What is your favorite creative medium?
I like illustration a lot at the moment but passions have waxed and waned over the years. I try to indulge as many forms of creative expression as possible.
What do you love about that medium ?
There are limits to language and I think that I try to fill in the gaps in my personal work with drawings. I think there are certain things that must be seen all at once. I love visual art for that reason.
What do you mean that you think that there are limits to language? Do you think visual art is always so holistic?
Language is absurdly limited. A finite catalogue of sounds strung together and constrained by the intellect and experience of the person writing or speaking. To me that’s why its so impressive when a writer creates something gorgeous and emotive or says something in a way that no one else can say. I’ve always thought of visual art as the closest humans get to telepathy. A slice of experience that can be instantly devoured without a thought or explored and savored indefinitely. Not that I don’t adore language and writing. I just have always felt more fully expressed with visual art.
How do you begin your creative process?
My process is typically chaotic and random. I don’t really have any discipline to speak of. I never liked writing exercises or prompts or the idea of forcing myself to write or draw. My art and writing is usually impulsive and frenzied. There are elements that I can organize and have a more regimented approach to, like bookmaking and layout stuff but the raw creative expression has always come and gone like the rain.
Where is your favorite place to create and why?
In bed I think. I don’t do well at desks but love spending the day in bed drawing or writing.
Is there any music that you listen to while you create?
I listen to a lot of different things, usually cacophonous stuff. Currently its mostly Albert Ayler and Old Time Relijun.
What piece of literature (i.e. CNF, poetry, short story, novel, collection, etc.) set you on fire most recently and why?
I recently started re-reading William Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night Trilogy, which is an old love but I am set ablaze everyday by new things. A big part of why I love publishing so much is the proximity it gives me to new and exciting writing.
What about Burroughs’s writing gets to you?
Burroughs was one of the first Beats I read and to me much more interesting than any of his contemporaries. I started with Naked Lunch. His grotesque allegory and embrace of the bizarre and occult fascinated me. It was everything that I adored about early American horror stories under this explicit, homoerotic lens. He had a voice I had never heard before, created worlds I’d never dared imagine and a cast of characters that were amoral and unforgettable. In many ways he gave me permission to explore the more perverse and bizarre elements of my own art and writing. It was also the darkest expression of drug culture that I’d read and seemed more authentic than the now cliche chronicles of free love counter culture and chemical mind expansion. The darkest side of that coin really. He’s certainly not for everyone but Burroughs is a foundational influence for me.
What literature or art magazines get you excited and why?
This is an area that I am woefully underexposed. I haven’t read a new quarterly or art magazine in a very long time.
Where is one place that every person who considers themselves a “creative type” needs to travel to and why?
I don’t think there is a Mecca for creatives. There are so many sacred places. Both collectively and individually sacred places and rituals. One could get just as much of a jolt pissing on Ginsberg’s grave as going to the grocery store and staring at a display of cottage cheese. Its completely the prerogative of the individual. Always remember the recluse and her temple.
What advice would you give to your younger self about the creative process?
To not be so serious and resist the urge to publish so young.
What are you currently working on?
Currently APEP has a full roster. In so far as poetry goes our current release is Tianna Hansen’s Undone, Still Whole. After that there are a few more projects in the works, Jane Marshall Fleming’s Ocotillo Worship and an yet unnamed project by a poet named Maria. Also, a little further down the line a collection by Mela Blust, Dan Tauber, and Erin Emily Ann Vance. There are a few more things in the works that I’m not quite sure about yet but we are doing as much as possible this year. Personally, I’m perpetually chipping away at one visual abhorrence or another. Nothing quite ready for the world yet though.