Briefly describe the work you do.
My work is based on texture and curiosity. I transform ordinary materials, such as yarn, plastic bags, and cotton to create new surfaces. I want my viewer to vaguely recognize what they are looking at while at the same time have the desire to touch the surface of my work to satisfy their curiosity.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
My mother started my interest in art at a very young age. She was a high school art teacher, so most of our summer activities would revolve around art projects. I had access to every type of media, so I had a lot of time to experiment and discover what I liked best.
I was very lucky to have had someone looking at my art, academically, from a very young age. It helped me grow a thick skin before I began public critiques.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
Once, I heard an artist asked what do they do if they don’t feel like making art sometimes. He responded, “Art is my job; you can’t excuse yourself from work just because you don’t feel like it”.
My studio is my work place where I need to be for the majority of the day. I like the structure of having a place to go to get work done.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I never thought I would want to work on collaborations as much as I do now. I grew up in a very small town and I was the only one of my classmates interested in art. I always treated it as a solitary practice that I selfishly did not want to share. Now, whenever I meet a new artist, I start thinking of how our art can work together.
I couldn’t have predicted how accessible one can be as an artist to such a huge variety of people. The first part of the quote “Beware of artists, they mix with all classes of society” is true. Most people are nervous about the idea of making art, but nearly everyone enjoys art and has their own personal feelings about it. It is very flattering to meet someone new and I immediately want to hear the details about what you do.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
The majority of my working hours start in the afternoon.My mornings are spent fulfilling obligations I have so that I am not thinking of them while I am making work. My best ideas or fortunate studio accidents come out of late nights. That is when I’m not worried about making a mistake, ruining a piece, or wasting material that I’ve been saving for no particular project.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
The work I make has always been related to material I come by that is economically available. My first academic paintings were done on chipboard because I used up all my canvas and it was the first flat surface I saw before I left for class. Later, I worked on cardboard, then vinyl. It has not been until the last few years that I understood how little I was doing for these materials by using them as a traditional rectangle that can easily hang on the wall. My current work is much more about the material and it’s potential.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
I would not be making art had it not been for my mom, but my greatest mentor was my art history advisor Jennifer Langworthy. She inspired me to find ways to get to new territory. She taught me that I had to be bolder and more fearless than the rest of the artists in my field, because they are mainly men. Being modest and quiet may be polite thing to do, but to the will not help get one noticed.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
I always knew I needed to be working around art. When I was an undergraduate, I majored in art history. I was a great researcher, but a terrible writer. It took me a long time to realize the fact that making art is the only thing I am really good at, and I need to embrace and take advantage of that knowledge.
Sable Matula is an American Artist working and living in Boston Massachusetts. She was raised in Rockford Illinois, where she received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Rockford University. She is currently finishing her MFA at Boston University.
Sable is a visual artist, working with a range of material formats within the discipline of painting and installation.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.