Artist Q&A: Desiree Warren

Desiree Warren is a Kansas City artist who enjoys using old newspapers to create pieces of work with a past that echoes through her art. Her latest addition to CityArts included an array of bright colors, the odd piece of newspaper to catch your attention, and beautiful layers of media.

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What is your biggest struggle as an artist?
My biggest struggle as an artist is finding enough space.  I have several different bodies of work in different media and it's best that they don't all get jumbled up together, even though they are very much all related to each other.  Keeping the clay dust away from the vinyl cutter and the saw dust away from the wet paint can sometimes be a tough task.  I do not currently have the luxury of a big, beautiful warehouse to follow through on all my artistic endeavors, but I'm working toward it.

Was there a goal in mind when thinking about this body of work? Did it change during the process?
As I was making this body of work, Edit, I was thinking about the ephemeral nature of the original material (newspaper) and how we receive our news now.  As soon as a story was printed on that paper, it was there to stay until the next edition came out, which could be HOURS away!  It's hard for me to imagine, even though I grew up with a daily newspaper, how hours-old news is seen as just OLD news now.  I also vacillated between trying to highlight parts of the news itself and simply focusing on design of the page.  The vintage ads were my favorite discovery and playing with them changed my direction sometimes.

Is this exhibition part of a larger body of work?
This is the beginning of the what I hope will become a long-running body of work.  To get to this point I can look back at influences and false starts. I see hints buried in works and sketches from years ago.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best art advice I ever received was from my Drawing I teacher at KU, who was otherwise not that great.  He encouraged us not to be too precious with what we were working on.  It's okay to mess it up.  I have to remind myself of that often and just jump right in and set the goal of LET'S TRY TO RUIN THIS.  I struggle with that since I use found material that is forever gone once I've used it.  But I was able to experiment more with this line of work because I found five of the same newspaper edition!  Having that safety net really helped get me going.

I see hints buried in works and sketches from years ago.
— Desiree Warren