Tonight I had a nice chat with my friend and former schoolmate Yoshe Karina Leigh. We met years ago while in university at the University of Waterloo (in Ontario, Canada), while studying fine arts.
Here she is nowadays…
Dave Fox: Hi Yoshe Leigh, how are you tonight?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: great. . .
Dave Fox: like actually great or “great”?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I’m as great as can be with my seven year old son looking over my shoulder and reading as I type. . .good news. . .he can read really well. lol
Dave Fox: Oh.. well “hello” to him if he reads this
Yoshe Karina Leigh: thanks
Dave Fox: that’s kinda what i wanted to talk to you about..
Yoshe Karina Leigh: cool. . .
Dave Fox: first off, do you remember when we met?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: yep. . . year 1997/98 was it? U of Waterloo. 1999 I was studying in Mannheim, Germany for the year.
Dave Fox: oh really? i don’t know if i knew that…but yeah, back at the University of Waterloo art department
Yoshe Karina Leigh: yeah. . . .long ago now. . .
Dave Fox: Feels like yesterday, except not really I don’t think we’ve changed much personally
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I know……I feel I have. . . but not so much in the looks department. . .we’re still attractive. . . .I would like to think.
Dave Fox: someone told me recently that i’m a 7 and she said she was a 10
Yoshe Karina Leigh: lol
Dave Fox: i’m like.. hmm.. ok, i guess that’s not bad 7 is doable.. know what i’m sayinnnn
Yoshe Karina Leigh: okay. . .lol. . .ohhhhhhh. . .that is not really a compliment then is it?
Dave Fox: i think it is if you’re speaking to a narcisist
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I guess. . .lol
Dave Fox: Anyway so this is for my art site, this interview…i wanted to steer the ship in that direction…
Yoshe Karina Leigh: okay. . .
Dave Fox: like what did you get out of being in art school, for one thing? in terms of art skills, outlook, etc.
Yoshe Karina Leigh: you mean. . .what good I feel being a BFA student has done for me even to this day? hmmmmmm. . .
Dave Fox: yeah like even at the time…when you graduated, did you feel like a true artist at that time? like did going to school for it change anything
Yoshe Karina Leigh: well. . . .you know, I still hear Don Mckay (pictured below)’s voice in my head saying, “you will never be a great artist”. . . and well. . .I didn’t become a great artist but being a student has shaped my appreciation for art. And even to this day, teachers at the school, when they see the art I do with my students, say, you’re an artist aren’t you? so that feels kind of good.
At that time, I didn’t feel like a “true” artist. . .
Dave Fox: that’s what you teach right.. art? what grade?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I mean. . .I went to an all arts high school and took drama and dance. There I felt the competition and knew who was better than me etc. . .but as an artist.
. .well I could differentiate between students who were more technical in their art etc. . .but I didn’t feel competition. . .I actually teach Drama and dance. . .and spec. Ed in the morning.
. .but in the past I also among other things, taught art to my students.
Dave Fox: right so the artsier side of things
Yoshe Karina Leigh: yeah. . .I think I just appreciate art on the whole and I still remember some art history.
Dave Fox: yeah so you’re a well rounded art individual, but what i was hoping to get at is …you still do art anymore?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: When Tristan, my first was born, in 2010, I was very inspired and began doing painting with my year off with him. I loved to do his portrait. . . I had an art spurt.
I painted children like paintings for his walls. I painted his toys etc. But when my daughter was born, 2014, life with 2 kids took over. . .having a kindergarten kid and a new baby wasn’t easy.
I painted one painting over the summer but that was it. I painted 2 portraits of her a year ago but now I hold the paint when my daughter paints. . . Im her caddy.
. .but for painting. . .I recently bought new paint and a canvas with hope to paint soon again but haven’t started yet. . .
Dave Fox: So back in school again.. what was your style then?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I don’t know what my style was. . .many told me that I reminded them of Matisse (pictured below). I like colours and my depth perception was off. .
Dave Fox: Do you have any pics on your computer of your work? that you could send me.. i vaguely remember some pieces but.. it’s foggy
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I’ll check. . .they are on Facebook too
Dave fox: I’ll take a look for thosebut in the meantime how do you feel like parenting affected your art? i’m sure there’s lots of ways
Yoshe Karina Leigh: well. . .for one, I don’t have time. . .and then when I do have time (meaning time to spare) I can’t take the time because my three year old will then be up in my business crying because she wants to paint too.
. .using my canvas. . .it doesn’t work. It affected my ideas of my art in the way that now when I think of a possible painting to do or drawing. . .it is usually a portrait of my kids.
Dave fox: Riiight, so i guess just practically speaking there’s less time and i guess you’re not up at 3 am making time cause you’re just so obsessed
Yoshe Karina Leigh: lol. . .something like that. . .
Dave Fox: Right well i guess art never became a career for you in that sense so when kids arrived it’s not like your career was in jeopardy
Yoshe Karina Leigh: no . . . not at all.
Dave Fox: it’s just a hobby you like that you can’t do as much and really it’s just time management…figured out any hacks for it? ie i guess working with your kid is kind of a hack….people love life hacks
Yoshe Karina Leigh: true. . .but I don’t want to use kids as an excuse. . .however, remember Dave Poplow? he once said that art is like an itch that you just have to scratch.
And so I guess I can say that for the longest time, I didn’t have that itch. . .but Im starting too again.
Dave Fox: Yeah i see Dave sometimes around here. He worked at the library for a while curating shows and stuff
Yoshe Karina Leigh: oh cool. . .do you talk to him much. . .???
Dave Fox: but yeah it’s definitely like an itch…yeah we chat every once in a while…i see him around
Yoshe Karina Leigh: okay. . .cool. . .
Dave Fox: Do you ever do crafts with the kids? like more than other moms?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: Sometimes. . .more so when Tristan was little. . .
Dave Fox: are they particularly artistically inclined the kids?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: We did more recycling crafts like making back packs out of jug containers. whales out of milk cartons etc. not particularly but I do love how Jackie does her people.
Dave Fox: sounds pretty fun
Yoshe Karina Leigh: Here’s some pics
Dave Fox: ohh nice
Yoshe Karina Leigh: And more…
Dave Fox: these are from?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: First two from 2010.
Dave Fox: Nice they’re cool
Yoshe Karina Leigh: second one is from my daughter
Dave Fox: doing anything artsy with the kids?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I mean last one I sent. . .anything artsy?. . .just teaching drama and dance and in my classes I have done drumming circles.
Dave Fox: Yeah gotcha…sounds like a lot of art actually…what are you doing here?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: dance movements using the verbs Hop, Slide, and Step
Dave Fox: ah.. are you big on dancing normally? ie hip hop dancer 🙂
Yoshe Karina Leigh: yeah. . .in university I was in the swing dance club…I took dance classes during high school and even to this day I love it.
Dave Fox: nice. i wish i could dance
Yoshe Karina Leigh: next year I have a sabbatical and one thing I want to do with my time off is enroll in a dance class for moi. lol
Dave Fox: that’d be sweet…what kind?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I was thinking “lady of Sass”. . .or pole dancing. . .I want to feel sexy again. sexiness for me is inspiration.
Dave Fox: oh man.. well you’re at an age.. they say it’s an age where.. a woman feels things more strongly 🙂
Yoshe Karina Leigh:even when in university, other than when being at the art studio, I did a lot of my painting at home in my underwear when I liked my body. . .somehow I liked the image of the sexy artist.
. .but that goes away with having kids. tell me about it. . .
Dave fox: Well.. i never knew that!
Yoshe Karina Leigh: I have more sex on my mind than art these days. . .combine the two. . .well . . . . .that is hot.
Dave Fox: yeah sounds like a made for tv movie
Yoshe Karina Leigh: Not that I painted sexy things. . . .I just painted what came to my head . . .using people’s faces. . .yeah. . .could be. . . the having kids part or the painting in underwear part?
Dave Fox: just the sexy artist thing…or maybe some softcore porn…i don’t know…oh and lest we forget your hubby is an artist too…what’s his style?
Yoshe Karina Leigh: hmmm. . .I don’t know how to describe it. he now teaches art at Woodbridge art school…he loves it. he is definitely more technical…he is certainly a better artist…I am sorry.
. .I have to go now. . .again. . .mothering duty calls
Dave Fox: That’s ok thanks for the chat.. talk to you soon! 😀
Yoshe Karina Leigh: sure. . .