WALKABOUT CAMPUS   includes interviews conducted by journal editors with interesting and creative members of the CU Boulder community. If you'd like to be featured on this page, or if you know someone who we should interview, please let us know!

Student Interview with Luke Lemons

posted Jul 13, 2015, 6:38 AM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:02 PM ]

Luke is a freshman studying MCDM and English at CU.
Interview by Jilllian Sennett

What currently inspires you most? What writers or styles get you pumped to write? 

What inspires me most is everyday life. Not crazy events or tragedies, just normal things that happen as you are walking class to class. I take a lot of inspiration from Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway. I love the spontaneous prose and “thought to paper” writing style that both authors have.

Do you think it is important for students to get work published, especially so early on in their careers? What is the importance of publications in a college setting? 

I think it’s important for students to get work published early on in their life because as they get older, they’ll change their views and ways of thinking. It would be nice to look back on one's work to see how they felt then. That being said, publishing in a college setting is also beneficial because the critical reviews aren’t as harsh. It allows for growing and gaining comfort with one’s writing before getting thrown into the competitive publishing world.

What got you into writing fiction and/or creative non-fiction? 

I can’t remember what exactly got me into writing, but I do remember after doing a lot of English homework in high school, I realized that I loved the feeling of pulling of a perfect description of something. That eventually evolved into creative non-fiction because I became really good at describing what I saw or felt at different points in my life. 

Tell us how you think journals like ours contribute to the CU campus. 

I think journals like Walkabout contribute to the CU campus because they allow others to peek into the minds of the students and to get a feeling of what their peers are thinking. Especially in Boulder, there is a great writing scene, and journals help capture each and every story so that not one is lost.

Student Interview with Hayley Shear

posted Feb 1, 2015, 5:50 PM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:02 PM ]

Hayley  is a sophomore at CU.
Interview by Gillian Beerman
Tell us about the first time you had something of yours published  (artwork, writing, etc.) What did it feel like, what was the publication, etc?

I was published my senior year of high school when I interned at Du Jour  Magazine, which was geared towards high-class food, fashion, and travel. I wrote an article about Liberace and an article about an up and coming interior designer. I was ecstatic and proud; it was definitely something I could put on my resume. I think it even helped me get into the Journalism school.

Tell us what kind of creative work you like to make (photography, prose, poetry, etc.) and why. Do you have particular subjects or themes or a style you like to use?

I love to write and currently am a News Editorial Major. I took a creative writing  class last semester where I enjoyed writing poetry and creative nonfiction.

Tell us about a piece of creative work that influenced you and why it did. Alternatively, tell us your favorite poem, book, art piece, artist, author, etc.

Carolyn Forche titles my favorite poetry book The Blue Hour. Her dynamic use of language inspires me to be more visual when writing my own poetry.

Student Interview with Laura Linnebur

posted Feb 1, 2015, 4:55 PM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:01 PM ]

Laura  is a sophomore at CU pursuing a humanities degree.
Interview by Aimee Anderson
What kind of creative work do you like to make (photography, prose, poetry, etc.) and why? Do you have particular subjects, themes, or a style?

Personally, I do not produce any notable creative work. However, if I had to choose one genre, I most enjoy poetry in a journal like Walkabout. I most appreciate poets who are willing to be vulnerable and personal with their pieces, but maintain a level of subtly and open-endedness. This type of poetry connects the author to the readership, but also leaves room for resonance and reflection.

Tell us how you think journals like ours contribute to the CU campus.

Journals, like Walkabout, which are founded by CU students, written and edited by CU students, for a CU readership contribute to the culture here on multiple levels. It provides the student body opportunities, professional development, and practical experience. Walkabout alone offers students the ability to partake in the actual editing and criticism of pieces of art, a chance for an author to have a platform on which to build a readership, and the student body with contemporary, relevant art to share and discuss.
Tell us about a piece of creative work that influenced you and why it did. Alternatively, tell us about your favorite poem, book, art piece, artist, author, etc.

I would have to say that Walt Whitman's "Oh Me! Oh Life!" is one of my favorite creative works of art and has in turn, influenced me greatly. I think the poem captures the conflicting feelings of inadequacy and inspiration that every human being experiences. Whitman addresses this conflict with the closing line, "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." Especially as a 20 year old, working hard to find identity and meaning as I grow up, I find Whitman's words very comforting.

Student Interview with Sean Patrick Faling

posted Jan 4, 2015, 7:21 PM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:02 PM ]

Sean Patrick Faling is a senior majoring in Studio Arts at CU Boulder.
Interview by Fiona Doxas
Sean Patrick Faling utilizes old rotary phones and synthesizers in his 3-D art. “I’m a musician and a painter,” he says, but when he was introduced to the tools used and the skills taught at CU Boulder, he decided to make something in 3-D. His 3-D display consists of two topless box-shelves installed on a wall next to each other, each housing an old rotary phone and a small speaker. He explains: “What I did is I wired them [the phones] up to these synthesizers, and then these over here actually have oscillators.” As he turns the phone dial, a sound emits from the speaker that sounds like a drawn out electric fart. “When I was 16, I made the first one, and that was in 1991, and then [recently] I started doing some circuit bending and I was thinking, ‘Use the phone again,’ so I’m using the telephone as a source—everything electronic uses a source.”

Sean’s work embodies his interests: the rotary phones come from his collection, and he used the same synthesizers and oscillators that he plays like an instrument in his band, Distance Research. Zindathina, the December 2014 BFA Art show, was Sean’s first showing of his 3-D artwork. He’s happy with how the display turned out: “There’re concessions you have to make, and there are things you’d like to improve upon, but you know, they [the phones] work!” Sean spent most of the night hovering by his display helping people play with the oscillators and smiling at a trio of small boys who camped out at one of the phones for a solid 20 minutes, just dialing the rotary phone and laughing at all the different sounds that came out of the speakers.

Student Interview with Dave Waite

posted Jan 4, 2015, 2:01 PM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:02 PM ]

Dave Waite is a CU junior from  Lomita, CA studying Environmental Design and Studio Art.
Interview by Kate Ross

What got you into art? When did you really start considering yourself to be “an artist”?

In the 9th grade I was in PE, but was taken out because I was in Marching Band (which received PE credit), and The Man said I couldn’t have two, so I had to take drawing. I was rather livid because I liked hanging out with the fat kids and the pseudo gang members of my PE class. They had character. I started to enjoy my drawing class, where my closest friend spent the entire year carving a pipe out of the table, and my other associate, a well-known “street artist”,  drew out old bombings in class and always signed his name to these -- which resulted in his arrest three different times in my class. Needless to say, I enjoyed that class and went on to take painting the following year. I stuck with it because I began to like art, but mainly because all my friends were athletic and I needed to find something else to do with my non-athletic time.

I never consider myself an artist. Everyone is an artist and just needs to be forced to take 9th grade drawing, figuratively speaking.

Is there a particular art scene that you get most excited about, geographically speaking? 

I noticed everything I paint has water of some form in it. I think this is because water is so kinetic that even when painted still, we still imagine it moves through the frame. It gives a strong sense of expansiveness as it has a history and always migrates to and fro.

The most important question I can think of is: what do you want to do with your art? How would you like I know you have a few qualms with the art world in general and would like to change some of its “methods”. Could you elaborate on that?

 Ideally, sell art at roll back prices, but then I would have to pay the bills with a rolled back bank account. I hate that the rich get all the good art. That’s fucked up to me. The art world reminds me of J. Crew. That shit looks just like some Old Navy sweater or lady dress you could find at Kohl’s, but it’s stupid expensive because J and their Crew put their name on the inside of it with a large label so the owner feels entitled. I want to make art for those who cannot afford it most importantly. I want to make art which tells stories for communities with stories lost in history. I want to make art relatable to the individual. I want to make art for public spaces which the public feels they own. I want to make art without my name so I can challenge myself to create something far more difficult. I really just don’t want to make art painfully saccharin. Go Buffs.

What currently inspires you most? What other artists or styles get you jazzed to paint?

The constant evolution of architecture inspires me quite a bit as there is always a strange conversation between studio arts and the vernacular form. As well, Ice T videos, Mexican food, watching TV for extended periods of time, some days I don’t wear pants, political speeches, my beautiful black lab Nicks, unmotivated friends, overpriced art galleries, the aerospace industry, and mosh pits.

What do you think millennials promise for the art world, if anything? Are you excited about what’s to come with our generation becoming more and more active in art?

This is difficult. There will be an interesting battle between machine and man, but man will most likely win. The architectural theorist, John Ruskin, in his writings on the Lamp of Beauty explains there is an inherent beauty in that which man makes. It really is not the precision of a brush stroke which makes it beautiful, but the amount of imprecision. Craftsmanship and processes will most likely become a new focus of the art world.

Student Interview with Mike Battey

posted Jan 2, 2015, 12:31 AM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:02 PM ]

Mike Battey is a senior majoring in Studio Arts at CU Boulder.
Interview by Fiona Doxas

    Mike Battey is a senior majoring in Studio Arts at CU Boulder who had a series of his photographic art on display at the CU Art Museum from December 6th to December 19th. His collection of four black and white photos were part of a series he created in his Photo III and Photo IV classes over the course of last year's spring semester, and this past fall semester. These photos were, in his words: “Composites of multiple images each; so one could be all cloud images that I’ll take from areal shots to be 15 images that I put into another program where I control the X and the Y axis.” Instead of photoshop, Mike used, “Programs, apps for macs, things that I just randomly download, that I find on the internet” because, “I don’t know how to actually use photoshop.” He only shoots in black in white and feels that, "Color can be distracting, in the sense that you can derive false mediums and people will sometimes look into the color as another explanation for trying to read the image…[with my photos] being black and white, they’re less unanimous, because, say if it were green or brown [those looking at them would] be like ‘oh, it looks too much like grass, so maybe that’s what he took pictures of.’ You know, something like that. So, I wanted there to be the most amount of anonymity in the images as possible…[and] I don’t really like color images to be honest.” Mike created this particular series, “In response to Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto from 1924.” Mike explains that in this manifesto, images such as photos are meant to function, “Like the Rorschach psychology test, where everybody sees them differently because they automatically have an automata—[a reaction to the image]—that is not similar from one person to the next. So, I think in my book, I say ‘If you were to see green, you might think grass or trees,’ or whatever a person might think… So, the point was to make images that weren’t unanimously decided on what the subject was, because what I want to do is test the medium itself; because photography was born out of truth, and being able to document something enough that the original way it was so that everyone would be able to agree, ‘Oh, that’s the Parthenon’ or ‘This is the ocean,’ whereas [in this series] you can’t really tell someone that it’s something, because it’s not anything.” Mike was bursting with pleased but nervous energy throughout his exhibit’s opening. He’d pace around or near his work, gauging the reactions of those viewing the photos.

Faculty Interview with Courtney Morgan

posted Jan 2, 2015, 12:26 AM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:03 PM ]

Courtney teaches an intermediate fiction workshop for the CU Boulder Creative Writing Department.
Interview by Megan Swenson

What kind of creative work do you like to make (art, fiction, poetry, etc)? Why? Do you have particular subjects, themes, or styles that you like to use?

The kind of work I like to make tends to be kind of fractured and broken and reconstrued, somewhat mosaic-like. It’s sort of hybrid, somewhere between fiction and poetry and memoir, with ever-shifting boundaries and combinations. I guess my style is mostly dark and whimsical—I like that taste, the sweet candy that cuts your tongue. I tend to write about females, femininity and sexuality, the shadows and the light.
For you, what was it like to be published for the first time?

The first piece I ever had published was a story called “Red Mango Jam” in The Red Anthology, put out by a small press called No-Record. I remember getting the book in the mail, a real book, with my name inside. It felt like real life, like I was a grown up. Not just a grown up, but a real person. I had a thought like, now I’m one of those people, one of the people that make the world. It sounds so simple, but it doesn’t feel that way. It felt enormous, even a little scary. Like, should I really be the one doing this? I still feel that way when I see my name in print, and I’m still always a little amazed that I’m one of those people, that I’m making things and putting them into the world.
Tell us about a piece of creative work that influenced you and why it did.

I wrote a collection of stories that was heavily influenced by the artist Balthus. He’s a somewhat obscure painter, working in a very figurative style during the heyday of surrealism in France. His work figures a lot of young female girls and adolescents, and treats them in a way that juxtaposes this sense of innocence with a dark and very human, even primal sexuality in a way that’s quite disconcerting but also extremely interesting. It made me want to play with that sensation I mentioned earlier, of light and shadow.

Student Interview with Erin Pettis

posted Dec 30, 2014, 9:40 PM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:03 PM ]

Photo: Erin Pettis

Erin is a junior at CU pursuing an International 
Affairs major, a women's studies minor,
a public health certificate.
Interview by Leslie Selcer

What kind of atmosphere helps you work creatively?

I'm most creative wherever there is coffee. It doesn't really matter where...

Who is one of your creative role models? Why?

I adore Davis Sedaris. You can tell that he gets genuine joy from writing. He writes about the world around him with a lot of humor, but also a lot of love. I wish I could write like him.

Tell us about one of your favorite poems, pieces of fiction, or art and why you like it.

Jennifer Egan's book, A Visit from the Goon Squad, is my favorite. Every chapter follows a different, loosely-connected character. Her writing is heartfelt without being sentimental, and smart without being the least bit pretentious. I've read it three or four times, and it gets better each time.

Student Interview with Rachel Hultquist

posted Dec 8, 2014, 3:05 AM by Walkabout Litjournal   [ updated Jul 17, 2015, 3:01 PM ]

Rachel is a junior English major at CU who 
works as a poetry editor for the Honors Journal. 
Interview by Kelsey Ruggaard

Tell us why you think it is important for students to get work published, especially so early on in their careers? What is the importance of publications in a college setting?

I think student publications are important because it's important to get one's work out there as an artist. Fundamentally, writing and art is created to appeal to some sort of audience and it can eventually feel futile writing without anyone reading. Additionally, I think it's a huge leg up for post-college job application processes. It boosts confidence and it's a great thing to be able to add to your resume.

What kind of creative work do you like to make (photography, fiction, poetry, etc)? Why? Do you have particular subjects or themes or a style you like to use?

I like writing poetry and creative non-fiction. I typically stick to personal themes, drawing from personal experience. When I write poetry I usually stick to a rhyme scheme because I'm most comfortable with that, although I occasionally branch out.

Photo: Rachel Hultquist

Tell us about a piece of creative work that influenced you and why it did. Alternatively, tell us about your favorite poem, book, art piece, artist, author, etc.

There was a creative non-fiction piece called Phoenix Rising that was published in the Honors Journal a couple years ago that deeply affected me. There's also a poem by Longfellow that I absolutely adore called The Wreck of the Hesperus. My favorite author is Charlotte Bronte, my favorite poet is probably​ Edgar Allen Poe or Walt Whitman.

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