Today we’d like to introduce you to Chad Hayward.
Chad, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I don’t have the standard fairytale artist beginning story with a crayon in hand from age one. I occasionally attempted to color in the lines as much as any normal kid throughout childhood but I was generally more concerned with the climbing, running and jumping. Later on, in an 8th grade English class, I discovered a simple cartoon character drawing in the corner of the whiteboard as I waited for the final bell to ring. I quickly copied the drawing into my notebook and immediately after finishing the scratchy drawing, something clicked and I was hooked. My exploration into art started soon after, beginning in the margins of my math notebook and quickly moved to drawing and painting on my own. Throughout my schooling, growing up, I was someone who was never a huge fan of the conventional education system so art gave me indispensable freedom and an independent outlet. I was immediately drawn in and used it as a methodology in which to learn, discover and grow. I went on to pursue my passion for the arts following high school and received my BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. I then studied at Eastern Illinois University and received my MA in Studio Art in 2018.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I describe my art practice as an Interdisciplinary. I work with a wide variety of materials and methodologies to create work. I am endlessly fascinated with the act of creation and this fascination acts as the centerpiece of my studio practice. With this interest, my work is heavily invested in the process of making and I am led by the inherent serendipity that occurs in the presence of the unknown during creation. My main modes of exploration take place in painting, drawing, ceramic sculpture, fibers, printmaking and papermaking. The work engages with formal elements of line, form, mark making, gesture, repetition, and color. My process of making can be a state that ranges from meditative and repetitive to manic and sporadic. The accumulation of gesture, form, line, and color act as a record of the conscious or unconscious state during the creation process. The final artwork becomes a space, landscape, or psychological record of that process by acting as an accumulated collection of moments over time in which various mental states were translated onto the surface through formal decision-making. Within my practice, there is a conglomeration of influences from a wide array of moments within the complex history of abstraction. I sample various material methodologies, compositional conventions and formal modernist strategies from said influences to reconfigure and remix various modes of making.
I never want my art to be prescriptive, convey a concrete message or ideology. I prefer to leave things much more open-ended. The experience I always aim to convey to an audience is for my work to invite a moment of pause and space in which someone can indulge their visual curiosity that I believe is inherent to all of us.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
As a young emerging artist, I am still facing the reality of financial challenges and pursuing a creative path and I am continually learning how to better navigate these challenges. Many artists or creative professionals, especially early in their careers have to balance another job or income source with their art practice. The advice that has served me best in my situation is learning to become efficient and disciplined with the most important resource we all wrestle with, time. Sometimes, even on the extremely busy days filled with other outside obligations, you have to carve out time even if it is short, to put your head down and work in the studio. While it may not match the myth of the brooding artist waiting for inspiration to strike, I have also found using a planner and mapping out my daily schedule has proved extremely beneficial. Showing up and committing to a daily practice can be more than half the battle. The key is being present and focused when in the studio and that deep work will truly add up. There will always be unique challenges facing artists, but I believe the key is to use your gift of creativity to make your unique situation work, there is always a way. I always try to keep in mind the quote from the famous director Orson Welles, “The Absence of Limitations is the enemy of art”. Facing the financial challenge is daunting and there are no quick fixes, however taking small steps in the right direction on a daily basis will accumulate and build your career.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am currently included in a group show, 32nd annual Materials: Hard + Soft International Contemporary Craft Competition & Exhibition at the Meadows Gallery in the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center in Denton, Texas. The show will be on view February 1 – May 4, 2019.
People can also check out more work and follow on along on Instagram, @chadhaywardart or visit my website, chadhaywardart.com.
- Website: chadhaywardart.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @chadhaywardart