sept 2005 interview with shannon kringen
1. Could you speak a bit about how your passion for art, performance
and self-expression began? Please feel free to cite your
educational/training background, significant roles and/or experiences, and all
other credentials you'd like me to include in the book.
i think the way i was raised AND the nature i was born with that makes me who i am today. i was born with a sensitivity to color/shape/sound. my parents raised me surrounded by the aRts. my dad wrote comedy and folk music. he sang and played guitar. he was a tennis teacher...so i grew up witnessing the gracefulness of his tennis playing and songwriting and comedic timing.
my mom is a visual aRtist (she's very private so that is all i will say) instead of reading stories to me out of books she would make up her own fairy tales and speak them to me improvisationally. this helped me feel like i could create anything i wanted. i vividly remember my mom teaching me the names of colors with a long skirt she had with bold absract patterns on it.
some things about my childhood were disruptive and unstable (parents divorce and moving around a lot)...the aRts became my safe cocoon! to feel more safe i surrounded myself with movies and music and immersed myself in my imagination and dreamworld.
both my parents encouraged my creativity. i'm an only child and remember playing for long periods alone in my room. singing and dancing and pretending i had my own show and an audience who wanted to listen to me.
i went to some alternative aRt oriented schools in grade school which nurtured my individuality. when i was 9 my mom and i briefly lived in an aRt commune in petaluma california called "evolution aRt institute". i was exposed to painting,drawing, woodworking, silkscreening, metalsmithing and an overall sense of community. there was a solar powered outdoor shower and communal kitchen. downstairs were the art studios and upstairs the sleeping lofts. in high school i lucked out and had really good aRt,drama,music and humanity teachers. i took piano lessons off and on from age 9-12. i used to sit in my living room and sing for hours along with my records. i was "practicing" for one day when i would be live on stage! (i was fairly shy about pursuing this until my early 20's!
in 1985 while still in high school i began painting onto my shoes and sold them at a local botique. i also sang in the choir and did some theatre. the most interesting live performance i did in high school was impersonating mick jagger and lip synching a rolling stones song. i went to a two year graphic design program and did one year of fine aRt and painting in college.
2. What motivated you to expand your work to include figure
i kind of fell into figure modeling. i have always loved being photographed but until my early 20's i was too shy to try modeling. a female friend of mine took some snap shots of me when i was 22 years old. they turned out so well that i showed them to a professional fine aRt photographer who was looking for a model. we worked together on black and white nudes. i then used those shots to start a portfolio. i began working with other photographers. at this same time i experimented with some exotic dancing and began figure modeling for all the colleges around seattle as well as private art groups who hire models. one thing i love about modeling is the stability of it. models are always paid! where as fine aRtists sometimes struggle to sell their work. being a model is partly a practical decision. i can be around creative, positive energy and earn a living!
3. What is the most rewarding aspect of multimedia art for you
i love the feeling of putting work out there to an audience online, on public accces tv (i've had a show called "GoddessKRING" on everyweek since 1995) and in the seattle aRt gallery where i show every month. i put it out there and i attract responses and opportunities. synchronicities happen quite often. i sometimes feel like i am spreading myself out in too many directions. having a website and tv show helps because they are mediums where you need audio visual and movement. very versatile. i feel i have so much inside me that needs to come out and express itself. i find it harder to do this in my personal life. i am much more daring with my aRt projects than i am in more personal matters where i tend to hold back a bit. the response i love the most from people who enjoy my work is when they tell me i have inspired them to start working on something creative they put off for years of were afriad of persuing. they say my work triggered them into taking action. this makes me very happy! i want to spread seeds around that help in some way.
4. What do you most enjoy about your modeling work?
it's comforting being around groups of aRtists creating. i feel a strong sense of purpose being a model. they need me! they appreciate me. i love to be quiet and still and go into a trance like state when i do long poses. i also love the short action "gesture" poses...they are like a form of dance. i'm a very kinesthetic person (is that the right word?) i'm very body oriented and love to EXPRESS out through my poses. i am more shy with my voice...but very relaxed with my body.
5. How do you define overall professional success for yourself?
success for me is doing what i love full time and not holding back and making a good living doing it. continuing to grow and expand my outlets for expression and getting feedback from viewers who feel connected to and inspired by my work. i hesitate to use the word "fame" but for me that is one of my dreams i envision. to create something people respond well to and to be recognized for it.
6. For readers who will be inspired to use you as a role model, what
would you cite as the top three tools you've used to attain career
i think everyone has a unique path. it's wise to trust your gut feelings. for me, it's worked to be OPEN to synchronicity; things that appear to be coincidence but are actually completely connected. if i had to chose 3 words i would say:
i have business cards i hand out to anyone who asks me about my work. i find people online to collaborate on projects with. i spend time each day thinking about what i want to achieve and i focus on that inside my head AND i take actions. "inner" and "outer" work i call it. i have built a modeling career in seattle by calling and emailing everyone i can find who might need a model. i look on art supply store bulletein boards, and websites that allow me to post my profile. i write stream of consciousness on my seattle tv show "GoddessKRING" and my live journal attached to my website. i attract synchronicities into my life in ways i could never predict or control. i put a lot of expressioin out there into the world and share it freely: then i receive back modeling jobs and orders for my work. i sell my videos and hand painted shoes from my website. i sometimes get some very negative feedback from people who think i promote myself too much. this bothers me at times but i'm getting better and better at ignoring the naysayers who judge my "audacity". i visualize all the destructive feedback i receive as compost for to fertilize the creative garden with! i also think it's important to not hold on to tightly to your work and share some of it freely. i see some aRtists who are so worried about copywrite issues that they sort of "hide" their work away to protect it from being stolen. the problem is then it's not "seen". the key to succeed as an aRtist i think, is to be PROLFIC and keep creating new things, build a body of work and make sure it gets seen. i believe in sharing it freely on my website and tv show. this is part of my marketing stratedgy. then the people who really love my work can buy from me and explore more deeply what i do and support it! this helps me keep on creating more and better work. i also like sharing some of my work freely for those who cannot afford to buy from me. let everyone enjoy aRtwork i say! they spread the word about me and more new people find me! it's a win win situation that way. i believe aRtists should be paid well for their work just like doctors and lawyers but the underlying reason for creating aRt is not to make money but to devote your life eNeRgY to doing what you love and when you make money with your aRt you can work full time on it and do your best work!
7. How do you successfully balance your career with the rest of your
honestly i don't do that very well yet! i tend to get so absorbed in my work that i don't really socialize very much. i am rather introverted and mostly work alone. the older i get the more i am learning to collaborate with others and to spend time with friends. spending time out in the woods helps ground and balance me out. i tend to be DRIVEN by my passions. through my website i have met some great people who have invited me to visit them overseas in europe, australia and the east coast.
8. Of your many achievements, what is your proudest career
i'm amazed i am able to make my full living from being a figure model/multi media aRtist! since 1997 i have done this full time. i began modeling in 1991. the part that excites me the most about my career is the synchronicity. the traveling opportunities and positive feedback i get from my work feeds me. it's a circular flow between aRtist and viewer. each gives and recieves from the other. keeps the cycle healthy and growing. i have been invited and traveled to amsterdam, england, the east coast 3 times, australia and gone to some naturist events in florida, massachusetts, france and england. traveling seems to be part of my path. opportunites flow to me in this arena. i don't feel i am in control of it! i help create it and something larger than me does this dance and helps create the reality of it. one fun story i like to share is that of connecting with a behind the scenes music person who set me up with backstage passes to meet tori amos in seattlw 1996 and give her shoes i painted for her. he gave me her shoesize and set up the meeting after i mailed some handmade postcards of my work and dream of giving tori shoes! she ended up wearing them during a concert at the paramount theatre seattle and thanking me by name from the stage as the new friend who painted my shoes. (very gracious of her) she is one of my favorite musicians along with tom petty. i am proud of having a dream like that and making it really happen! it's not so much about the specific details of the "tori-shannon story". the power of it is =i hope others can use my example and fuel their own visions and make them real. i have since given tori amos another pair of hand painted shoes i made this time in brussels belgium. i am fascinated by the possibilites of what we can all create in our lives. reality is a lot more flexible than some would have us believe. it's important to not let anyone discourage you from following your dreams and trusting your internal drive.
one of my poems says:
catch the windsong
crack the code
left and right node
which speaks about trusting the abstract code of your mind. it guides me. everyone has this internal compass. those who pay attention to it and follow it have the most adventurous road less traveled authentic lives!
9. Please walk us through a typical workday (Shannon, I think this
will be a great way to illustrate how you incorporate all the
different facets of your work).
i don't really have a normal routine as my schedule changes from week to week...
but usually i sleep in until 10am if i can get away with it, have my iced soy latte. check my email, catch up on phone calls and make sure i have work lined up.
i keep up with my weekly tv show and try and update my webcam and journal everyday. keeping it fresh for the audience and for my online friends! i show my work at a seattle http://www.antgallery.org every month. i keep my name out there.
for exercise i swim and lift some weights and go for bike rides and walks in the woods. i drink lots of water and eat as healthy as i can. i love dark chocolate from holland though! i do indulge in that. i listen to lots of music and love really good movies and biographies of inspiring aRtists, musicians and scientists.
P O BOX 20355
seattle, wa 98102