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name: Dug
surname: Stanat
year of birth: 1967
country: United States


Smoke by DugStanat

by DugStanat


Q1: When did you start making art?
I have a clay dinosaur I made when I was very young. I would guess around kindergarten. But who doesn’t make art when they are young? I suppose that question, if taken non-rhetorically, has a very sad answer, so I’ll return to answering your question: Since I made that dinosaur, not a year has gone by that I haven’t done some sort of art. But I was not encouraged to think of art as a viable career, and I only took one art class in college (a masks and makeup class). After college, in the early 90s, I had difficulty finding a job that seemed worthwhile. I was working temp jobs, living cheaply so I wouldn’t need much money, and finding myself with a lot of free time. I began spending all my free time sculpting. It was at that point that I started calling myself an artist.

Q2: What does inspire you?
Images of other’s artwork, or a split second from a movie or performance, or a phrase from a song or book, and the magic of daydreaming.

Q3: What are your techniques?
I do ceramic and mixed media sculpture. I am very new to ceramics, just learning really, so my ceramics techniques are not unusual. I have been doing mixed media work for over 20 years, so I have had time to grow and refine my techniques in that realm. I’ll use any material at my disposal, as long as it is deemed sturdy and not desirable to a rodent or insect’s palette (no more paper mache!). Common materials include wood, wire, foil, sheet metal, rocks, and epoxy putty. The material that tends to give my work a distinct character is fiber (cloth, string, yarn) that is saturated with glue. I paint my mixed media sculptures with acrylics.

Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
I like to think of my work as a glimpse into an untold story. I want to show people something they haven’t seen or thought of before. I want to give the audience a daydream that they couldn’t otherwise have.

Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
I could live with three containers of paint: white, black, and raw umber. But I appreciate having more.

Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
I am constantly trying to improve sense of anatomy, silhouette from every angle, level of detail and where to release level of detail. Why? Because I want to carry the viewer away and not release them until they are ready. Regarding ceramics, I struggle with underglazes and oxide washes to get the finish I want. Why? Because the finish on a ceramic piece can make a mediocre sculpt come to life, or kill a brilliant sculpt. This is a very slow learning process because of the time involved with curing and firing ceramics, and because ceramic finishes change drastically in the kiln and are affected by so many factors.

Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
Later today I will sculpt. I will keep doing that every day until I am no longer physically able to, or until I run out of food.

Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of DugStanat.
Creator, father, husband, in no particular order.

Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
OK, just for you I photographed that clay dinosaur :). It is an attempt to bring to life a loved creature from a fantastic past: HERE.

Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
I guess not much has changed…I try to bring to life the unknown (which I love), and create a fantasy for others to enjoy.

Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
Art is a synthesis of craft and philosophy, in any ratio. But that is a dry answer, and doesn’t recognize the two choices I am given. I choose both…my work is the essence of life in an alternate reality.

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