Feature Friday – Kate Bingaman Burt

Photo by Nicolle Clemetson

When I heard my school would be hosting an AIGA artist lecture by Kate Bingaman Burt, I was ecstatic and immediately adjusted everything in my schedule to revolve around this event. Kate Bingaman Burt is the creator of Obsessive Consumption where she draws all of her daily purchases, including receipts and credit card statements. She is a wizard of daily drawings and “elevating the mundane”. I’ve been a fan of Kate’s illustrations and creative projects for quite some time. Her spontaneous drawing style has even inspired a bit of my own work, so I was eager to sit in on this lecture and possibly glean a little bit of her creative genius.

Kate defines herself as a “maker of things” so it seemed entirely appropriate that the key theme of her presentation would be about MAKING. In this day and age when things like Tumblr and Pinterest are our greatest pastimes, it’s easy to get caught up in collecting images mindlessly rather than stopping to think and make. Kate’s message encouraged us as creatives to thoughtfully look at these visuals, make connections, make meaning, and then make something new. I loved this Frank Chimero poster she shared that says, “Looking at design is not making design.”

The bulk of her presentation was about picking your 5 things that inspire you or that you simply find visually appealing. From there, you must make meaning out of those things. Why are they inspiring? What do they represent to you? How does your work reflect these things? Over the next couple weeks I’ll be reflecting on what my 5 things are and share them with you here!

My favorite part about Kate’s work is how fluid and carefree her lines and subjects are. I asked her how she keeps from taking her work too seriously. My biggest creative block is constantly worrying about always having to create a masterpiece. Kate told me, “Just keep making things.” Those that worry about always creating perfect artwork never end up creating anything. It’s better to make a huge pile, even if the majority of it is crap, than to sit around and do nothing. You feel better when you’re making things. So stop worrying about making a masterpiece, and just keep creating.

Thanks Kate for sharing some of your inspiration with us at SDSU! To see more of Kate’s work, visit her website at www.katebingamanburt.com

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