Mark Kemper, a Taos artist and musician, talked to Tempo about his new PopTiks project.
You are a musician as well as an artist, and longtime Taos resident - tell us about your creative journey.
I landed in Taos in 1990, Oct. 18, to be exact, on a motorcycle trip to California. A snowstorm kept me here. I fell in love with Taos, felt at home and 30 years later here I am.
What inspired PopTiks?
I started drawing as a child. My dad was a "frustrated artist" of great skill, which inspired me to try my hand. I studied commercial and studio art in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. For some years in the 1980s I was in clothing and fabric design with my then wife. I've played the drums since I was 11 years, and have been in a number of bands here in Taos (hoping to form the Crybaby Cowboys when the "situation" allows).
PopTiks was inspired by an article I read about a woman who had designed some and I just dove in.
My 16-year-old granddaughter has been coloring in the images and she says it's "creative, unique, unlike any coloring book I've ever come across, imaginative, abstract, interestingly detailed - in the best way - compelling and fun."
I love that response from your granddaughter! That was a part of the idea behind the work in the book - to take the coloring book into a world of art where the work isn't complete until the colorist adds their creativity to it. I see PopTiks as an ongoing interactive project to share with others via our website and social media pages.
The images are totally psychedelic as are the blurbs on the jacket - are we having fun yet?
I hope that sitting with the images and just getting lost in them while a person interprets them as they will. It is a bit of a psychedelic experience.
I must mention that the book would never have come together without the technical (and emotional) support and skills of the incomparable Sarah Livingston of yogipro.co (not .com just .co). Without her and her team the book would still be sitting on the shelf with a dozen other projects.
Head over to poptiksart.com.