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Arts & Culture

Questions for Katie Pell

Photo: Janet Sweeney, License: N/A

Janet Sweeney

Gary Sweeney and Katie Pell ride the biggest wave they could find in SA



Peter Doig, 100 Years Ago (Carrera), 2001

Screw your career! Learn some damn art history! Make some crazy stuff! Never, EVER look at DeviantArt! Take your tattoo budget, buy a plane ticket, get off your ass and go somewhere. Get rid of your video games and stop entertaining yourself so much. Be self-reliant, bold, risky, conniving, ambitious, and most of all, curious. If you are too cool to be interested in things, then you have become boring. What is happening in your life right now is what matters. Don’t borrow money, just work more: Remember, everyone who wants you to be in debt is making money off you. Shit, that advice is so good I’m going to use it myself!

Name four things that never fail to bring you pleasure.

Drawing, running, riding huge waves, and observing nature.

Do you believe hard work trumps talent?

Hard work uncovers talent. I don’t even know what talent is — being good at rendering? Being charming? Being talented is being smart — making work and looking at yourself, not art magazines, for context.
Speaking of advice, I read somewhere that if you have a style, it’s probably someone else’s. Avoid that trap, and you will uncover talent.

One of the ballsiest things I’ve ever seen was at Ken Little’s talent night, where you read poetry you’d written in high school. How are you different from the high school girl Katie Pell?

I am so much more open-minded than I was. I used to think there were rules on how to do things, like be successful, be in love, be interesting. I definitely have more in common with my high school self than is probably healthy: I’m still trying to fit in, be
good enough, make up for the sin of not being pretty or popular. Weak shit like that.

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