Saturday, 10 March 2012

An Interview with Caitlyn Rickson of Kerplunk-punk

I recently interviewed Caitlyn Rickson of Kerplunk-punk for my final year project. As it was for specific research opposed to like an actual magazine my questions are a little on the clunky side (does blah influence your work, does blah influence your work and so forth.) However, her answers were so thoughtful and interesting I thought it would be a waste not to share it. Enjoy :)

Hi Caitlyn, can you describe your work? 

My work is my diary. It’s a collaboration of all my phases. The first time I felt proud of my art was in grade 12. I created some very personal abstract paintings on a large scale. At the time, I was super into Green Day, more than usual, because 21st Century Breakdown released. The paintings included some Green Day lyrics. My work really depends on my interests. In the summer I was very into Amadeus, making collages, and Bikini Kill so I made a few summer teen Amadeus witch series. Winter, I was into Heath Ledger and still am. 

Why did you decide to set up your blog?
I had another blog before kerplunk-punk. I quit my other one for a few months and started kerplunk-punk in hopes for a new beginning. The reason I started blogging, was I wanted a place to be creative. It’s also nice how organized and pretty art, outfit posts, and more can look on Tumblr and Blogspot.

Which artists influence you and why?
Arvida (arvidabystrom) is a beautiful artist. Her gifs, portraits, and intriguing view on the world are precious. I’m very inspired by her and have even tried a few Arvida gifs. Daniel Johnston has had an influence on me as well. His quirky doodles and songs mesmerize me every time. I like his sense of artistic style.

Would you define yourself as a feminist?
“She’s such a feminist she says she isn’t one cause goddamn our gender shouldn’t matter” is an accurate description of where I stand as a feminist. It’s taken from “Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist” by Ramshackle Glory. I feel I am a feminist because I’m passionate about standing up for my gender, because my rights as a woman aren’t fully satisfied. When I moved to a bigger city, creepy chum slums tried to small talk me on the bus. Guys couldn’t stop staring at my tights. Revolted, I stood up for myself and felt empowered as a feminist. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m a feminist because gender shouldn’t matter, but because it does matter and guys are creeps sometimes I feel empowered as a feminist to stand up for my values.

Has riot grrrl influenced your work?
These last few months yes. I’m intrigued by the riot grrrl movement and how it looks in a collage. Words are powerful, but the imagery is delicate. Any of my riot grrrl work is done on collage, because I feel that’s where it looks best. 

Does pop culture influence your work?
Nearly all my work is influenced by pop culture. Heath Ledger is a strong example. I’ve created a lot of collages/ shrines, paintings, and drawings of him. I’m also into cartoons and the 90s grunge scene.

Do you feel there is a relationship between gender identity and pop culture? If so does this influence your work?
I do feel there is a relationship between gender identity and pop culture. Maybe the fact that gender identity has been largely publicised these last few years is the reason why so many are talking and experiencing it. I think this is brings up an interesting point that pop culture influences many lives. Personally, I don’t experience a gender identity problem. I’m happy who I am so I’ve had no work based on this.

You have cited Tavi Gevinson and her magazine ‘Rookie’ as inspiration in your work. Could you tell me about this?
If it weren’t for learning about Tavi Gevinson, I wouldn’t be a blogger. Her presence as a blogger wanted me to be one myself. It’s a blessing her magazine ‘Rookie’ exists. I’m very supportive of her and Rookie. If I see something I like on her blog or Rookie I try it myself. Petra Collins’ crowns and Virgin Suicides room tutorial is a good example.

Are there any particular blogs that influence and inspire you?

Does fashion influence your work?
It used to be, but I’m more into personal style than fashion. I must say, Meadham Kirchhoff is brilliant so they are an exception.

Do films influence your work?
Movies are my favorite thing. Thumbsucker, Amadeus, Candy and Dreamland are great. They influence my work on a certain level. In blog posts I refer to movies a lot in my themes. Characters are applied to my personal style and photography.


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