical day; some nights I stay up working until the sun is up because nighttime helps me concentrate, particularly if I’m working on digital graphics, or anything related to writing, sound, or video that I need to do in the computer. Other times, I go to bed early because I really enjoy working in the daylight, especially when a project allows me to work outdoors in the backyard, for instance, painting or drawing or sculpting.
I usually find myself working on a few projects rather than concentrating on just one, and many times I’ve solved a huge creative problem that got me stuck for some time while working on something else. Oftentimes, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with an idea that I need to write down or an image that I need to sketch right away before going back to sleep, in case I forget it. Dreams, too, are a huge part of my active work time as well.
HP: What are the reasons you are attracted to creating? A person who influenced you, a particular piece of art, a personal experience?
PK: There was never the decision of becoming an artist, it was more like an obvious conclusion. I’ve been a creative person all my life, ever since I remember. Drawing has always been my first language, and I’ve done it compulsively since very young. I was a very shy little girl who at the time observed a lot and had a lot to say, and found it easier to express herself through images than in a social way.
Today, after a lot of hard work, I consider myself lucky to make a living through making art & music, even though creating your own path is never an easy path. Social life puzzles me, but I am interested in the human conflict because it provides all the inspiration for my work. I discovered that beauty is a great excuse to invite people to reflect about things, and art is a good way to communicate things that matter and help make new connections—within ourselves or between people—from a deeper level.
There are many kinds of art, but I want mine to be both critical and inspiring; a symbol of how things in the world are very wrong, but could be better.
Patricia currently has work at The Folk Tree’s Day of the Dead exhibit (through November 3rd) and her one woman show “Sense (Sentido)” thanks to Cactus Gallery opens Saturday, October 12th. A reception will be held 6-9 p.m. at Treeline Woodworks (3001 Coolidge Ave., Frogtown, Elysian Valley 90039). The show runs through November 23rd.
Sandra Mastroianni, owner of Cactus Gallery, writes, “Like all her previous works, Patricia seduces the viewer using the whimsical as an excuse to reflect about more profound ideas; what’s hidden below the surface of appearances; the complexity of humanity; (and) the connections within ourselves, between each other, and in the world.”