Who is Kaley Flowers?
I am an artist living in Toronto, Canada. My medium is mostly in ceramics, making a lot of different objects like figurines, large sculptures, musical instruments and functional pottery. I’m pretty recluse and spend most of my time on art but I’m also always up to other random things- right now I also work at an raw/organic/vegan restaurant, at a music club + teach ceramics to kids.
How do find being an artist in this digital age?
I love it so much… I really can’t image what I would be making in another era; my experience of this digital age has become the main influence in my work. I’m within a particular generation that has gotten to experience this kind of shift into a post-information age from when before the Internet was not commonly accessible. It so insanely interesting to me to witness the impact that tech and the development of the Internet continues to have. I literally work with dirt, using ancient techniques and materials yet I always feel like digital processes complete my practice. Since I was young, I always liked curating crappy GeoCites websites, drawing on MS Paint, making avatars, playing online games, etc. I think that this interest has continued into my ceramics work- I’m big into documenting, and am always trying to extend my clay figures into digital form such as in a gif or video or digital drawing. I have fantasies about learning how to do things like make apps, projection mapping, AR, + 3D printing and integrating them with my sculptures. The possibilities get crazier all the time!!
What are you working on atm and where can we see you next?
Right now I’m flipping between a few projects. I work in cycles and fire when I have a large batch of work built up, so right now I’m making everything I will need up until 2017. I’m making a lot of small figurines and weird little objects, USB sticks, functional things and a couple commission pieces.
What artists are you crushing on?
It’s a secret!! I’m planning on continuing L1nk Up asap. So there are a few artists I plan on contacting to see if they would like to contribute to this series. But in terms of ceramics, I always like looking at the work of Takuro Kuwata @takurokuwata, Brian Rochefort @energygloop, Luke Armistead @luktose + Jenny Orchard @jennyorchard1.These artists always have really crazy interesting experimental surfaces and glazing techniques.
Top tips for promoting yourself in the creative industry
I’m not a super expert, and it depends on what industry you are in, but for the kind of work I do I definitely believe in the benefits of having an active online presence in some sort of form!! I think it helps to have an integrated, well-designed brand, a sense of audience, and clear creative direction + purpose. Though I put a lot of importance on what goes on online, I think it is still important to promote yourself IRL through shows and events. I make a lot of connections online, but I way more enjoy showing/selling my work IRL.
What is the process behind your latest work?
So for example, my line of portable USB’s will take a lot of planning and prototyping. I fire my work three times, and with each firing, the clay shrinks and changes form, meaning I have to predict and play around with scale to try and get the best fit when the ceramic piece is totally finished. The pieces are also so tiny that I have had to make my own tools to finish them. Once sculpted and fired, I will paint + glaze, then possibly do a third firing with ceramic decals to get super cute, super detailed web imagery on them. I will have to figure out a refined, clean way of affixing the usb inside the piece, which also might take a lot of research + experimenting. When someone buys one, they will also get a virtual gift on the usb as a bonus, so I will be doing some digital work for that too.
If you could have a studio abroad where would it be and why?
Probably literally anywhere that has a kiln… I really like travelling and experiencing different places + cultures + can usually easily adapt to somewhere new. I definitely prefer big cities though. China, Japan + Korea seem really amazing for art residencies in ceramics.
What exciting things are you planning for 2017?
Right now I am making a series of Internet influenced kitchen objects and functional dinnerware, which I will be showing in January 2017. I’m going to be making a couple big sculptures for a solo show in March. Then in the spring I want to do some travelling, and am planning a popup event in Montreal and NY! :~)
Check out + fan girl some more over Kaley’s work HERE!