Interview with Christopher Z
I incorporated asking how my ‘interview’ participants would like me to address them to my interviewing rhythm. It helps me explore the chosen identity of people I am intent on connecting with. Recently, I had a chance encounter with another lovely human and I was compelled to interview this person I knew first as @spectral_dough, or Christopher Z on Instagram. He said he hadn’t picked an artist persona that stuck, but he is known to some as Calsifer, Cal, “..., but Chris is fine too.”. Another constant I have been working with is, what pronouns do you prefer? This artist prefers he/him.
I hadn’t known much about Chris before doing this interview, so I looked through his Instagram to see what he personifies in his posts. I noticed a unique combination of sketches and drawings that integrated several mediums over a broad range of personal art. He even has a link to his SoundCloud, soundcloud.com/spectraldough. I asked him what was the first artistic medium he chose to embody his otherworldly dough ball? “ I would say it probably started with writing for sure. Um, I have always liked that with writing, whether it be like poetry or fiction or anything, it's just like the most accessible.”. Yes! Accessibility to artistic mediums is a scarcity in so many places. In many places around the globe aimlessly structured workforces hone people into a workbot 5000 before they are able to enjoy the fruition of their artistic being. I delved a little deeper into what kind of inspiration explorations Chris likes to take when he is on the lookout for artistic fuel, “ I am actually taking, like, Swedish language courses so I can translate poetry.”, “ A lot of eastern influence from Japan, and China as well.... Are you familiar with any poetry?”. To which I admitted that I have selfishly enjoyed poetry, but I haven't looked into any writer's name.... Girls, boys, aliens... Please don’t do what I have been doing. Give thanks to the things you appreciate in life, and remember the name of it like Christopher Z. “
Chris had previously mentioned that he was originally from the Midwestern United States. He told me that he moved from Ohio, and there were two main reasons that he moved to the Pacific Northwest: “Just the natural beauty, I mean this place is like my kind of like paradise personally. Some people might not see it that way, but every day I am just so fascinated by the forests here.”, and “ There is something in the air here that inspires me way more, and just like the people, even coming across you. ”. It was such a flattering experience to have another artist appreciate my creative outlets! Yay creativity! An undertone of our conversation that is worth mentioning here is that Chris's move was also motivated by a desire to surround himself with progressive thinkers. We joked about how Ohio is like the belly button of the Bible Belt, but in all seriousness, it is one part of America where racism and societal injustices are sewn thick into its societal structure. Although the Pacific Northwest has many forms of prejudice, there is a distinctive difference in the kind of hate that controls the general public opinion in the midwestern united states and the Pacific Northwest.
Our conversation eventually led us back to Chris’s art! In as many words as I could possibly project out of my face, I asked him if he sticks to one creative medium or if he works on several at a time. “ I definitely keep it pretty diverse, but for like a month or two I was focusing on, um, I have kind of been focusing on putting the finishing touches and drawings in this book of poems I have been working on for a while. ”, excuse me but that is amazing! I can’t wait for his book of particulate poems and drawings to be completed! He imagined I felt similarly to him, and he was right when he said: “ I think it's really important to have multiple mediums because one day you might not be able to sit down at the drawing table, but like you can dance! “. There are so many ways I express my creativity and so many ways I want to learn how to express my creativity that it can feel overwhelming. Having multiple opportunities to learn and practice arts, crafts, cooking, and exercise is a huge help with my mental health. Chris said, “ It really helps exercise your emotions.” Yes! You can really enjoy the difficult things in life more when you learn about how to control your emotions with some creative self-discipline. I shared about a friend who creates remarkable digital paintings in the form of furry anthro porn, and how he has been building his artistic style in a very secretive, and disciplined way for a very long time. Chris related to my ramblings by saying, “ Yeah, art can definitely be like this other personality that we put out to the public. ”. Appreciating all forms of art is humbling, especially when you find yourself looking deeply into a wolf girl’s pussy, saying to yourself, the artist that created this is so skilled! As Chris and I chatted more about our inspirations he told me, “ I read this book called Just Kids by Patti Smith, and it's about the pursuit of art and what you can get out of it. ”. I know this book has helped friends of mine, and it sounds like we should all go ahead and read, or listen to it.
To circle back to my interests I asked if being a vegetarian pushed Chris to look at his diet with the same integrity he has with his art, “ I think there is definitely something to that because you know... the earth is my favorite artist. “. With that hilarious tribute to the mother we call earth, he told me about an experience drinking a hearty, healthy smoothie, “ Just like knowing that like this is going to be in my body, and those nutrients are going to be a part of me is just like artistic in its own way. ". I have personally been experimenting with ways to curate a healthy mind through dietary investigation since I was a wee person. Some people don't mind eating an imbalanced diet, and they are still able to produce magic within their artistry, but I personally don't feel like anything more than a brick in the wall when my diet isn't as diverse as the known universe.
I didn’t intend on interviewing people other than women for these blog posts, but Chris was so supportive and kind that I changed my tune. I like to talk about period care with women to bring awareness to menstrual health practices, so for this interview, I asked Chris if he would be willing to tell me if there are any rituals he uses to promote his personal wellbeing. He said, “ I do think it's important for me, especially these days to like just embrace feminine energy and whatnot because I have really come to this point of spectral nature and seeing things like a spectrum. “. I think Chis’ way of celebrating nature to soothe the pressure to become a self-loathing homophobic hetero man is a really wonderful way to have a personal moment of bliss. I wondered if there were more specific actions that he uses like a skincare routine, “ I do take a multivitamin, and I do drink like a lot of water. My friend made this salt scrub recently that has been taking these like herbalism courses and stuff like that. “. One thing that is certain, is I want to be friends with people who give me salt scrubs.
So anyway I was ready for some skincare, but Chris had other tricks up his sleeves. Thank you so much for reading! This is a big challenge for me because I am obviously not a writer, I have not been to school in 8 years, and my knowledge of American English grammar rules is BLEH. Alas, I am trying to write and keep things somewhat readable for the fabulous few who take an interest in the unapologetic way I vomit my thoughts into the universe. Thank you! Any input would be greatly appreciated!!
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