OTA Asks Yoko Kubrick
1. What inspires/drives you in your creative pursuit?
I am inspired by the forms found in nature, particularly plant life, water movement, seashells, land and formations. I am also inspired by the stories of classical and comparative mythology. I love how nature is anthropomorphized in mythology. The angry seas, the turbulent storms, natural elements which in mythologies often take on human emotions. And the rich stories which have been passed down through humanity to explain natural phenomena and creation myths like the Mayan Popol Vuh for example. Mythology is full of what would be called modern day psychology, philosophy and also allegories of human existence. Working with my hands is my deepest need and I pursue sculpture because it fuels my spirit.
- 2. Was there anyone pivotal in your becoming an artist and pursuing your creative journey?
There are several pivotal people in my creative journey. The first was Ruth Asawa, who was a Japanese American artist in San Francisco. When I was a little girl, we lived in Japan Town, a neighborhood in San Francisco. I used to play in her fountains, which were origami abstractions of flowers. My father used to tell me “a Japanese woman made these sculptures”. That was my first memory of really loving sculpture and wondering about how it is made. I was inspired by her to pursue sculpture. My father and grandfather were also pivotal people in my life. I was raised by my single father in my early childhood and he always encouraged me to explore whatever my interests were. Starting at age 10, my father sent me to Czechoslovakia, where he was born to live with my grandparents. In Prague. I learned so much about the history of sculpture. My grandfather used to take me around and explain the history and hidden meanings as he was an expert in Heraldry and understood the symbolic meanings in the sculptures.
- 3. What do you want to say to the world or what message do you want to give to the world?
My work is not conceptual, but emotionally based. I believe that forms have a language of their own, I call it the emotive language of form. I like to take a particular feeling that I get from nature or mythology and transmute that into a form – an abstraction. I believe that sculpture is one of the oldest languages of humankind. All traditional cultures throughout history have made sculpture. It is a way of marking the world, a way of making sense. There is a famous interview between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, where Joseph Campbell says that he believes that what people are searching for is not the meaning of life, but rather the experience, the rapture of being alive, and that myths ar clues – clues to the spiritual potentiality of life. For me. sculptures offer a spark to connect with emotions within oneself, perhaps they are mirrors to emotional states
- 4. What advice can you give to those starting on the creative journey.
My advice to those starting their creative journey would be to make lots of art or music or whatever their creative endeavor is. Do it daily if you can. Try to connect with different parts of your psyche. Imaging that you are becoming the thing you are creating. If you have found a creative calling try to give yourself to it as much as you can and develop your voice. Follow your intuition and express what is your true inner spirit. For me, art is about connecting to hidden aspects within yourself and if you can do that, hopefully, it will connect with other people as well.