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Check out Katie Dinh’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Dinh.

Katie, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
The core of why I started spending time on art is that it helps me to connect to other people. I started out doodling Pokémon in school notebooks and drawing pictures of characters from stories I wrote with my friends. During middle school and high school, I started to use drawing as a coping mechanism during spells of anxiety and depression. In college, I studied psychology and art simultaneously, fluctuating between my innate need to create and my deep desire to fix up my broken thought patterns. Teachers and friends helped a lot in my growth. For so long, I forgot about why I liked art and tried to make things so I could impress others or prove myself. Through my teachers and mentors, I gradually relearned how to create for the satisfaction that comes from making something new. Through friends, I went out of my comfort zone to explore different art forms like cyanotypes, dyeing fabric, collage, and zines.

To me, these last few years have meant everything in changing the way I experience the world. Learning how to appreciate being on this planet, how to use my art to work through emotions, how to complete things, how to be satisfied and move forward- these have been the most important personal revelations for me who was once unable to do these things. Now that I’m finally out of school, I’m spending more time than ever trying to grow seriously as an artist and look at the world through a new lens.

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?
Lately, I’ve been focusing on different kinds of printmaking. With relief printmaking, you have to take the time to consider what’s being physically taken away and what will be left behind- there’s no going back. This very hands-on process can be very therapeutic. Most of my prints are based on impermanent objects from nature, meaning things that seem to have been lost or are about to be lost. This can involve endangered species, long-gone dinosaurs, or be as simple as carving out an image of the cut flowers in my room that are slowly falling apart. I look at the same kinds of subjects when I make cyanotypes. Luna moths emerge from their cocoons without mouths, and can’t live very long since they can’t eat. We’re all impermanent beings, but this type of pronounced transitory nature fascinates me in a melancholy way.

Since last spring, I’ve also been working on zines. I make zines based around the abstract exploration of my emotional journeys. It’s a great feeling to read or share zines that people can relate to very personally. As human beings, we tend to go through similar struggles, learning, stumbling, fearing, and feeling alone. I believe the creation and consumption of art can function as a remedy for people who think that their experiences haven’t been shared by anyone else. Moving forward with my works, I am trying to dive deeper into subjects that will help give people tools to deal with their internal struggles.

What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
Success as an artist requires organization and balance. It takes a lot of time to learn, make mistakes, experiment, and do research. The pace of certain projects or the time it takes to make career-related progress may not always be as clear as we’d like them to be. However, every win, every loss, and every waiting game is a learning experience and therefore a step forward.

The artists I’ve observed who seem to be successful are the ones who are always seeking new experiences as resources. If imagination is a fire, they’re particularly good at using whatever they can to keep it going, whether it’s new places, people, or discoveries by humankind. I don’t think success as an artist has to be equal to selling your work for a million dollars, being in the best galleries, or appealing to an audience of choice. I think success can come in series of small victories, like making someone’s day a little bit lighter or giving life to a space. Successful artists don’t have to change the whole world- sometimes just one will suffice.

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?
People can best support my work through finding me when I’m vending. I’ve been applying to all kinds of different zinefests over the course of this last year. So far, they’ve all been in LA or the Inland Empire. Since I’ve finally finished school, I’ll be trying to widen my horizons in the days to come. Aside from these fests, I occasionally submit work to local galleries or publications. I’ve been forging a relationship with Pomona’s dA Center for the Arts, where I’ll be showing work and teaching printmaking workshops over this next summer. Come out if you’d like to try some different types of artmaking!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cassidy Apparicio

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