Outside the Box Talks: An Interview with Artist Cory Hunter
Hey guys! Today is a great day for Gutsy Girl Living! First of all, I'm so excited to be bringing you all a new monthly series called "Outside the Box Talks" that will feature gutsy entrepreneurs and adventurers who are passionately going against the grain. (My boyfriend thinks he's pretty clever for coming up with that snappy title.)
The second thing I'm crazy excited about is that my incredibly talented friend, Cory Hunter, is here to be our first interviewee! He's a one of a kind artist who is destined for big things, but I'll let him tell you all about his story below.
I just want to shout out that Cory is in the last 15 days of his Kickstarter campaign, and we'd be filled with gratitude if you supported him on his entrepreneurial journey. Plus, you'll get amazing rewards created by an artist in return. Win-win!
And now... here's Cory!
Hi, I'm Cory Hunter. I'm an artist and electrical engineering student from Miami, Florida. For the past 6 years I have used high-voltage electricity to burn organic patterns into artwork, exhibiting around south Florida and doing live shows at different venues and events. My electricity technique was first developed at the University of Florida, in an electrical engineering lab, but quickly took shape into an art form as I began to get gallery representation. As for hobbies, I don't really have too much time for them between school and art, but I do enjoy cooking and occasionally playing the harmonica.
You have an awesome Kickstarter campaign going on right now! What's it all about?
Well, after spending all of this time in the Miami art scene I was taken aback by how elitist the art world tends to be, both in reputation and actuality. I think this is in part due to the high prices of artwork and the mysticism that surrounds art as ostensibly reserved for a specific group of people. I believe that, like science, art should be accessible to anyone.
So for this Kickstarter campaign I am moving my trademark electrical painting technique and applying it to custom made wood products. Specifically: sunglasses, cell phone cases, and skateboards. The goal is to bring my artwork into the hands of customers in a way that is affordable and functional. The goal of this Kickstarter is to raise enough funds to expand my operations, buy better equipment, and broaden my horizons to different manufacturing materials.
Your products are incredibly distinctive. What's the style of your ideal customer?
My target customer is someone who is interested in new, unique things. They seek fresh, individualizing accessories that are sophisticated but simple. Above all, they are fans of my artwork and this electricity process I've developed.
Tell us about your dream career opportunity.
My dream career would be prototyping new products to sell through a design line or brand, as Cory Hunter Art. I have so many ideas and things I want to try, but I never seem to have enough time or funds to experiment. I would like to move on to cars and boats, and the thought of having a huge studio to detail luxury art cars or boats sounds like a dream.
That does sound amazing! So how has living in the city of Miami influenced your work?
I was born and raised here, so Miami has had a big influence on me as an artist and as a person. My mom was born here also, and my dad lived here when he was very young, so my whole family has pretty deep roots in the area.
I think that one of the more interesting elements of Miami is its diversity, both culturally and biologically. Latin American and Hispanic culture is deeply embedded in everyday life; the food, the colors, the attitude. Similarly, Caribbean culture is a big part of Miami. And these cultural groups are more than just aspects of the city’s cultural ecosystem but also physically manifest. Little Haiti has an art district that has inspired me a lot artistically, as well as Little Havana and Calle Ocho.. At the same time, the duality of ocean, tropical plants, and cityscapes in Miami play out a lot in my work.
How has your style progressed over the years?
I have become more patient, more understanding of my work and my intentions as an artist. Just starting out everything is a rush to the finish, both because you want to have a finished product, and because you want to measure the work you can produce. In a lot of ways creation can become an act of self-affirmation, but it's best when it affirms something else, when its meaning is intrinsic and separate from other questions of value or worth. This is to say, as I've grown as an artist I can look back over my work, appreciate what I have been able to accomplish, and look forward to new endeavors. As far as style, I think that makes me more willing to take risks.
I can definitely see the risk-taker in you coming through. So who would you most like to collaborate with?
Locally, I would love work with Typoe, Reinier Gamboa, Gabriel Gimenez, and Kazilla. Nationally, I like Erik Jones and Ashley Oubre. Internationally, I'd like to collaborate with Cai Guo-Qiang.
Since you work with electricity, have you ever had any dangerous moments?
Ay perhaps too many, but I'm hoping with this degree in electrical engineering I will have the experience to know how to better protect myself. Likewise, I am hoping that with this Kickstarter being a success I can afford some better safety equipment.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
I read a lot of science blogs, try and stay up to date on current events, and really enjoy looking at all of the beautiful scenery in Miami. Mostly though, I think the science of my art is what drives me. I am always trying to perfect my technique and experiment with new procedures, all in an effort to better represent the high-voltage burn patterns. In the same way, drip patterns and wet/wet paint combinations with different paint mediums allow for dynamic physical reactions that are aesthetically beautiful and represent the physical forces that govern our lives… like gravity, evaporation and drying rates, and the permeability of surfaces. In so many words, I think my canvas and paint inspire me as much as looking at new artwork.
You're a gutsy entrepreneur, and you have a lifestyle that many would consider "outside the box." Where do these tendencies come from? And where do you see them taking your life in the future?
I guess it comes from my parents. They have always been entrepreneurs, and I think that rubbed off on me a lot as a kid. I have worked full-time jobs before, but I'm not so cut out for working for someone else.
Hopefully it all leads to a modicum of success! Really, I hope that through all of this I'm doing: school, art, live performances, and even science tutoring, that I can further my artwork and better develop my self expression. Because, at the end of the day, I think that's all we have- our ability to negotiate and interpret this world around us.
The future I have in sight is full of new inventions and products, and hopefully a large network of supporters who believe in my vision.
Last but not least, if you could have a studio to create art anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be located?
Hmm… anywhere in the world? Well, I guess I'm a beach-bum at heart. If I could have a studio on the ocean somewhere, that would be amazing. California would probably be my first pick, but I hear Peru is beautiful as well.
Thanks so much, Cory! And thank you all for joining us on "Outside the Box Talks." Let's hear some love for Cory in the comments below! If you'd like to connect further with him or donate to his Kickstarter, here are all of Cory's links:
Instagram & Twitter: @coryhunterart