10 Questions with Sabra Crockett.
1. Outside of art, what hobbies do you have or how do you like to spend your free time?
So, I just went paddleboarding for the first time last month, and I am in love! I used to be a huge camper and outdoor person when I was younger. I grew up near Lake Ontario, and went to the Adirondacks frequently for hiking, canoeing, and climbing. Paddleboarding brought me back to that world of being on the water, the strength and endurance of canoeing, and the leisure of laying out and soaking up the sun's rays. When I have time, I also love to dance. I grew up in the hardcore and punk shows of Rochester, and I also was a club kid. I find dancing to be cathartic, and a great way to get some pent-up emotions out. Of course, I do a lot of bird watching when I can.
2. What do you like to listen to while working in your studio?
Oh my, it really runs the gamut. It can range from Bikini Kill to Gorecki, to DJ Minx. Slow core, Goth, Industrial, House music, Afro pop, 1st wave ska, I mean whatever really connects with me at that point. Sometimes I'll just listen to binaural beats if I just need to really focus.
3. Do you have any pets?
Two cats, Hera and Phoebe. Hera sleeps by my side every night. She's my little familiar. Phoebe is sweet too, but has adopted my son, Kai. Phoebe and Hera both grew up in the same litter but are not birth sisters. As a kitten, Phoebe was saved by a kind person that found her in a garbage can, and she was raised by Hera's mom. We've had both of them for 13 years.
4. Do you have a personal motto, mantra, or philosophy on life?
I just learned about the term sisu, which I believe is a Finnish philosophy that believes in the perseverance of living through life even in times of adversity. It's about grit. When I was young, I was told not to give up. Plus, I have a natural tenacity that has gotten me through some pretty tough times. I also believe in the power of positivity. I wasn't really given a lot of encouragement to be an artist from family and friends, but I knew that that is what I wanted to do by the time I was five. So, having people tell me that I would fail at an early age made me dig deeper into myself, and I really had to learn to believe in my abilities. I never thought I was the best artist, I don't even know what that definition would be when I think about it. I guess I saw kids in college thinking they were the best and told that they were the best by their peers and family members. Then coming to college, they seemed to get a wakeup call. It messed with their sense of self. I never had that. I was never the best at anything I did. However, just knowing that I wasn't the best pushed me to strive, to experiment, to continue learning. I am constantly learning, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I've been able to make art as a living for over 25 years now, and I have so many people wanting advice on how to do it. I guess I would say a fierce belief in yourself, and what you are doing. Also, make your mission bigger than about just your survival. Extend a sense of bettering the world around you in every action you do, even just by being kind and showing compassion. It truly can change things.
5. What is one skill would you like to master?
Sewing/quilting. It's a skill that runs in my family but sewing machines and I have a contentious relationship. I broke three of them in one day during Home Ec class, and the teacher gave me a thread and needle and told me to embroider something. I still have it. It was a calico cat I drew from memory.
6. What was your first job?
I worked in a bakery at 14 years old. After school I would work there, and on weekends I would get up at 5:30 am, but be done at noon. I would put out all the new donuts, bagels, pastries and breads the bakers made the night before. I heard some very interesting philosophies from the bakers when I had a chance to talk to them. One baker I remember talking about ambition, and how it's better for everyone not to be so ambitious. Just to be content with what life has given you. I knew at that point that that was not my philosophy.
7. Do you think dreams have hidden meanings?
Absolutely. I have deciphered dreams I have had years ago by sharing them with others. I'm big into symbols, signs, and hidden communication. Sometimes the best way for me to solve a problem is to dream about it. I've had a catalog of dreams in my head since I was young. I write them down, and then go back to them sometimes.
8. What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
One of the most emotional ones was seeing Bauhaus play at House of Blues in Atlanta. One of the most enthusiastic ones was seeing the Pixies play at the Palace here in Louisville. It felt like a 45-minute standing ovation. The crowd was ecstatic! The most recent that was really great was seeing Kraftwerk play in Nashville.
9. What do you think happens after death?
We all become mushrooms, and our consciousness is absorbed into the mycelial membrane which is connected to all of life. We forget ourselves. We forget our ego. Until we are absorbed into another consciousness, and the process starts again.
10. What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
Celebrate something every day and be thankful for something every day.
Born a Yankee, and wandering through the South, Sabra finally found her home in Louisville, Kentucky with all the beautiful song birds surrounding her, and the most spectacular variety of trees she could possibly hope for.
"I am fascinated by the tragic beauty of nature. There is a secret language to it that I am still trying to decipher. It is a feeling I get when observing the birds, animals, and trees around me. The feeling that I am experiencing something that is so familiar, and yet so extraordinary. The art of survival, I suppose. I see the struggles, the triumphs, the perseverance, and the failures. I feel a connection to it all. I find my humanness in nature." -Sabra Lynne Crockett
Further reading on Sabra Crockett Click on the images below to read Sabra Crockett interviews with Louisville Visual Art and The GenX Manager.