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Ironing Out: Inspiration

A little Q and A with Flat Iron Arts Association President and American Contemporary Artist Kevin Lahvic

Viewsual Suspects: What are the two things that determined why you are so passionate about art?

Kevin Lahvic: “First, I would say gratitude, or appreciation. Like a lot of people, I grew up hard, in a very poor and depressed environment. It was through art that I found my way out, both mentally and physically. Second, I think that all humans are, by our very nature, artistic. We are at our best when we recognize and embrace our need to create and labor to produce something we feel has worth. Self-expression is the purest form of freedom.”

Viewsual Suspects: How do you strike the balance between artistic expression and business practicality?

Kevin Lahvic: “Hmmm, always tricky that one…

I feel that everything I do begins as pure expression, but there is an obvious need to sell. Those damn kids want to eat every day. The simple fact that the public has responded to something and that it is generating income, can be a powerful influence on continuing in that direction. I don’t think the existence of that influence is necessarily a bad thing, as long as you recognize it and keep it in perspective. I believe you can live to paint and still paint to live.”

Viewsual Suspects: Do you believe that there is such a thing as good and bad art?

Kevin Lahvic: “Even, (or especially), in my own work, I believe there are pieces that are “better” than others. But “bad” art, no, there’s no such thing. The mere act of creating is good and can be nothing else. The product may fail to completely hit the mark, but that is part of the artistic process. It’s all good. An artist, to find success, has to be allowed the luxury of failure.”

Viewsual Suspects: A catastrophe causes you to have to make a decision on one of your pieces out of many being saved. What piece of yours would you choose to save first?

Kevin Lahvic: “Damn, that’s impossible to answer.
I truly enjoy spending time looking at my finished pieces. They make me happy. I also like seeing other people get something out of them, and I am absolutely thrilled when someone is so touched that they want to possess something I’ve done. But, the simple truth is that creating the painting, doing the work, is where I find the greatest joy. Once a painting or drawing is finished, I leave a bit of myself there and move on. So, I would save a blank canvas, because I always believe my next piece will be my best : )”

Viewsual Suspects: Switching things up a bit I want to stop asking questions briefly. So give me some insight into the phenomena of everything happening for a reason.

Kevin Lahvic: “Our existence in this world is brief and linear. Being conscious of that, of our own mortality, we spend a great deal of our short lives searching for answers that we can’t possibly ever find. I think believing that there is some intelligent design to it all, and that everything happens for a reason, allows us to remain relatively sane. I believe that art, at its core, is driven by our need to search for those unattainable answers. When I am immersed in the process of creating, it is the closest I ever feel to finding those answers. When everything falls into place and an end product is “correct” I sincerely feel that there is something larger than myself at work. I believe.”

Viewsual Suspects: When you are in the creative process, does the thought ever enter your mind about wanting to impress people with your work?

Kevin Lahvic: “I suppose it would be dishonest to say “no” but I do feel that impress might not be the right word. Attract is closer to what I hope for. I think artistic expression is an obvious form of sexual display. We are presenting who we are to those we would hope to attract. Basically saying, “Here I am, are you in?”

Viewsual Suspects: Are there any famous artists that you would like to work with or collaborate with that you haven’t worked with already?

Kevin Lahvic: “I think collaboration is the single biggest catalyst for inspiration. And even if it’s simply viewing what other people have created, or speaking with them about what they’re into at the moment, it can be very energizing. I am constantly trying to involve others in the things I’m doing. I spend a great deal of time organizing “events” that are basically just opportunities for people to produce and share their work. I thrive on that, and get a lot out of it in return. As far as “famous artists” go, I would have loved to have spent an afternoon with Picasso. I think we would have enjoyed each other.”

Viewsual Suspects: You said something on your facebook page that really grabbed my attention about your children that was sincere and heartwarming. What bit of advice would you give to parents on how to better their relationship with their kids?

Kevin Lahvic: “I believe that all children really need, is the knowledge that they are loved unconditionally. Beyond that, I think the best thing we can do as parents is to get out of their way. Let them fall down, be there to pick them up and encourage them to keep trying. It is a miracle how a light touch can mold far better than a heavy hand.”

Viewsual Suspects: What’s your definition of beauty?
Kevin Lahvic: “Beauty is in the moment, in EVERY moment. The trick is to notice it.”

Viewsual Suspects: What’s your definition of love?
Kevin Lahvic: “Love is open arms, complete acceptance and total forgiveness. It is giving someone a safe place to cry and never a reason to need it.”



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