Artist Spotlight Interview: Singer & Songwriter Kevin Andrew Prchal

I’ve noticed a trend in my Artist Spotlight interviews; I always profile individuals who are not only amazing artists but amazing human beings as well.  Kevin Andrew Prchal is a perfect example of the two. Not only is he an incredibly gifted singer songwriter with vocals that will make your cold heart melt but he is also an authentic person and a compassionate and loyal friend. I am thankful to know him and I guarantee you will like him too! I was able to snag Kevin and get him to answer some questions for me which you find below interspersed between some of my favorite videos of Kevin singing:

Kevin Andrew Prchal

Who are you and what do you do? 
My name is Kevin Andrew Prchal and I’m a student, a singer of songs, and a maker of chili.

Describe yourself in five words: 
Polka King of the Midwest

Do you have a favorite piece/song of yours? If so, why is it your favorite? 
I guess I’d say it’s the one in progress that means the most, not the one that’s already been written.

Any tips or inspiring words for other artists? 
Never defend your art. By defending it, you’re acknowledging criticism and by acknowledging criticism, you’re wasting your time. Just create, and let it be interpreted as it will.

Terrified! by Kevin Andrew Prchal shot and edited by Justin Thompson from Justin Thompson on Vimeo.

Can we find your music anywhere on the world wide web? 
Yes, you can learn more about me by visiting http://kevinandrewprchal.com or you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @kevinprchal

Any new, exciting projects coming up? 
My new album “Sorrow Sings” will be out this summer! It’s been quite a journey, so I’m both thrilled and relieved to finally have this thing finished.

What is your favorite: 
Color? Magnolia
Animal? Squirrels
Movie? Wall-E
Book? Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

What work do you most enjoy doing? 
Anything that gives me purpose, really. I’ve never been comfortable waking up and doing nothing all day. There’s always something to be doing, even if it’s cleaning the bathroom. Let’s just stick with that.


Name something you love and why?
Finding the candle aisle and smelling every single one of them. I’m partial to pine.

Whats the best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Stay weird.

Name something you don’t love and why? 
Gossip. It’s the poison to this world. It never has, and never will, solve a thing.

What couldn’t you do without? 
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

You’ve been selected to go on an all expense paid drinking binge with one famous artist,  one writer, and one free choice. Who would you choose? 

Tom Waits, Neil Gaiman and my Grandpa Bob. I’d love to see how their collective magics aligned.

Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?
I’d much prefer to lick three public telephones, but I think it would be hard to find three public telephones. Maybe not. I just don’t want to swallow hair.

Thanks Kevin for your time! I hope you guys enjoy his music as much as I do. If you, or someone you know is an artist and would like to be profiled on my blog just email me at sunlightistheirfashionblog@hotmail.com

Artist Spotlight: Photographer Peter Hoffman

This is a VERY long overdue post on my extremely talented friend and all around amazing person, Peter Hoffman. Pete and I go way back (all the way to high school!) and he is inspiration to me, as n artist and a human being. He was able to take his passion, photography, and turn it into a successful profession, while at the same time making a positive impact on society and shedding light on social and cultural issues. And taking some damn beautiful photographs. Thanks Pete for humoring me and answering these questions.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/short-works/fox-river-derivatives/

All photos were taken by Peter Hoffman, are his property, and can be found on his website: http://www.peterghoffman.com. 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/bryan-house-/
Who are you and what do you do?
Not to be contrarian, but I see a question like this as very open to interpretation. My first instinct is to say something like “how the hell can I say who I am? and what I do? I don’t know. I try to make the world hate itself less while trying to make myself love the world more?”
Maybe you should change this to “What is your name and what is your medium?” – unless you would prefer the above answer.

I think what you’re looking for is “My name is Peter Hoffman and usually I make photographs”

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/
 Describe yourself in five words:
Awake, tired, conflicted, critical optimist

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/portraits/
 Do you have a favorite piece of yours?  If so, why is it your favorite?
Not really. I haven’t made a work that I feel is successful yet. On the other hand, if I did then maybe I’d stop trying.

My favorite art that I have own are my photo books – right now I’m into Stephen Gill’s Coexistence, Julian Germain’s For Every Minute You are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness. I am itching to get Lise Sarfati’s and Vivianne Sassen’s recent books too – those ladies are super talented.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/chch-nz/

 Any tips or inspiring words for other artists?
Make it a point to get outside of your comfort zone, make the work that you NEED to make, and if you are trying to make a career of your art, well, figure out a way not to stress too much about your work once it’s out of your hands. Work your tail off but not at the expense of your important personal relationships – unless artistic success is more important to you than
not being miserable. Also, try not to let yourself get in the way of yourself and make sure you give a shit about something.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/characters-in-a-juvenile-study/

 Can we find you anywhere on the world wide web?

You can find me too many places on the web – it’s a necessary evil I’ve come to terms with because the internet essentially allows me to make my living by making photographs, and this is something I am immensely thankful for. I don’t get hired for commissions if people don’t know my work exists.
You can see me at http://www.peterghoffman.com and http://www.peterghoffman.tumblr.com and twitter @peterghoffman.
I also just had a piece published on CNN Photos so you can see me there: http://cnnphotos.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/22/aftershocks-of-the-christchurch-earthquake/

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/
 What is your favorite: I don’t play favorites generally because they change so I will give you current interests

Color? Navy, Grey, Crimson
Animal? I’m just really jealous of anything that can flies so I think that’s backhanded favoritism. Let’s go with the Peregrine Falcon.
Movie? I really enjoyed Beasts of the Southern Wild this year. I have a short memory with films. Visually I thought Pi – Aronofksy’s first film was really great and Enter the Void was also a challenging film though I don’t think I’d watch it again.
Book? I read magazines a lot more. My subscription to Harper’s is valuable. Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling are examples of literature that is important to me though. I know it’s sort of cliché but I also loved Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance and think I need to reread it now that I have a bike that will need some soon, if only to get in the right mindset.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/bryan-house-/
What work do you most enjoy doing?
I like walking in empty places and taking pictures of natural and constructed chaos. I also really enjoy formal portraiture and have gotten to meet some really fascinating people this way.
In general I like the places photography brings me more than the photography itself. I’m naturally introverted so it has been a good medium to challenge my natural ways and has gotten me to live differently, and for that I am very thankful. 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/
Name something you love, and why?
Some THING? 
I really like my trail running shoes, my old finicky motorcycle, my snowboard and my surfboard. All are vehicles for getting the wind to blow in my face which is one of my favorite sensations in the world.
If I am not limited to material objects then I love being in new places with wonderful people on a light whisky buzz. I love being outside in the summer with my good friends and family. I love stopping and looking at the trees and running in the woods.
Isn’t love just a substitute word for that which you can’t describe your feeling for? I just love when I feel alive. That can some at the strangest of times and be triggered by the most unexpected things. I love that I can’t explain it. 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/

Name something you don’t love, and why?
Honestly, for me this is a dangerous question. I get pretty upset about the world in a myriad of different ways so I could answer this any number of ways depending on what I read in the news.
One of the core reasons I make photographs is to address things that frustrate, concern or sadden me.
And Anne Coulter. Heinous, wretched woman.
 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/loop/


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be yourself.  I think Sesame Street told me. That said, I’m really sorry that Anne Coulter feels free to be herself.

What couldn’t you do without?
Creating, and the wonderful people in my life. And almonds. And at this point probably running and crossfit.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/loop/

 You’ve been selected to go on an all-expenses paid drinking binge with one famous artist, one famous writer, and one free choice.  Who would you choose?
We’ll go surfing in the Maledives and sip on top shelf whisky around a campfire at night.
I’ll go with Andy Goldsworthy in his prime because I want to see what he builds (he can start with the whisky earlier than the rest of us), St. Augustine because I still want to ask him about “Confessions” and my wildcard would be my girlfriend because I wouldn’t want to have a great experience like that without being able to share it with her.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/loop/

Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?
Definitely lick telephones. Joke’s on you – try to find me three public telephones anymore!

diy recycled gift wrapping paper

I meant to get this post in before the Holiday Season ended but didn’t have enough time, or it might be because I was to busy eating chocolate, reading, and taking naps :/ 
Using stamps that I have carved from rubber, (except for the gnome stamp which I bought at Paper Source), paper grocery bags, ribbon and colorful paper, I was able to wrap some gifts. I love doing this, whenever I have the time, because the gift wrapping becomes like an extra gift. It’s a nice way for me to show people I care about them, even though I may not be able to afford an extravagant present (at least that is what I tell myself). 

 I recommend using a pigment based (or thicker) ink for the stamp so it really stands out against the brown of the bag. Color Box stamp ink is my absolute favorite.

tattoos: i want them, i need them.

Lately,  the urge to get another tattoo has been gnawing away at me. I have two at the moment: 

 a small dove on my foot, that both of my best child hood friends have as well in the same spots (which I got when I was…19 or 20?)
And three peacock feathers on my back between my shoulder blades that I got when I was 21 and going to school in L.A. 



I told myself after the peacock feathers that I would wait 5 years (plus, I’m terrified of needles and had to go back to the Tattoo Parlor at least 4 times because each time I came, I would pass out). I’m 27 now and so much has happened since then. I’ve gotten my Masters degree, got married, got a job I love and feel much more stable and solid than I was 8 years ago. 


Also I’ve lost two important people in the last 2 years: one of my best childhood friends (not one of the ones who got matching tattoos with me) past away from an aggressive cancer, leaving behind a beautiful 5 year old daughter and my grandma who was so beautiful and also happened to be my favorite person and passed away after suffering with Alzheimers’ disease for 16  long years.

grandma in all her 90’s glory (in the silk blue suit)
about 5 years into her disease, after a stroke (around 1999) 
right before she passed

 Before I lost these two people, I was very very lucky to not have to face death and deal with the sense of loss, anger, confusion, and the infuriating feelings of guilt for leaving things unsaid and undone. 

Anyways, these things have made me want to get a tattoo in honor of my grandma and friend. A close friend of mine, who has had a difficult life and has suffered so much more loss than I, has these beautiful and simple plain black bands on his forearms. Some of them are thick (an inch or more), others very thin. 
my friend’s arm

I had an idea of what I thought the bands might symbolize and knew that he treated each tattooed band with stoic reverence. I finally asked him to tell me about them and what they meant to him. Ever the philosophical fellow, he replied with: 
“Humans, like trees, grow rings of memories.”
Which I loved because I have always loved trees (such a silly statement to make, I mean, who doesnt like trees??). I love how they look, how they smell and what they have symbolized throughout man’s existence (life, death, wisdom, nourishment, hope, growth, security, family). 

Anywho, I am thinking of getting two thin bands on my left forearm, one in honor of my grandma and one in honor of my childhood friend.
Although, my friend also warned me of getting a tattoo that symbolizes the loss of someone you love in a place that you have to look at all the time. He said that every time he looks at his tattoos it only reminds him of those he has lost and makes him sad.
I thought about this and realized that I think the reason I want them in such a visible spot is to remind me to make the most of the time I have with my loved ones and to act in such a way when I am with them, that on that very distant day in the future when I have no more time with them, I will be left with no regrets.  
But, I will continue to evaluate the real reasons I want this tattoo, where it should go, and what it will represent to me.

In the meantime, here are some badass tattoos that I find to be lovely and inspiring (via this cool website I just stumbled on: http://fyeahtattoos.com/

by artist: Dan DiMattia 
Illustration from my favorite book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Tattoo Artist unknown
 not sure who did this one but it is so lovely. 
 I LOVE this Joy Division album artwork, and apparently so do many people. I have found about a dozen tattoos with this artwork tattooed somewhere on them. I think the forearm one is my favorite.
 one of my favorite paintings by one of my favorite artists! (The Kiss by Gustav Klimt) Tattoo artist unknown
loverly.