Local Creative: Kayten Schmidt
An eye for detail is a useful habit when it comes to those in creative professions. As an artist and creative consultant, Kayten Schmidt has refined her viewpoint of imagery and conceptualizing ideas to extend well beyond her projects. She exudes a sense of self in almost everything she touches.
We have long admired Kayten’s ability to dig further than what’s offered on the surface. In terms of research Kayten is a pioneer, constantly reminding us that there were poignant books, magazines and other print publications long before the archiving of images on social platforms. Through her personal work, she offers guidance and inspiration to delve a little deeper when it comes to pushing our own creative limits and expectations. A muse herself we are captivated by her relaxed and naturalistic approach to her own work that often ties in a love for the objects we choose to surround ourselves. These objects when chosen with intent and consideration inevitably become dear parts of our life and are often a reflection of how we choose to live that life.
As a Local Creative, we asked Kayten to share some of her personal works and she offered Situations, a collection of photographs alluding to a piece of clothing that signifies some situational significance. Never one to take things to preciously Kayten was kind enough to share her own favorite low brow and high brow essentials, things she cooks when she is alone and what beauty means to her.
What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?
Regarding humans - I have a very slim and narrow idea of beauty, but not in the way one might think. I think the closest to natural you can possibly be is the goal. No makeup (unless for fun like a red lip or statement eye). Natural hair. Flats. No pushup bras, actually no pushing or pulling of anything. I am captivated by people who wear clothes well, any size. Regarding surroundings - I tend to like soft, muted, balanced spaces. Light is so beautiful, especially in California. Regarding art - I want to stay away from anything garish, but I have an open mind and will consider art that I don't find beautiful, its important.
"Nothing is new, everything's been done.
It's ok though."
When you are home alone what's your favorite thing to cook for yourself?
Green cabbage with garlic wilted in coconut oil. Or a ton of olives. I go through phases where I eat a lot of one particular thing for a few weeks and then move on.
Describe a turning point in your career.
Unchaining myself from the culture of email and over emailing. Email ruins lives.
"Feelings are not facts.
Feelings are facts."
What are some cultural touchstones that may have played a role in shaping who you are today — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc.,?
George Michael videos. Bauhaus. Fiber Art. Joni Mitchell's Blue. Prada. John and Yoko. Paul and Linda. Alan Watts. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned. Koto Bolofo. Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage. Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman. Godard's A Married Woman (Une femme mariée) Mikael Baryshnikov.
What is the most satisfying aspect of the creative process for you?
The initial thought, the excitement stage where you are figuring out the nuances of an idea. It's all downhill from there.
Separating work life from personal life can be difficult, have you set any rules for yourself?
I've gently eased into a more balanced work and personal life. No hard rules, just allowing myself to forget about work and reminding myself that not every second needs to be productive. I've been trying to take in stimuli that fall outside of my work like music, food and science, which are all good distractions.
A low-brow essential: A high-brow essential:
Perrier and Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant. I'll let you decide which is which.
Please describe your last month in a word.
Tepid. And tumultuous. Never simple enough for one word.
Periods of feeling uninspired can be difficult. What do you do to feel rejuvenated during periods of creative stillness?
I try not to stress about it, I've learned it always comes back. If I'm uninspired it usually means I'm overloaded (introvert) so I sleep. I sleep and stay home and don't expend any energy talking to anyone. I usually feel refreshed and optimistic after some time alone, with some mental space around any project I'm working on. Also dancing is an immense help.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far?
Feelings are not facts
Feelings are facts
Sugar is deadly
Joan Baez was famous before Bob Dylan
Nothing is new, everything's been done. It's ok though.
The Secret isn't as totally insane as I thought it was