Keeping The Artist Alive | Chris Locke | Episode 888

Chris Locke | Episode 888


Chris Locke grew up in northern Virginia and wasted a lot of time trying not to be an artist. Chris took a lot of art classes and finally woke up and got a degree in art. Chris finally fell in love, moved to Austin, started teaching, and rediscovered his love for pottery. Chris built a studio and is now chilling.


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When you are in the mode of hustling versus just wanting to be an artist how important is it to be protecting a creative mind by loosening up as opposed to just pushing forward?

Man, I don’t even know if I can answer that. That’s such a complex question. I’ve never felt like I have needed to protect the creative mind because it’s all I’ve got and my wife wants to go on vacation and all I do is sit on the beach and think of all the ways I could be making something right now. I have a hard time breaking away from the creative mind so there’s no protecting it. There’s only trying to pause it.

Do you feel that having multiple interests, mediums that you work in, do you feel like that develops your approach to ceramics?

Absolutely. I think being a sculptor influence ceramics and I think if you are a painter or you draw this will inform your ceramics. And being a ceramists will inform your drawing skills. It’s all interconnected and I think it’s absolutely necessary to recognize that.

Do you have a specific process you go through to get your creative juices going?

I stay asleep as long as I can. And then somewhere between three and four-thirty in the morning something just clicks on and I can’t stop it. It makes me crazy but I don’t get into the mood, I wake up thinking, What if I did this thing. ANd then I can’t go back to sleep.

Do you find that having a community of creatives (I guess that’s the right word) around you, does that make a difference for you?

 Absolutely. The Austin pottery scene is so tight and generous and everybody knows everybody and everybody is always there for everybody. SO having that as a resource is really great. But then being an art teacher in a building with other art teachers, I wanted to get into screen printed underglaze transfers and the painting teacher was like, I kinda want to do screen printing with my painting three classes. And the two of us figured out together how to burn silk screens. Having someone there to bounce ideas off of is so necessary. I love it.

Do find that it is important in your life to have newness? To intentionally create change so that you develop a different perspective as an artist?

Yeah, I am in my mid-forties and just recently coming to the realization that I have probably been ADHD my entire life. I have always been hoping from one project to another, from casting concrete and welding stainless and then I get bored doing that and now I am buying a hydraulic press so I can crush a trumpet into a cube and then I got to get a second drill press so I can do this thing and that thing. My wife is like, Why don’t you settle down and pick one thing. And I’m like, I can’t do that. 

Is it important to play as an artist with your art?

Yeah, I mean I am a clown at heart and I think if it’s not funny I don’t want to do it. My wife and I went to San Francisco one time and she went to take a nap and I had a pad of paper and I drew this unicorn running up the side of a rainbow and the rainbow was coming out of a toilet and I’m laughing with tears rolling down my face. It was part of a coloring book that I was working on called the Doodoo book and the rainbow was marked brown, brown, brown…. You have to have fun, you must!


Draw Like This! by Christopher Locke

Draw like this by Christopher Locke 

To Engineer is Human by Henry Petroski 


Instagram: @theheartlessmachine

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