Meet Kevin Molland, an artist who enjoys creating works using mixed media, oils and acrylics.
He is a devoted husband and father to 6-year-old twins.
Molland works for Glazer’s Beer and Beverage.
He was born and raised in Sioux City and moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to attend Colorado State University; after which he returned to Sioux City.
You can find his work at www.kevinmolland.carbonmade.com.
Weekender: When and how did you delve into the world of art?
Molland: “It started young. In elementary school I always loved art. I drew all the time, whether it was Bart Simpson or Calvin and Hobbes…just trying to emulate my favorite artists at the time. Then it went away for a while, maybe 10 years. After I moved back to Siouxland and was married without kids and with nothing to do, I fell back into it. I had the creative spark and it needed to get back out. I went to one of the Benson Burner shows and thought I should try it.”
Weekender: Who are some of your artistic influences?
Molland: “I’ve really been influenced by the local artists and going to things like the Benson Burner and the Commerce Building when they did that one. David West was an artist in Sioux City. His stuff was very abstract and he was a major influence locally. On another note, when I was in high school I was really into graffiti for some reason. When I went overseas I took pictures of graffiti instead of churches that everybody takes pictures of. Hip-hop and the graffiti scene played a major role when I was younger.”
Weekender: What in life inspires you to create?
Molland: “I think it’s just something that bubbles up in me. If I don’t do it for a while, something will trigger it and it will slowly manifest itself out. It could be an abstract painting that I just do on a whim, or it can be something I see in nature that I want to try to paint; it could even be a picture I take of somebody that I think will make a good painting. I have even taken an old beer book from the '70s and cut the pages out; with those pages I crafted a hop cone.”
Weekender: What is your driving force behind creating?
Molland: “Just self-expression and like I said before, it just finds its way out. Also, I like to see something go from a white canvas to a finished product.”
Weekender: What are your favorite mediums to work with?
Molland: “I’d say my number one is acrylic paint. With my lifestyle, when the kids go to bed I stay up for a couple hours and paint. Acrylic is easy to clean up…it’s quick. The more comfortable I get with paint, I like oil. There is also fun in chalk, like doing Chalk the Block. I like mixing the mediums together, and nobody has told me not to, so I guess that works. The only thing I don’t do is watercolor…I can’t get it right.”
Weekender: It seems like you gravitate towards a lot of animals and animal characters…what brings these into the subjects of your works so much?
Molland: “Specifically the animals play to my audience. Animals with corn in their mouths was perfect for Chalk the Block because it is at the Farmer’s Market and people are buying fresh veggies. I also think there is a facial anthropomorphic thing people see when they see animals.”
Weekender: When do you know a piece has been completed?
Molland: “I don’t know if you ever know. You just have to know when to stop and not ruin it.”
Weekender: Tell me about your creative process.
Molland: “I like big canvases like when you go see a Jackson Pollock. Sometimes I’ll see a very calculated picture and I’ll take it to Photoshop to graph it out. I’ll lay it out on a canvas and paint it meticulously. Other times I’ll just have a beer or two and if I have a couple extra canvases and paint, I’ll throw paint on the canvas and come back in a couple days to see if something has changed.”
Weekender: I like how you incorporate words and print into some of your works. What do you think this adds aesthetically?
Molland: “It adds meaning where a lot of artists want to leave their work open to interpretation. I still leave mine open to interpretation, but also the words direct you where I was headed. I’m a speech com major, so I like to write poetry and play music. It is just another natural expression. It’s not songwriting…it’s sort of like songwriting on a larger scale. People take it different ways, too, which is fun.”
Weekender: How do different emotions affect the art you create?
Molland: “It has to do with the subject. If I’m doing something abstract and it’s very free and loose and fast, I’ll let what happens, happens. When I’m doing something like a painting of my mom’s deceased father, things are more calculated and the words are more meaningful. You are not sure when it’s done, but you spend a lot of time looking at it to see the point that it gets done. To do something for somebody is a lot more challenging.”
Weekender: If you were in an accident and forgot your artistic gifts, how would you go about re-learning the craft?
Molland: “Probably the same way that I teach my 6-year-olds. Just sit down at a canvas, get paint, dump it on there, give them a brush and tell them to do whatever they want to do. If it is just one stroke, then that’s fantastic. If they are not done until all the paint is gone, great."
Weekender: Describe the world if art was banned.
Molland: “Cold. If art is banned, I immediately assume color would follow. I gravitate to super-colorful piece. When art is banned I immediately think cold and grey. It’s not a place I want to go. I think people would find a way to create some way, somehow.”
Weekender: What is your ultimate goal in art?
Molland: “I don’t have one. I hope my drive to create art never goes away.”