e had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyler, so given that most of us are stuck at home due to the crisis, we’ve been asking folks about what they’ve enjoyed doing during quarantine. We’d love to hear what your favorite thing to do has been.
One of the biggest things that I have done to keep myself busy is just making weird and really trashy things that I normally discard in my sketchbook. I have always found myself as a compulsive maker, whether that meant sketching random ideas or making really rough sculptures. Usually, I would discard most of these ideas and get back to actual work that I feel comfortable submitting for either school or any gallery work. But lacking that external pressure and also desperately needing something to make myself laugh, I started making work from my really undeveloped ideas. Most of these so far are really trashy jewelry, like oversized necklaces with pendants that are 18” x 24” canvases, pendants made with cookie wrappers, and rings with a lot of rubber bands and strings. I have always had an interest in these really trashy and worn down textures and I find it kind of humorous to incorporate precise jewelry techniques with these discarded and unconventional objects. It also feels nice since I have always painted on garbage and discarded objects when I couldn’t afford nicer materials and I am finally able to validate these ideas through more precise jewelry techniques. Overall this has been a really fun process since previously the final product of my artwork rarely made me laugh. Especially when I consider spending an exuberant amount of time making handmade clasps, chains, or other mechanisms. It makes me laugh thinking I spent nearly eight hours trying to make a dirty piece of fabric into a working necklace.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art has changed so much in the last couple of years, it’s really hard to keep track of where I want my art to go. When I was a freshman I started out as a painting major wanting to get a math double major or minor. Within the next years, I dropped the math minor, changed my major to sculpture, and finally ended up as ceramics and jewelry emphasis with a minor in philosophy. The thing that has remained the most consistent through my college path is how I paint over my surfaces and forms. I have always been interested in the reactionary process of gestural abstraction and found object sculpture. Specifically, my work has always involved a creative process where I would apply marks, paint, or some additive to the surface of my art, and make some reactionary decision to add on or remove material. In addition to this, the refinement in the traditions of ceramics and jewelry has added such an interesting perspective on my work, since my work has always been very loose and abstract. Recently, because of my studies in jewelry, my work has been an investigation into my own ideas into self identity. Coming from a collective culture, I have struggled with understanding my individual self. The only thing that I have always been certain about is my interest in this nonlinear and spontaneous process of making with gestural painting. Through the lens of jewelry, I use these reactionary processes to try to delineate my self identity. Especially since I am still a full time student, I have had little success in the field of art. The limited success I have had is solely based on me applying to any open calls I found out about. I think two of the toughest challenges artists deal with is that artists are working in a highly competitive field and minimal financial reward. Despite this daunting reality, I think it’s always worth it. I can’t really imagine life without some level of making. I think it’s important for artists to always find some way of making in their lives even if their working jobs are not related to art and relentlessly trying to get their work out. Regardless of what happens after college I still plan on finding a way to nurture my artistic practice even through something minimal like keeping a sketchbook. Once I graduate, I hope to keep this optimism throughout my life and slowly make steps to building or finding studio space along with going to grad school to become a professor. Right now I am working with an amazing service called Artstartart which helps college students sell their work online. It is an amazing service that shows off the amazing work of college artists along with helping students understand the art market. Although I haven’t sold a lot of artwork in my life, it is through these smaller opportunities that give some optimism and help me get to the next job.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think some of my favorite places in San Diego are the art museums and galleries. Most obvious are the ones in Balboa Park like the San Diego Museum of Art, the Mingei International Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, and many more. Museums, paths, and gardens at Balboa have always been a favorite of mine since there is so much variety to do. The art museums themselves have a large range of historical paintings and sculptures to abstract contemporary art. Even though art galleries are closed for now, places like the SDMA still have virtual tours. Bread and Salt art gallery is also an art gallery outside of balboa providing artist interviews of artists in San Diego that are live through their instagram and saved on their youtube channel.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think it is easy to say I wouldn’t be anywhere without the guidance and mentorship from my professors at San Diego State University. My professors have been so instrumental in not only my artistic development, but also providing the resources for me to be successful and helping connect my peers and I to other artists around the country. When I initially got into sculpture my professor, Richard Keely, was a significant factor in developing a criteria for evaluating my own work. Professor Keely was always amazing at being able to analyze and critique students in respect to their own art interests. His analysis of students’ work is incredibly detailed despite being a light hearted and funny person outside the classroom environment. Professor Mary Cale Wilson, my ceramics professor, has done an amazing job at balancing teaching a lot of ceramics class, especially during one semester when she was the only professor in ceramics. She has also nurtured an amazing community of artists in the ceramics studio. Because of her, ceramics have always felt like a second home. Professor Kerianne Quick, my jewelry professor, is extremely knowledgeable in the craft and has always pushed her students to their fullest potential. Although one of the tougher art classes I have taken, Prof. Quick provides extremely in depth insight on both technical aspects and the overall subject matter of her student’s work. Outside of my professors, all of the people that are a part of SDSU ceramics have given me so much support and guidance. The community that we have is so important to me and has helped me develop ideas for my work along with being some of my closests friends. There are also so many more people that I value in my life. Everyone else in the art department, my partner, and my family; I wouldn’t make it to where I am today without them.
Other: Artstartart Profile: https://www.artstartart.com/artist/PR1wDojKwfPmSwybXTPrhRjiczQ2 Email: TCYoung51@gmail.com