Q&A with Tim Portlock
What is your favorite tool, material, and/or process?
What is the best advice you’ve ever received about your work?
If you want people to engage with your ideas your work has to first be engaging.
What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone about their work?
This one is hard to answer.
Where do you make work?
Living room couch/ living coffee table.
What do you listen to/watch while you work?
NPR, Netflix and the like, lately podcasts on politics.
What’s your top studio jam?
All things Considered
Best studio hack OR the skill you’d be most lost without?
Learning how to solve technical problems on my own.
What food can be used to bribe you?
Depending on if it is one of those 3 times out of year, deep dish pizza. Tira misu and tres leches cake all year round.
Do you have a studio uniform? Please describe.
A three piece suit.
It’s the 11th hour before your opening. What are you doing?
Who or what has had the biggest influence on your work?
I don’t have one big influence but rather many things that were each very influential at different key points in my life. From my undergraduate day’s one of many influences was canonical African-American fiction of the 20th century in which the protagonist exploration of a landscape becomes an exploration of the self. E.g. The Invisible Man, Native Son, the Freelance Pall Bearers, Cain, etc. Henry Louis Gates wrote a great book in the 80’s, the Signifying Monkey that described how these authors were in a critical dialogue with each other’s ideas through the difference in conventions they used to describe similar themes.
A book you’ve read more than twice is..
Flight to Canada by Ishmael Reed but not in a very long time.
How do you stay motivated?
One of the great things about being an artists is my subject matter can reflect whatever I am interested in at a given moment. Things I read or listen to, a conversation that I’ve had, something that I have seen, etc. It can also work the other way; My art can nurture an interest in things that I would not have otherwise considered. I have visited places read books and met people that I would not have ever encountered to do research for my creative work.
How do you procrastinate?
Reading blogs, watching youtube video about politics and watching television.
Early Bird or Night Owl?
Do you have pets? If so, what are their species and names?
I have a cat and his name is Ripley. My wife named him after Lieutenant Commander Ellen Ripley of the cargo vessel Nostromo.
Biggest pet peeve?
It’s very random and I only really get them when I am rushed for time.
What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
Tower Grove park.
Epoxy, mineral spirits, or Command-Z?
Tell us something we forgot to ask:
My two favorite cities are Amsterdam and Tokyo.