Kate Zambrano is a contemporary artist living in California. She was born in Texas, but left at age seventeen to live a nomadic lifestyle.
At eighteen, she enrolled in college to study psychology. Two years later, she left, realizing she was more in love with the subject than of having a career in the field. She moved to New York City and started modeling.
Kate shifted into fine art in 2011 after leaving the fashion industry She spent two years teaching herself how to draw by garnering techniques through trial and error. She applies the elements that she loved from her former career into her artwork; she employs many of the friends she made in modeling to pose for her pieces. Kate marries together the three major interests of her life – psychology, the world of fashion, and fine art.
Her work is a continual exploration of the human psyche.
Name: Kate Zambrano
Birthday: April 4
How would you define yourself as an artist? I don’t.
Why are you an artist, and when did you first become one? Art is the thing that feels “right” to me in a world of unknowns.
What inspires you to work? Life itself continually inspires my work.
Book: I love reading, so I have many favorites – Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, The Wallander Series by Henning Mankell, there are more I’m missing…
Food: It’s pretty incredible what can be done with a potato these days…
Quote: “I don’t know what okra is. Isn’t it a whale?” – Jason Grodski
“Are lizards bugs” – My brother, James Zambrano
I keep a notebook of things my family and friends say, completely out of context. There are pages and pages of one-lined sayings that make me giggle.
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? I suppose that my process can differ a bit from piece to piece. Sometimes I will be watching a movie, or reading, or even just walking around, and I will see something and, involuntarily, start brainstorming. It could be for a specific piece, and entire body of work, or a color I want to centralize a theme around.
Do you suffer for your art? Absolutely, though, it isn’t necessarily as bleak as that might sound. I don’t feel myself if I am not painting or drawing. So, in a way, I am a slave to my work. I have to do this to feel level in my brain. But this is the only thing I have ever done that feels like it is worthwhile. I find beauty in the struggle that I go through. I think that is a way of growing. Nothing worth having comes easy, so each obstacle is a step in the right direction.
What other interests do you have outside of art? I love spending time with my dogs. Reading. Watching movies. Playing words games on iPad. Cooking. Conversing with my brainy comrades is one of my favorite things. I learn so much from the people I keep close to me. They are my ultimate inspiration.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? I’d be rendered pretty useless as I’m not really that great at anything else.
What are your next projects? I curated a drawing show at Raison Gallery coming up at the end of this month. I will be participating in the first annual Trekell Group Show this June. I also have a solo show at Raison Gallery this July, so I’m deep into work for that right now.