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Amy Kuttab is a member of the Pony Club Gallery, a working painter, illustrator and animator living in Portland, OR. She is currently working on a graphic novel dealing with the myths of Ursa Major to be published by Teenage Dinosaur. 

What originally made you want to become an artist/ illustrator?

I think my love for this type of work started with the time my mother spent drawing with me as a very a young child. My parents were very encouraging of my creative endeavors. In middle school my class went to the Hirschhorn Museum and The National Gallery in DC, and I think that really solidified my urge to express ideas via artwork.

What media do you work in and what do you like about working with these set of tools?

I work with oil and gouache predominately but also digital media and video for animation. I like them each for different reasons, but I mostly use oil for pieces that are meant to last, and gouache for print media, as it dries much faster and is easy to document via scan or photograph.

What are your favorite brands/tools of the trade?

I’m pretty much a scavenger when it comes to materials, however I do love and mostly use Arches hot press paper.

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Can you share your creative process, from initial concept to the finished product?

Wow. The concepts come from all over the place. I ruminate a bit on an idea, then do many concept development sketches, then on to the final piece.

What are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?

As a child I was fascinated by Bev Doolittle and Picasso. Both of them because of the hidden images I think. As an adult: Lucian Freud, Henry Darger, Yoko Ono, Duchamp, Brecht Vandenbrouke, Aidan Koch

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What current projects are you working on?

I’m working on a long format comic about the universality of narrative.

How long have you been involved with Pony Club Gallery and what enticed you to becoming a member?

I have been there since 2008! I joined so that I could learn the ins and outs of running a gallery. I was excited to collaborate with other artists to create an awesome gallery and community space that encouraged beauty and creativity.

You create paintings, animation and sequential art. What motivates you to float through these three avenues of expression?

Different ways of interacting and expressing the experience of time

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How would you define your social life, art-life balance in terms of ratio (50/50 70/30 etc) and do you consider it a healthy balance?

I think it’s mostly healthy, but sometimes I am more of a shut-in than others. I really value alone time, but also really value my friends and community. I’m trying to get out more lately and develop more positivity in my relationships.

Comic book or graphic novel, are they one and the same? If so, what term do you prefer?

I think they are the same. I think graphic novel sounds fancier, but it doesn’t matter to me.

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All images art taken from Amy’s forthcoming graphic novel. Check out more of her work here- http://www.amykuttab.blogspot.com/