Name: Craig Hawkins
Hometown: Laurinburg, NC (Born) Valdosta, GA (since 1998)
Best restaurant: Bleu Pub – Get the Braveheart burger and sweet potato fries with spicy peanut sauce and Steele Magnolias – Get the fried green tomato sandwich with truffle parmesan fries.
Best place to travel: I spent three months in England years ago and loved Newcastle, York, and London.
Favorite Drink: I’m not very well versed with cocktails. I suppose I’m most familiar with a Margarita or a Bloody Mary. Given a choice I usually opt for a simple sweet tea.
Favorite item to cook: Apple + Peanut butter + Raisin “sandwich”
Core 1 apple and cut it into circular slices. Top with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a sprinkle of raisins. Add a second apple slice and enjoy!
Collectable Item: I want to say “Personal revelations that I try to publicly share as a drawing or a painting” because it points back to my artwork and the reason I create, but I have to admit I am a bit of a Pixar nerd and Pixar publishes a series of books titled “The Art of (insert Pixar movie title here)”. I have several of these and love to look at the concept art and storyboards behind such wonderful movies.
Best Read: This is always a tough question to answer. I don’t have just one. I have a running list, however, I always imagine I have a list that is longer than I can recall.
The Gospel of John by John the Apostle
Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias
Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Love Does by Bob Goff
You are Mine by Max Lucado
Who is the most influential person in your artistic career? It’s hard to narrow it down. Greatest teachers are artist Harry Ally and artist Margaret Morrison. Most influential artists are Jim Dine, Mark Rothko, Makoto Fujimura, and Alex Kanevsky.
Studio Location: It’s a mix of studios and my office at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA.
Object or thing people ask about when they visit your studio: Either a bronze sculpture I made years ago of a fetus chained to the inside of a cast apple representing mankind having been born into sin or my drawing board that students keep thinking is a finished work of art.
Favorite Quote : “Art has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C. S. Lewis from The Four Loves
Where do you find inspiration? Sermons, books, podcasts, good conversation, and good art. Scripture, conversations with God, my wife, my kids, good art, and my job as an assistant professor of art.
What influences your work? Our world views hold great power over the way we think and behave and differing world views are going to exist in a pluralistic society like the one we live in today. To paraphrase a quote by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, he states that “When you turn on the radio and listen to a… song…you can be sure it is a lifestyle and a worldview that is coming through the airwaves there.” Art illustrates the popular philosophies of our culture so the content of art can be very powerful. Even if the artist tries to avoid it nature abhors a vacuum and people tend to look for purpose and meaning, it’s part of our design. We are curious creatures. Even toddlers are infamous for constantly asking “why”.
Moment you realized you wanted to be a full time artist: It became a commitment during my freshman year of college. Up until that point it was something I loved to do and couldn’t see myself not doing but I didn’t know where to go with it. I became a Christian that same year and my walk with Christ is deeply connected to my art making.
Do you ever get creatively stuck? How do you unblock your creativity? Yes, in various ways, sometimes it’s for lack of clear ideas or desires to explore. Other times it’s for lack of proper time to implement my ideas. I’m currently stuck in the latter. In the past prayer, rest, exercise and a plan of action have helped me persevere.
When developing content through questions and research for a series of work it’s important to recognize that our worldview, which is to say the total answers people give to the most important questions in life, will guide the decisions that populate the work. Intent is prior to content. If I believe that we are communal creatures designed for fellowship then that belief will lead to developing work that shows this concept. Work that asks questions like: What is ephemeral? What is eternal? What should be private? What should be public? What do we notice? Are we more than the bodies we possess? and Can we control our desires and emotions? For me this happens as my relationship with God grows. I journal in my sketchbook. Questions that I have and lessons I learn develop the content of my art. As I grow my art grows. My intentional following of Jesus determines what content I entertain and invest my time in at the table of my ideas.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? The UPS guy. I’ve always thought being the guy that delivers the package that people are eagerly expecting would be exciting.
Please add anything else you think is important for readers to learn about you!
I want to travel more and I want to expand my viewership. I’m constantly looking for opportunities that can afford me the chance to travel with my family to see more of this beautiful world. My concepts for new work keep involving participation or collaboration with more and more people. I have ideas that require travel to various old cathedrals around the world, prison visits that I need help with, or surveys and event organization that I can’t implement on my own. I’m eager for any chance to share my vision of the bigger ideas I hope to produce but can’t without someone willing to invest in an artistic partnership with me. In short, I think the old school idea of patronage is very desirable and I have an open position to fill .