Today we’d like to introduce you to Kara Fuhlbrugge.
Kara, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am a graphic designer, illustrator, and printmaker from Austin whose art is unapologetically joyful. At a young age, my mom provided me with blank paper in lieu of coloring books because she didn’t want to stunt my imagination. (I think it worked because both my sister and I pursued a career in design.) I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. I’ve worked as a full-time graphic designer my whole professional career, but you can always find me crafting and creating art in my free time, from making steamroller prints with Print Austin to screenprinting designs for friends and family on thrifted shirts.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do? Why? And what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I aim to create characters or tell a story through simple lines, shapes, or forms, and I am continually amazed at how we can connect emotionally with a few marks on a page. My process exists in both a digital and analog world; my graphic design background is evident in every piece that I create, but I also embrace drawing, printmaking, and screenprinting on aesthetically-pleasing materials like fabric, canvas, and wood. I choose subject matter that is inherently important to me, and my current collection features animals, bikes, space, and music. There are so many things in this world to be upset about, but my art will always be a way to remind us that the glass is half full.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
It’s easy to get frustrated as an artist; it seems like there is endless competition and everything’s been done, and it’s so easy to get your ideas ripped off in the internet age. But in my experience, the biggest barrier is always yourself. The way I see it is that if you want something to exist in the world, you should create it. The rest will work itself out.
Cities can encourage and help art and artists thrive in many ways. Paying local artists to create public art for all to enjoy is the best way to show the value of art on a community scale. On a more personal level, cities can provide affordable housing, access to affordable or free medical care, and provide grants and commissions for creative projects.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
See my work on my new website: WhaleYes.com or follow me on Instagram @whaleyesart. Last year, I created a collection for EAST (East Austin Studio Tour), and I intend to show at EAST again in 2019, and hopefully the Blue Genie Art Bazaar as well.
“Personal photo” credit: Natalie Seeboth www.natalieseeboth.com